Ask an expert: Travel insurance expert answers Snowbirds' biggest questions

(NC)-Joel Donin, director, AIG Travel Guard shares his advice for seniors to get the most protection - and peace of mind - from their travel insurance.

I know that I need medical insurance while I'm down south for the winter, but is there anything else that I need?

Medical insurance is essential outside of Canada, but there's more to good travel insurance than just medical coverage. There are a variety of options that can be personalized to the way you travel. Trip cancellation and trip interruption are both important, particularly if you're flying.

If you get sick and have to be admitted to hospital, you will also want the insurance to pay for a loved one to be at your bedside.

Travel insurance that's comprehensive may include concierge services, which can quickly assist in rebooking flights if there is a snowstorm or your connecting flight leaves you stranded. It can also help you find the nearest auto repair shop if you're driving south and have car troubles along the way.

Plus you can get all of these features as part of a very affordable insurance package.

What can I do to save money on my travel insurance plan?

Believe it or not there are a few ways that you may be able to save money on your travel insurance plan. First, book early. A few months before you leave, compare rates from different companies. Many people stick with the same insurer year after year because it's easy, but you may not be getting the best rate.

While you can't change your age or your medical condition, you can research your options. As a rule, the younger and healthier you are, the more likely you are to find a competitive rate. Work with your doctor to fill out the medical questionnaire, and be sure to be honest. If your questionnaire is inaccurate or you change prescriptions, you risk voiding your policy.

Generally travel insurance rates rise each year, but some insurers, such as AIG Travel Guard (, work to keep rates affordable for everyone.


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