Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Everything You Need to Know about Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption Insurance

Fall has arrived and as the days get cooler, we’re getting pumped for winter travel! Whether it’s a lazy beach vacay or a mountain top adventure, anticipating an upcoming vacation is always part of the fun. When you’ve invested your money, time and energy into planning the trip of a lifetime, the last thing you want to think about is what could go wrong.
But what if you do end up getting sick, losing your job or having a natural disaster occur before you’re scheduled to leave? That’s what Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption Insurance is for! It’ll protect your travel investment in many instances. Read on to see what Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption Insurance is all about.

Why do I need Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption Insurance?

Travel is often expensive and sometimes life gets in the way of even the best laid plans. If you or a loved one gets sick before your trip, a natural disaster at your destination causes the government to issue a travel advisory to avoid non-essential or all travel, or your airline cancels a flight, you can relax knowing you’re covered.
If you have to cancel your trip before you’re scheduled to leave, or your trip is interrupted while you’re on vacation, then a Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption policy can cover non-refundable costs like airfares, hotels and tours. Great for Canadian residents or visitors to Canada, this insurance is available as a Single Trip or Multi Trip Annual policy.

Hand holding mobile phone with cancelled flight on screen
If your flight is cancelled or your trip is interrupted, you’ll want to be prepared.

Keep in mind, there are a few things Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption Insurance won’t cover, like cancellations for reasons you knew about before booking a trip, sickness within a set time of buying the policy, or a change of mind.
At TuGo, we offer Trip Interruption as a standalone product, but Trip Cancellation comes bundled with Interruption Insurance automatically. If you’re under 59, and looking for even more comprehensive coverage, consider an All Inclusive Holiday Package. It includes Emergency Medical Insurance, as well as Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption, Accidental Death and Dismemberment, and Baggage Insurance.

What does TuGo’s Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption Insurance cover?

CoverageTuGo Travel Insurance
You or your travelling companion’s unexpected sickness, injury and/or death
Natural disaster or unforeseeable event that makes your home or business unlivable
Travel advisory
Travel visa denial
Job loss
A cancelled flight or missed connection due to weather
A schedule change that causes a missed connection
A cancelled business meeting at your final destination, out of your control
Pregnancy complications, occurring within the first 31 weeks
This is a basic breakdown of what TuGo covers, but also make sure to check your policy for a complete list of benefits and exclusions. Still not sure? We’ve got a helpful blog post all about how to understand your travel insurance policy.

What’s the difference between Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption Insurance and how do they work?

Trip Cancellation Insurance—some real-life examples

Trip Cancellation covers the cost of a trip if something happens before your departure date, causing you to cancel your trip. For example, if you or your travel companion get sick or injured before a trip, Trip Cancellation should cover it. This insurance could even cover your trip if a member of your or your travel companion’s immediate family get sick or injured.
Trip Cancellation Insurance might also cover non-medical related events including natural disasters or a job loss. For example, if you or your spouse lose your job, or a business meeting at your destination gets cancelled, your Trip Cancellation policy should cover you. 
Woman cancels trip after contracting mono
Bianca booked an all-inclusive 7-day trip to Costa Rica after graduation. Just over a week before her trip, she started to experience increasing fatigue. She also had a sore throat and swollen glands. Bianca’s parents took her to the doctor where she was diagnosed with mononucleosis and advised to cancel her upcoming travels.
Pre-paid travel and accommodation  .…………………………….………….    $3,750.00
Amount paid by TuGo ………………………………………………….……  $3,750.00 
Elderly couple cancels trip due to fractured hip
Ida and Sidney purchased a Mediterranean cruise package with optional city tours. Their flights were redeemed from mileage points at no cost, but they also booked several nights’ accommodation before and after the cruise. A week before their vacation, Sidney slipped and fell on an icy driveway, fracturing his hip. Because his injury happened so close to their departure date, the travel agency was unable to refund them for their cancelled trip.
Pre-paid cruise ….………………………………………………………………….…    $10,198.00
Pre and post-cruise accommodation plus tour ……………..….……….  $3,160.88
Optional Tours …………………..……………………..………..…………….…….     $800.00
Amount paid by TuGo ………………………………………………….…………..      $14,158.88 

Trip Interruption Insurance—some real-life examples

Trip Interruption covers events that happen on or after you’ve started your trip causing you to disrupt or interrupt your trip, or to return earlier or later than your original return date.
For example, it protects your travel investment if one of your flights is delayed. While delays are a pain, knowing that costs like the following should be reimbursed by your travel insurance policy, can reduce the sting:
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Internet service
  • Cabs

Lone man waits for flight in airport
Waiting for a delayed flight puts a damper on any trip.

