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Financial Literacy Month-BMO's Tip of the Day: Make Sure You Have Travel Insurance Before Heading Out on Vacation This Winter

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 11/09/12 -- To mark Financial Literacy Month, BMO Financial Group is releasing a series of financial tips throughout November. As part of BMO's commitment to 'Making Money Make Sense', the tips are designed to help individuals and families save and manage their day-to-day finances more effectively.

BMO's Tip of the Day: Before you head off on your winter vacation, be sure you and your family are properly covered in the event of a medical emergency.

Receiving medical care while travelling abroad can be very costly without adequate travel medical insurance. For example, medical treatment for a broken leg in the United States can cost up to US$20,000; an air ambulance from Florida to Ontario US$15,000; and treatment for decompression sickness in Thailand up to US$40,000.

"Medical emergencies can happen anywhere, anytime, so it's important to ensure you have the proper medical coverage so that you don't put yourself at financial risk should an unfortunate event occur," said Julie Barker-Merz, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, BMO Insurance. "Just like packing sunscreen and cancelling the newspaper before leaving home, making sure you have travel medical insurance should be a high-priority item on any traveler's 'vacation to-do list'."

Given the high cost of out-of-country and out-of-province medical services, BMO offers the following tips for choosing a travel insurance policy:

Get enough coverage: Basic travel insurance may cover things like lost luggage, trip cancellation and missed connections, but may not include medical care. Look for a travel medical policy that includes medical and dental coverage, air ambulance, private duty nurse expenses, as well as airfare and lodging for a family member to fly out to be by your side.

Understand who pays: Some insurers pay the medical care provider directly while others require the traveler to pay up front and then get reimbursed at a later date. Know this beforehand to avoid confusion at your time of need.

Read the fine print: Make sure your insurance policy covers you for all your trip activities and is valid for the duration of your trip. Be sure to clarify any issues with the insurer before leaving home. Also, be sure to bring a copy of the policy with you on your travels as well as the contact information of your insurance company.

Know what you've got: Canadians can sometimes be covered under the terms of their credit card, workplace healthcare plan or through their provincial government. Before you travel outside of the country or province, assess what you already have covered through these channels and choose supplementary insurance to ensure you are fully covered for all costs associated with any required medical attention.

To learn more about travel medical insurance, please visit or contact your BMO Bank of Montreal representative.

"CFEE commends BMO's ongoing efforts to support Financial Literacy in Canada and promote ways in which Canadians can increase their competence and confidence when managing their personal finances on a day-to day-basis," said Gary Rabbior, President, Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE).

BMO Financial Literacy Month Tips

November 1: Maximizing TFSA investments annually over 20 years can save nearly $30,000 in taxes.

November 2: Utilize rewards to squeeze the most value out of every dollar you spend this holiday season.

November 3: Choose an investment advisor who is right for you and will help you meet your financial goals.

November 4: Use your RRSP to help make the down payment on your first home.

November 5: Space out payments to avoid cash-flow problems.

November 6: Take advantage of the benefits of preferred shares.

November 7: Consider investing in a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and taking advantage of tax incentives when saving for retirement.

November 8: Take advantage of Canada's numerous online personal finance resources.

For more on financial literacy, Canadians can visit the Government of Canada's Financial Literacy Month website, as well as BMO's Financial Literacy online resource.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $542 billion as at July 31, 2012, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

Media contacts:
Rachael McKay, Toronto
(416) 867-3996
[email protected]

Valerie Doucet, Montreal
(514) 877-8224
[email protected]

Laurie Grant, Vancouver
(604) 665-7596
[email protected]

Twitter: @BMOmedia

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