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Family Matters

4 Tips for a Carefree Road Trip

June 25th, 2015

By Shirley Parchoma

Road trips are a great option for families looking to get away this summer. Without the added hassle of airport security or the rigid timing of booking a trip in advance, road trips offer families flexibility and affordability. Whether you’re exploring your home province, heading across the country, or traveling south of the border, there are steps you can take to make sure you have all of the coverage you need for an unforgettably fun trip this summer. The following tips will help you ensure your policy includes all of the necessary coverage for a journey:

Understand your vehicle insurance

While all Canadian drivers are required to have automobile insurance, what that covers is not always clear to policy holders. Many of us have a basic understanding, yet according to a study from Western Financial Group, only 22 per cent are extremely confident that they know what their coverage entails.

Before turning the key, ask your provider if you’re covered for bodily injury, accident benefits, and emergency road service. It is imperative that you understand your policy in order to be protected, especially when traveling outside of your province or country.

Get medical insurance when driving in the United States

Many Canadians don’t do this. Even the shortest road trip to the states, such as day spent cross-border shopping, comes with risks. If a medical emergency should arise, you could end up with exorbitant medical costs, so always make sure you’re covered before you cross the border.

Consider year-round travel coverage

People tend to assume that year-round travel coverage is expensive, yet never bother to truly evaluate their options. Annual policies are very affordable and ideally suited to almost everyone that travels across the border, even occasionally.

Once you’re set with this type of coverage, you can focus on more important last-minute details, like making sure the bags are packed and that favourite toys don’t get left behind.

Pack appropriate documentation and contact information

You have the correct vehicle and travel coverage, you planned your route and packed your bags, so what else do you need to do? One more thing: gather all of your documentation, from up-to-date prescriptions, and contact information for your insurance broker, to identification for everyone in your party, including children. That way, should the need arise, you will have the correct resources to deal with any eventuality.

Road trips are a wonderful way to spend time together as a family and enjoy a change of scenery. So much of the year is spent worrying and planning, that your vacation should be a stress-free time spent enjoying time with your family. Take steps beforehand to make sure you can enjoy your time off this summer.

Shirley Parchoma is regional director at Western Financial Group. For more information visit


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