While we can’t prevent delays from happening, we’ve got some tips to help you avoid missing connecting flights.
Backpacker decides to cut trip short after scooter accident 
Hannah was backpacking throughout Thailand and Cambodia for several months. She was on her way back to her hostel on a motorized scooter, when she hit a cow that ran across the road. Hannah suffered multiple abrasions on her face and hands, a fractured arm and a mild concussion from the accident. Because of her injuries, a doctor advised her to cut her tour short and she returned to Canada earlier than anticipated.
Return trip to Canada ..…………………………………………………………..       $1,708.00
Amount paid by TuGo ………………………………………………….………..        $1,708.00
Business trip delayed by bad weather
Rupert was flying to New York on a business trip but missed his connecting flight due to severe winter weather. Because all flights were grounded, the airline paid for a night’s accommodation and Rupert was told to try again in the morning. After spending several hours at the airport trying to catch a flight to JFK, he was finally able to find a new ticket on a different airline.
Flight to New York (new ticket) ….……………………………………………         $747.74
Pre-paid accommodation (unused) ….……………………………………          $280.00
Meals …..……………………………..…………………..………..…………….……           $79.80
Amount paid by TuGo ……………………………………………………………          $1,107.54

5 tips to make the most of your Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption claim

Hopefully, you won’t need to make a claim; but just in case you do, here are a few tips to help make the process faster!
1. See a doctor before cancelling/interrupting your trip
If you need to cancel or interrupt your trip due to sickness or injury, see a doctor before you do it. If you can’t make it to your family doctor, a nearby clinic will do. Your doctor will need to provide written documentation confirming that it was medically necessary to cancel or interrupt your trip. This should also include the date you were advised to cancel. Keep in mind that this service may not be covered under your provincial health plan; be prepared to pay for the doctor’s note.
2. Cancel all airline credits
If the airline has given you a travel credit, you’ll need to cancel that credit for the unused airline ticket to be covered.
3. Provide documentation for reasons and expenses
You’ll need to clearly outline all the expenses you’re claiming and gather all original receipts and itemized bills.
4. Show proof of refunds
If you’ve received any refunds from your travel agent, the airline, the hotel or tour company, you’ll need to provide proof of that as well.
5. Travel paid for with points is not covered
Travel paid for with points is not covered. The policies will cover fees for the points to be reinstated when possible, but the actual cash value of points is not covered.
So that’s the skinny on Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption. Now back to planning that trip! If you have any questions, feel free to ask below.
Safe travels
T: 416 822 5886
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Travel Insurance for Cuba: Know Before You Go

With its beautiful sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and abundant sunny days, it’s no surprise that Cuba is a favourite winter vacation destination for Canadians. Whether it’s a short trip or an extended winter getaway, with the right travel insurance, your Cuban vacation is set to be as dreamy as the photos! Not sure which travel insurance plan you need? Lucky for you, we’ve broken down everything that your travel insurance for Cuba should include.

Entry Requirements

Before you book your trip to Cuba, or any trip for that matter, make sure to check your passport expiration date. If you’re travelling with a regular Canadian passport, it should be valid for at least 1 month beyond the date of your expected departure from Cuba. In addition, if you’re a Canadian travelling to Cuba as a tourist, you’re also required to fill out a tourist visa, or tourist card. These can be purchased from tour operators, airlines, and certain airports.

Vintage cars in Havana, Cuba
Check your passport expiry date to make sure it’s valid for at least 1 month beyond your expected departure from Cuba.

