BC: 1-800-681-6677
Alberta: 1-800-693-6862

Insurance Blog

Planning a Winter Getaway

Winter is great… for about a month. After that, it’s pretty typical for Canadians to spend their cold winter nights dreaming of beaches, sun, and flip-flops. Planning a winter getaway? Here’s everything you need to get your family prepped and ready for a fun and safe getaway.


Travel Medical Insurance

When you travel (whether it’s in Canada or beyond), it’s important to ensure your family is covered for every situation – flight delays, lost baggage, and injury or illness. Our insurance specialists can help you understand which travel insurance coverage will work best for you!

Get more information from one of our trusted insurance specialists in select storesonline, or through our call centres – BC: 800-681-6677 and Alberta: 800-693-6862.

Packing List

When travelling as a family, packing can be a nightmare. To simplify the process, start early. Roll the clothing to fit more in. Try packing cubes to separate clothing by person, or to keep all of the bathing suits together. You can also try “cross-packing” – this technique recommends packing a few outfits for each person in each suitcase, rather than packing one suitcase per person. That way, if one bag goes missing, everyone still has clothing to wear. Also, make sure to pack the essentials in your carry-on suitcase, including medications and toothbrushes.

Plus – luggageElectronics? A Summer Safety Kit? There is plenty to pack for a winter getaway – especially if you’re travelling with kids.

Travel Medical Clinics

New and exotic destinations are an adventure – but you always want to be prepared. That’s why we started our Travel Medical Clinics – you can book online and discuss your travel plans with one of our Travel Medicine Pharmacists. They’ll be able to help you understand what medications, vaccinations, and other health supplies will be handy for your trip.

Passport Photos

If your passport is near expiration, it may be a good idea to renew it before your trip, rather than after. Get your photos done at the London Drugs Photolab with confidence – we are so confident in the quality of our passport photos using our new biometric technology, we guarantee them. If your London Drugs passport or identification photo is declined for quality reasons, we will refund your purchase, retake the photo, and give you a $50 London Drugs gift card for your inconvenience.

Our Photolab experts can answer any questions you may have about passport photos. Travelling with kids? Our experts have a ton of experience photographing children.

Airplane Prep

It’s the eternal struggle when switching climates – what do you wear on the way to the airport? No one wants to bring a parka to Mexico. Try wearing a warm but lightweight sweater under your raincoat or jean jacket. Toss on a blanket scarf and you should be warm enough to make the sprint from the car or train to the airport – plus, airplanes can be quite chilly, so you’ll be bundled for the flight as well. For long flights, don’t forget your eye mask and neck pillow (we’ve got an inflatable one too!).

Lastly, don’t forget the in-flight snacks and entertainment. Buying and preparing snacks before heading to the airport will be cheaper and easier – plus, it’ll prevent any arguments about what to buy in the airport gift shop. As for entertainment, check what amenities your plane offers ahead of time – if there are no TVs, then booksiPodstablets, and colouring books will be essential. Don’t forget to pack your charging cords and your Piston Power charger in your carry-on!

You’re prepped! Have a great trip. Bon voyage!

Prepare for Disaster with ShakeoutBC

On October 20, 2016, at 10:20am, over 650,000 British Columbians will take part in the province’s largest earthquake drill. We’re a proud sponsor of the Great British Columbia ShakeOut, which promotes preparation for earthquakes. If you haven’t already registered to participate, it’s not too late! But before you drop, cover, and hold on, take a look through these tips for disaster preparedness. Better safe than sorry – an annual check-in on your emergency process can save you time, money, and stress.

1. Check your Home Insurance

Your home is one of your largest investments, so protecting it and your possessions is critical. The worst time to check your coverage is after a disaster occurs – so be proactive and check your insurance policy today. The Insurance Services Department of London Drugs can help you understand your policy and match your needs to the insurance coverage that works for you. You can speak with one of our trusted insurance specialists in select stores, online, or through our call centres – BC: 800-681-6677 and Alberta: 800-693-6862.

2. Participate in ShakeOut BC

Millions of people around the world will practice earthquake procedures on October 20 – if you’re in BC, you can register here to be part of BC’s largest ever earthquake drill! Plus, by participating, you earn peace of mind that you, your family, and your coworkers are better prepared to survive an earthquake.

The “Drop, Cover and Hold On” procedure is internationally recognized as the best way to protect lives during earthquakes. Here are the dos and don’ts.


DROP to the ground.
Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table. If there is no table or desk, take cover in an inside corner of the building and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.
HOLD ON to your cover until the shaking stops.

You want to protect yourself as quickly as possible and to the best of your ability in your immediate space. There is no warning as to when an earthquake will occur – without warning, an earthquake could be so violent that you are knocked to the ground. If that happens, you should take cover and hold on. The drop, cover, hold on procedure best protects against flying and falling objects, which are the most likely source of injury.


DO NOT get in a doorway. Doorways are no safer than anywhere else in a home, and they do not protect you from flying or falling objects. Get under a table instead!

DO NOT try to run to another room just to take cover under a table. Instead, take cover in an inside corner of the building and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.

DO NOT run outside! Being outside during an earthquake is dangerous, due to falling debris and uneven and mobile terrain. You are much safer inside, under a table.

3. Stock Up your Emergency Kits

We’re got a selection of prepared emergency kits in stock to get you started, but you can also make your own with our Emergency Preparedness page. We also have a Emergency Preparedness Checklist that is super handy.

