My First Experience with Insurance

Scott McEachern |

My first experience with insurance claims (or lack thereof) occurred just days before I got married back in 2011, a few years before I started selling insurance. We had a destination wedding in California and invited some close friends and family to help us celebrate.

Two days before our wedding, the groomsmen and I were relaxing by the pool and playing some basketball.

(Important note: We are not basketball players)

We started goofing around and shooting from half court to see who could score from furthest away.

(Important note 2: The combination of running, slipping, shooting, tripping, and falling is not a fun one)

After a nasty spill, we decide it’s time to break the news to ladies who were preparing wedding decorations. A trip to the hospital is our only option (remember, in the US, there is no such thing as a free walk in clinic).

“Good thing you have travel insurance” my soon-to-be mother-in-law says.

“I don’t have travel insurance. I have never been out of the country – doesn’t OHIP cover medical expenses everywhere? Besides, who gets hurt a wedding?” the groomsman replies.

We head to the hospital to get x-rays and have to pay a $300 examination fee. The doctor quoted that surgery will likely be required to fix the arm at a cost of $3,000! At this point, we have two options. Pay the crazy medical bill or wait a few days in a sling until we’re back in Ontario to have it fixed.

He decided to keep it in a sling for the next 5 days of vacation, which included for the wedding (and the photos), a taping of Price is Right, and a trip or two to the beach.

Insurance Lesson Learned

For just a few dollars a day, it makes sense to get travel insurance when you leave the country to make sure you are protected from large medical bills like the one quoted above. It is also important to make sure you have the right type travel insurance – emergency medical travel insurance. Some credit cards offer insurance, but they are usually trip cancellation or lost baggage insurance. These types may not offer medical coverage. Make sure you read the policy to make sure you are protected before you leave and enjoy your trip.