Emergency Medical Travel Insurance for Cuba

While Cuba has some of the best healthcare systems in the world, it’s still necessary to take precautions when travelling. Travellers heading to Cuba are encouraged to be properly protected with routine vaccines, including Influenza, Hepatitis A&B, measles-mumps-rubella, and Diphtheria. Aside from vaccinations, getting sick or injured is still possible, even on vacation. Whether it’s a foodborne illness or an accident, Emergency Medical travel insurance will have you covered!
All travellers are required to have proof of Canadian provincial health insurance, but remember, your provincial plan will only cover a portion of your medical costs in Cuba, leaving you to pay the rest. It’s also important to note that Cuban authorities won’t allow anyone with outstanding medical bills to leave the country. Medical care in Cuba can get expensive, so ensure that you have an Emergency Medical insurance policy that covers the following:
  • Hospitalization and treatment
  • Medicine and drugs prescribed by a doctor
  • Ambulance services
Thinking of being adventurous on your trip? We’ve got coverage for high-risk activities too! Simply add Optional Sports Coverages to your Emergency Medical, and you’ll be covered for the following activities and more:
  • Parachuting/skydiving
  • Scuba diving
  • Parasailing over land

Petty Theft Insurance for Cuba

Cuba is a relatively safe country, but petty theft and crime do occur. On occasion, unfortunate travellers have even had items stolen from their luggage at Cuban airports. Because of this, it’s important to have the right travel insurance to smooth away any bumps along the road. Baggage insurance can come in handy when travelling to Cuba, as it covers the following:
  • Loss, damage, destruction, or theft of personal items
  • Loss of currency due to theft or robbery
  • Personal necessities due to a baggage delay beyond 12 hours
For anything that may not be covered under your Baggage insurance policy, your home insurance might cover those items, so take a look at your policy to know exactly what you’re covered for before you go.

Above all, remember that caution is key to being a smart and savvy traveller. Along with Baggage insurance, be prepared with these international travel safety tips.

Palm trees blowing in wind
If you’re planning a trip to Cuba between July and November, make sure you have proper travel insurance, in case you have to cancel your trip!

Hurricane Insurance for Cuba

Hurricane season in Cuba is between July and November. If you’re planning a trip during these months, it’s important to consider that it could be cancelled or interrupted due to a hurricane or tropical storm. Travellers who purchase Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption coverage may be covered if the policy and trip to the affected area are booked before Global Affairs Canada or Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) issue a travel advisory that recommends visitors “Avoid all travel” or “Avoid non-essential travel” to the destination.
For Trip Cancellation, the travel advisory must still be in place at the time of the scheduled departure. For Trip Interruption, the travel advisory must be issued after departure and during the scheduled travel dates. For more advice, take a look at these helpful travel insurance tips for hurricane season.
Make sure you’re fully prepared for your next Cuban vacation by packing Emergency Medical travel insurance, Baggage insurance, and Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption insurance before you go!
Looking for more advice on travelling to Cuba? Leave your question in the comments below!
Safe travels
T: 416 822 5886

The Benefits of Multi Trip Annual Travel Insurance

Is Multi Trip Annual Insurance right for you?

Multi Trip Annual Insurance is designed for those who plan to travel more than once a year. Choosing between a Multi Trip Annual and a Single Trip plan for Emergency Medical Insurance depends on a number of things, such as frequency of travel, length of stay, your destination and other factors. It’s a smart option to benefit from savings, convenience and flexibility, all while getting the type of travel insurance that suits your personal travel needs.
Here’s a handy infographic to help you understand that Multi Trip Annual Travel Insurance—though it’s quite a mouthful to say out loud—isn’t as complicated as it might seem!


Take advantage of the savings
Purchasing Multi Trip Annual Insurance is cheaper than buying Single Trip Insurance multiple times in a year. When you think about it, the more times you travel in a year, the more you save on travel insurance per trip!
Not only will you save money, you’ll also save time. You won’t need to worry about signing up for travel insurance every time you travel and can instead focus on the fun stuff—planning your itinerary, discovering points of interest or picking out which restaurants to try.

Buy it & forget about it—it’s all about the convenience

We all can get quite busy or—let’s be honest—sometimes downright forgetful. With a Multi Trip Annual plan, you won’t have to worry about remembering to buy travel insurance, since you’ll be covered for a full year. Not only that, but those under 60 can renew their policies year-after-year, hassle-free!
Multi Trip Annual Insurance is especially convenient for frequent fliers who travel out of their home province on business, or frequent shoppers who cross the border more than once a year—it’s perfect for short day and weekend trips.

