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BMO Insurance Study: Canadians Underestimate the Costs of Medical Treatment While Travelling

- Most Canadians significantly underestimate the costs of medical treatment in other countries - the cost of treatment for a heart attack outside of Canada can be up to US$70,000; treatment for pneumonia in the U.S. can be more than $65,000

- Only half correctly stated that travelers themselves are financially responsible for medical costs while away from home

- To help protect Canadians year-round, BMO Insurance has introduced Annual (Multi-Trip) Travel Medical Insurance



TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 6, 2012) - As summer vacations wrap up, Canadians will now be turning their attention to Thanksgiving, Christmas and winter getaway travel plans. According to a study commissioned by BMO Insurance, Canadians love to travel:

  • More than two-thirds of Canadians travelled to another province or to the U.S. in the past year
  • Almost half (43 per cent) visited another country outside of North America

BMO Insurance reminds Canadians that a medical emergency can happen anywhere and any time, even while on vacation.

"The costs associated with encountering a medical emergency while traveling can be formidable without adequate travel medical insurance," said Julie Barker-Merz, Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, BMO Insurance. "While still in the planning stages of your vacation, be sure to do your research and investigate travel medical insurance options and purchase one that is right for your trip. Should an unfortunate event occur, the last thing you should be worrying about is whether you'll have enough money to deal with such an emergency."

The BMO Insurance study found that many Canadians are not aware of the true costs associated with emergency medical treatment outside of Canada:

  • Over four-in-five Canadians (82 per cent) believe it costs $5,000 or less to treat decompression sickness in Thailand, far below the actual cost of $40,000.
  • Eighty per cent of Canadians believe the cost of treating pneumonia in the U.S. is $10,000 or less, when in reality, the bill can run as high as $66,000.

The report also found that many Canadians do not know who is financially responsible should medical treatment be required while abroad. When surveyed, only half correctly identified that those travelling outside of Canada without medical insurance are themselves responsible for covering the majority of medical expenses.

BMO Insurance Introduces Annual (Multi-Trip) Travel Medical Coverage

To provide Canadians with peace-of-mind while out of province or country, BMO Insurance has introduced an Annual (Multi-Trip) Travel Medical policy which provides coverage for a full year upon enrolment. The policy includes:

  • Medical coverage for the first 10 days of a trip for an unlimited number of trips per year
  • Travel and legal assistance
  • Emergency hospital, ambulance and medical expenses
  • Private duty nursing expenses
  • Emergency air transportation or evacuation
  • Emergency dental expenses
  • Transportation to the bedside
  • Return of deceased
  • Additional hotel and meal expenses

"This new offering is ideal for those who make frequent cross-border trips or who plan to take one week getaways down south," said Ms. Barker-Merz. "You can automatically renew the policy on an annual basis, providing peace of mind that, no matter where and when you leave home, you'll be protected."

Clients looking to extend coverage for a longer period of time can 'top up' and enhance their coverage by adding features available with BMO's Single Trip Plans such as trip interruption/trip delay, baggage and personal effects, flight delay benefits and trip cancellation.

For more information about BMO Annual (Multi-Trip) Travel Medical Coverage:

  • Drop by your nearest Bank of Montreal branch
  • Go to bmo.com/travelinsurance
  • Call BMO Travel Insurance at 1-800-661-9060

Get the latest BMO press releases via Twitter by following @BMOmedia

The online survey was conducted by Pollara with a random sample of 1,000 Canadians 18 years of age and over, between June 14-18, 2012.

Media contacts:
Rachael McKay, Toronto
416-867-3996
rachael.mckay@bmo.com

Valerie Doucet, Montreal
514-877-8224
valerie.doucet@bmo.com

Laurie Grant, Vancouver
604-665-7596
laurie.grant@bmo.com