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Ontarians make holiday plans but many don’t plan for emergencies: RBC Insurance survey


As numerous Ontarians think about loading up the car and heading out of town for a short break this summer, a new survey from RBC Insurance reveals many of them are ill-prepared for the unexpected.

According to the RBC Insurance survey, only half of the respondents from Ontario are likely to prepare for vacation mishaps. In fact, just 57 per cent are fully-prepared for car breakdowns, while less than half (45 per cent) say they would be prepared for medical emergencies. Furthermore, just 52 per cent of those surveyed in Ontario keep an emergency supply kit (first aid, blankets, extra clothing) in their car, while 54 per cent say they set aside funds for up to three months of their income in case of emergency.

“Before heading off on vacation, it’s crucial to prepare properly for all kinds of emergencies,” said Stan Seggie, president and CEO of the travel insurance division of RBC Insurance. “Holidays should be about making good memories, rather than having one bad experience that could ruin a trip or leave a family with extensive out-of-pocket expenses.”

Preparing financially for an emergency while travelling is not even on the radar screen for numerous Ontarians: two thirds (74 per cent) report they never or rarely purchase travel insurance when travelling within Canada but outside Ontario; almost half (48 per cent) never or rarely purchase travel insurance for trips to the United States; and one third (31 per cent) say they never or rarely purchase travel insurance when travelling outside of Canada or the United States.

“There may be an assumption among residents of Ontario that their health plan will cover everything but that’s incorrect,” added Seggie. “There can be limits on reimbursements for expenses, which is why it is so important to think about the unexpected and plan accordingly.”

In fact seven in ten Ontarians (69 per cent) believe that the majority of their medical expenses would be covered by a provincial health insurance plan when they travel within Canada but outside Ontario, even though government and employee health plans may limit reimbursement for expenses such as air ambulance service, prescription drugs and X-rays. Without additional travel insurance, this can get very costly. For example, an air ambulance from Vancouver to Toronto could cost $ 33,240 and is not covered by a government health insurance plan (GHIP).

These are the findings of an RBC Insurance/Ipsos Reid survey conducted between May 1 and May 20, 2007. The poll was based on a randomly selected sample of 2,000 adult Canadians who were interviewed by telephone. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ±2.19 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult Canadian population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. For Ontario, 671 people were surveyed and the margin of error is ±3.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The data was statistically weighted to ensure the sample’s regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the 2001 Census data.

RBC offers a wide range of travel insurance products. For more information when making travel arrangements, ask about RBC Insurance, go online to, call 1-800-565-3129 or visit a local RBC branch.


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