Enjoy flexibility when travelling alone or with your family

Not all trips are created equal! Some trips span just a few days, while others last for weeks. Choose the average length of travel coverage that works best for you—if a trip ends up being longer than planned, simply contact your provider for an extension.
Belong to a family of travellers? Travel as you normally would, together and/or separately. Each family member under the policy will always be covered for that year!

Customize your Multi Trip Annual Plan

The plan you choose will ultimately depend on your destination. Do you want to enjoy unrestricted coverage anywhere in the world? Multi Trip Annual Worldwide plan is your best bet! Are you a domestic business traveller or simply an intrepid explorer of our country? Multi Trip Annual for Travel within Canada plan will suit you.
Including additional coverage options to your plan also gives you the freedom to customize your trips even more. Choose from optional coverages including Contact, Adventure or Extreme Sports Coverage, as well as Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption Insurance.

100 Visa-Free Destinations for Canadian Travellers

International travel is often fraught with regulations, and visa applications are a tedious step that most, if not all travellers wish they could do without! Luckily for us Canadians, mobility isn’t much of an issue where visa requirements are concerned. Your Canadian passport will grant you access to over 185 countries and territories that either don’t require a visa beforehand or issue one upon arrival—making it one of the most powerful passports in the world.
Tip: Now, if you’re a visitor travelling to Canada, you might want to check out this quick guide, to learn about the right types of visas required to enter the country.

The power of your Canadian passport

What makes a passport “powerful”? There are several measures to consider, which can depend on a home country’s diplomatic relations with other nations. One of those would be the country’s access to visa-free travel, afforded to its passport holders. By this measure, the Canadian passport is often ranked one of the most desirable to have, alongside countries like Belgium, Japan, Switzerland, the UK and the US, according to global passport indexes published annually by Henley & Partners and Arton Capital.

Top 100 visa-free destinations to visit with your Canadian passport

Use the infographic below to help you in the planning stages—with relatively-few barriers to travel entry, globe-trotting Canadians who enjoy collecting stamps on their passports are free to visit these places (and others) anytime, so take advantage of that passport! And once you’ve picked out all the places you want to visit in the next year and beyond, be sure to look into multi-trip annual travel insurance to save on multiple journeys ahead!

Know Before You Go

Though visas are essential travel documents that determine limits of entry and the duration and conditions of stay, having certain travel restrictions in place can understandably be off-putting to travellers. You might have to make little changes to your itineraries, or you might have to rethink your route altogether. That’s why if you’re pressed for time or are on a tight budget, it’s good to know which countries require which documents, before even buying a plane ticket.
That said, don’t let visa requirements stop you from exploring a foreign place in the end—you’ll miss out on some of the most unique and memorable experiences by limiting yourself!
Safe travels,
t: 416 822 5886

How long can a Canadian stay in the US?

How long can a Canadian stay in the US?

The US only allows Canadians to stay for up to six months (or 182 days) per calendar year. To put things into perspective, once you leave your province, your 183-day clock begins, whether you start your journey in Canada first, or the US directly. However, it’s not just US law you need to consider; you also need to be in your home province for a certain number of days every year to remain eligible for provincial health. If you’re not eligible for provincial health, you won’t be able to buy travel insurance for your stay in the US.

How long can a Canadian stay out-of-province and remain eligible for provincial health?

Most Canadian snowbirds aren’t aware that they can lose their provincial health care insurance coverage if they spend too long outside of Canada.
Every province and territory has residency rules that must be followed in order to remain eligible for government health insurance coverage. If you stay out of the country for too long, you can run the risk of being ineligible and losing your health card privileges.

Home ProvinceMaximum out-of-province Duration
BC7 months
Alberta7 months
Ontario7 months
Saskatchewan7 months
Northwest Territories6 months
Yukon6 months
Quebec6 months
Prince Edward Island6 months
Nova Scotia7 months
Newfoundland & Labrador8 months
New Brunswick7 months
NunavutPermanent resident
Manitoba7 months
You’ll also lose your coverage for any travel medical insurance policy you purchased to cover medical expenses incurred outside Canada. Your policy will no longer cover your claims unless your provincial health care insurance is valid.
Keep in mind that you can always request extended leave if you need to be out-of-province for longer than the above durations through your provincial health care body. Read on for rules Canadian snowbirds need to know.

