I, Chris Case, have been a volunteer with Scouts Canada for more than 15 years. One of the most exciting and gratifying events I have participated in with Scouts is a World Scout Jamboree. This is an event that happens every 4 years somewhere in the world and resembles the Olympics in some ways. Countries bid to host, and the event attracts tens of thousands of Scouts from more than 150 countries to meet and spend 12 days together in a large global pop-up city.
I was fortunate to be selected as a Patrol Leader in the 23rd World Scout Jamboree which was held in Japan with a Pre-Camp in Hong Kong. I, along with three other Patrol Leaders from Canada and Greece were responsible for 36 youth from Canada and Greece. Our unit of 40 people was part of a global quilt of campers totaling 34,000. It was an epic and life-changing adventure.
The 24th World Scout Jamboree is currently taking place at the Summit Bechtel Scout Reserve near Beckley, West Virginia. You can see what Canada is up to at WJ2019 here. There are 45,000 people living on-site with another 5,000 visitors daily, which brings me to the point of this post.
When you travel out of your country, you need to have Travel Insurance in place because anything can happen. And I mean ANYTHING!!!
Here are just a few of the incidents that I became aware of during my recent visit to the World Jamboree in the US:
- Medical issues requiring a doctor including cold, flu, pneumonia, anxiety, depression, aches, strains and broken bones
- Travel interruptions including flights delayed or canceled requiring additional travel to another airport or an overnight hotel stay
- Property missing, lost or stolen including luggage, wallets, passports, phones, tablets, laptops, or backpacks
Many people question the need for “Travel Insurance” or think they are “covered by their credit card”. There can be significant limitations to your “Travel Insurance” and you should check to confirm that your have the right coverage before you travel. The primary consideration is to have Emergency Travel Health Coverage because the cost of medical assistance in other countries is very different (and expensive) than in Canada.
Be aware! Just because you have “Emergency Travel HEALTH Insurance”, it does not mean you have coverage for travel delays, interruptions, cancellations or property missing, lost or stolen. Coverage to deal with those issues are optional or may be covered under your Personal Home, Condo or Tenant Insurance Policy. Make sure you understand how your are protected!
Travel Insurance is a must whether you are traveling to a World Jamboree or for dinner to Buffalo for “the World’s Best Chicken Wings”. Just think, if you got into a car accident or other medical emergency in another country, would you “Be Prepared”?
Top 3 Travel Insurance Tips:
- Get an Annual Travel Insurance Policy, so you do not need to worry about traveling outside of Canada.
- Keep your Emergency Travel Health Insurance Card on your person and easily accessible, so you can connect with your Insurance Company to get them involved in your care right away.
- Deal with an Insurance Broker who can ensure you’re properly covered for all travel challenges and advocate on your behalf in the event there is a problem with a claim situation or question regarding coverage
If you have questions, contact me and I will help you to the extent I can, since I am not licensed to offer this coverage. It is very important though, so I would be happy to refer you to a licensed professional such as David Boldovitch at Bold Financial. Dave can provide you with the information and insight to make sure you are properly covered for any Travel, Medical or Life situation that comes up.