Friday, May 24, 2013

Travel Insurance - do you need it?

Vacation season is fast approaching and with it, comes the question – “Do I need to purchase travel insurance?” The simple answer is if you are travelling outside of Ontario, OHIP may not provide adequate coverage. For example, Cuba now requires proof of private Emergency Medical Insurance coverage before you can enter the country.

Travel insurance comes two ways – Emergency Medical only or Complete coverage that includes coverage if your bags are lost, you need to cancel the trip due to a medical emergency, the plane is delayed and you miss your connection to the cruise ship, as well as the Emergency Medical coverage.

If you are enrolled in a group benefits plan, you may have emergency medical coverage already – check your booklet. Similarly, it may be included on your Premium Credit Card (normally only if you are under age 65).

Should you need to purchase coverage for your trip, make sure to answer all medical questions completely. Most individual plans will not cover pre-existing conditions if they are not stable prior to your trip and may not provide any coverage (even unrelated) if you do not answer all questions fully.

So, if you’re travelling outside of Ontario this summer, talk to a lisenced insurance gent prior to your trip.

For more information, to help you decide if you need to buy Emergency medical travel insurance – check out these articles in the Toronto Star:

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

10 Ways to Save Money

They say that if you continue to do the same thing the same way over again, you will end up with the same results.  

Here are 10 ways to save money or to get "free" money that you should consider. 

1. The 24-hour rule - Fight impulse purchases by waiting 24 hours before you buy it.
2. Comparison shop - I just purchased a new Toaster 
Oven and let my "fingers do the walking" on my computer before heading out.  I purchased the unit on sale for less than half price versus other stores and comparable units. 
3. Bundling - Bundling services gives the service provider more business in return for a better deal for you. So bring multiple services to your bank or cable company and negotiate. (I did recently and saved 30% on my cable, internet and cell phone.)
4. Pay bills on time: Paying late fees is a waste of money.
5. Use your perks: Your employer or association may offer perks or discounts. Check them out. But know your prices,sometimes you can do better on your own.
6. RRSP matching from your employer, RESP Grants, etc- Always take free money.
7. Shop with a list - the longer you spend in the grocery store, the more you spend
8. Borrow and share - for items that you only use occasionally, borrow, rent or check Kijiji or Craigslist.
9. Cut your energy usage - Turn off the lights, turn down the thermostat and don't wash your clothes or dishes during peak usage hours.
10. Weekly mortgage - If you pay your mortgage monthly, consider going bi-weekly or weekly. It shaves time and money off of your mortgage payments.