Snowbird Travel Insurance

As mentioned above, you need to be insured under, or be eligible for, your provincial health plan in order to buy TuGo® Travel Insurance. That means you don’t necessarily need to be insured under your provincial health plan; you can purchase our travel insurance as long as you’re eligible for it. We can’t speak for other insurance companies, so be sure to check their requirements for snowbird travel insurance. Read on for more details on snowbird travel insurance.

Safe travels,


Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Simple Tips to Help Seniors Embrace Healthy Aging.

Are you a senior who is looking to live your best life? Well, you’ve come to the right place. We have all the simple tips you need to stay healthy, feel happy, and make the years ahead of you truly special. All you have to do is keep reading!

Keep Your Home Ready for You to Age in Place

If you have been researching ways to stay healthy and independent, you may have come across a few articles focused on aging in place. This concept is growing in popularity among seniors because it allows older adults to remain in their own home for an extended period of time. Best of all, the changes you can make to keep your home safe and accessible are all pretty simple to complete on your own. Start by changing out knobs for levers that are easier to operate and adding more lighting in storage areas and under cabinets.

Home automation also makes it much easier for seniors to stay comfortable in their own homes. Smart doorbells are growing in popularity because they allow you to see who is at your door without the need to answer it. This can be extremely helpful for seniors with limited mobility, but it can also come in handy to help you keep track of packages. Other devices, such as trackers and medication dispensers, may be more useful as you get older, but some can help you stay healthy right now. Fitness trackers from FitBit, Garmin, and Apple make it easier to keep track of your daily steps and even offer encouragement to help you get regular exercise.

Keep Your Body and Mind in Top Shape

A fitness tracker is a great tool for seniors, but you also need to take other steps to keep yourself healthy. Seniors can benefit from a mixture of strength training, cardio, flexibility training, and proper stretching. Swimming is a low-impact exercise that is ideal for seniors with chronic pain or mobility issues since the water provides support and cushion for sensitive joints. Even water aerobics can provide the activity you need to stay looking and feeling your best and can help strengthen your muscles to prevent injuries from falls.

Working your heart and muscles is not the only way to keep yourself healthy and strong, however. You also need to make an effort to work out your mind. By doing a daily crossword puzzle, you can enhance your cognitive and memory functions and may even be able to prevent or delay the onset of dementia. Some research also suggests that following simple Mediterranean diet recipes may also aid in the prevention of cognitive issues, and eating healthfully can protect you from other conditions as well, such as heart disease and stroke.

Keep Track of Your Medicare and InsuranceOptions

Seniors who want to take a more active role in their health have to take an active interest in their healthcare coverage. Understanding all the ins and outs of Medicare is your best bet for ensuring you have the coverage you need to offset your healthcare expenses. Take a look at your plan to make sure your current Medicare choices provide for essentials such as prescription drugs and preventative care.

Since Medicare coverage can be limited, many seniors opt for Medigap supplements through private companies to provide more care options. The details of these plans can differ from state to state, so make sure you do your research to figure out whether a Medigap plan or supplement is the right choice for your healthcare needs. In terms of Medicare plans, it’s also important to know that long-term care is typically not covered by any plans or supplemental Medicare options. You may need to look into ways to cover those costs with insurance should you need long-term care to keep you healthy.

Staying healthy as a senior shouldn’t take any complicated measures. You can take control of your health and happiness with a few simple tips and some careful planning. So, start making the most of your golden years by taking better care of yourself now!

Hazel Bridges

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Did You Know?

Did you know? We can help you with Equity Take Out options such as:

Purchasing a secondary property 
  • This includes Rental Properties
Payment of personal income tax owing to CRA, Realty Tax Arrears or Consumer Proposal
  • Consolidating debt will put you on a better financial path, and allow you to save monthly
Home Renovations
  •  Equity Take Outs can be used to invest in self-contained rental units, including basements
Investments in a business
  • Business-for-Self (BFS) can take out equity to reinvest in your business
Other points to know
  • No set maximum
  • The Equity Take Out can be used to cover additional broker fees (requires a letter of direction for the lawyer)

    T: 416 822 5886