Your emergency preparedness kit: Essential items for a range of disasters

4. Create a Communication Plan

Photo via Lea Latumahina


The Government of British Columbia has a comprehensive guide for how to prepare your family’s communication plan in case of emergency. Here are the top points:

  • Choose how your family will communicate in an emergency – texts, email, and social media use less cell phone battery and are less likely to experience interruptions during a disaster.
  • Choose an out-of-province contact that family members can call or text – sometimes long-distance lines are free when local lines are congested.
  • Keep hard-copy lists of family phone numbers in cars and emergency kits.
  • Identify how your local authorities will dispatch information during an emergency, and subscribe to updates where possible. Resources like @EmergencyInfoBC and @DriveBC will have useful information.
  • Expect communication gaps – even texts may be delayed during a disaster, so immediate responses should not be expected.
  • Keep calls short to reduce strain on mobile networks.

While earthquakes are a concern for residents of BC, it is important for Canadians in all provinces to be prepared in case of emergency or disaster. Natural disasters happen everywhere and being prepared is extremely important – regardless of where you may live. If you have questions about LD Insurance, ShakeoutBC, or any of the emergency information available here, please reach out in the comments below, on Facebook, or on Twitter.


London Drugs donates $10,000 to help replace stolen equipment for North Shore Rescue

We’ve recently learned that North Shore Rescue’s two backcountry caches with thousands of dollars of emergency supplies have been stolen. Lifesaving equipment including: stretchers, rope rescue gear, tents and stoves imperative for saving lives – gone.

London Drugs has been a part of the North Vancouver and North Shore community for more than 40 years. Health, fitness and safety focused, when we learned about this vital equipment being stolen from this volunteer group that does so much good for hundreds of people year round, we knew we had to help.

London Drugs is immediately donating $10,000 in funds to re-purchase lifesaving equipment required in the backcountry caches for North Shore Rescue. The cache’s critical equipment is a huge priority for the volunteer team, both for their safety and their ability to save the lives of individuals who become caught in these remote areas and are in need of help.

The North Shore has such a variety of recreational outdoor opportunities and people enjoy the mountainous terrain and trails from all over the lower mainland as well as visitors from around the world. North Shore Rescue is an arm in need to the local North and West Vancouver police detachments when needed and absolutely vital to the safety of all of us who enjoy the North Shore outdoors.

If you look at the North Shore Rescue twitter page, you can tell even from this stream how busy the team is. Calls come in from Lynn Canyon, Grouse Mountain, Cypress Falls, Howe Sound and more. They are trained volunteers who are on call 24/7 assisting people who are in sometimes dire need and in life survival situations.

Thank you North Shore Rescue and your team members for your volunteerism, helping people in distress in all kinds of situations and for being there in any emergency. We want you to know what valued members of the community you are and how much we appreciate all that you do.

North Shore Rescue on Twitter:

More information on North Shore Rescue:

What to do if your home has been flooded

Cleaning up your home after a flood can be a lengthy and traumatic experience. Here are some practical tips on how to restore your home.

  1. Check for structural damage before entering a building. If you see damage, have a qualified person check the building before you enter
  2. Once you are certain that the building is safe to enter, make sure the gas, electricity and any fuel taps are turned off
  3. Do NOT touch electrical wires, appliances or devices
  4. Separate damaged property from undamaged property, and prepare an inventory of what has been lost or damaged
  5. Take photographs of damaged property
  6. Contact your insurance broker
  7. Keep receipts for any cleanup costs incurred (i.e. shop vac, rentals, cleaning supplies).

London Drugs insurance customers who would like to make a claim are invited to call 1-800-681-6677.

5 Questions to ask your Insurance Broker

The right coverage will protect you and your home from sudden, accidental or unpredictable events 

As the cleanup continues for thousands of people in southern Alberta after devastating flooding in the area, The Insurance Services Department of London Drugs is offering advice about protecting yourself and your property from future flood risks.

“Many people don’t fully understand their insurance coverage. They know they are required to have it but the important questions are usually triggered by unexpected and often distressing events – like the flooding in Alberta,” says Andrew Beaumont, Business Manager, Insurance Services and Warranty at London Drugs.

To be proactive about your insurance, Beaumont recommends asking your broker the following questions either at the time of purchase or at renewal:


7 things to consider when you buy travel insurance

While it’s not as exciting as choosing your hotel, or deciding which excursions you want to add on to your holiday, making sure you have adequate travel insurance for yourself and your family may be the most important decision you make.

Credit cards and travel agents offer insurance packages, but it’s important to have a thorough discussion about where you’re travelling to and what you’re planning to do, to make sure you have the right coverages in place. Here are 7 reasons why you should purchase separate travel insurance:


Surprising (and little known) exclusions in many travel insurance policies

So you read our blog post from Nov. 25th and you understand the need for travel insurance, but what you may not know is that your policy may not cover you in all situations. For example, are you covered if you’re injured while scuba diving or bungee-jumping? Can you be reimbursed for that elective dental work or surgery you have planned? People are often surprised by some of the things they assume will be covered, but actually aren’t.

  • One of the biggest surprises tends to be the alcohol, drugs or medication exclusion – if you happen to have a few too many drinks, stumble off a curb and break your ankle, your hospital costs will probably not be covered. Specifically, the wording states that there will be no payment for injury directly or indirectly caused by an insured person’s abuse of or intoxication due to the above substances.
  • And what if you’re injured while scuba-diving – does your insurance cover you? Well, it depends. If you’ve been properly trained and are certified by an internationally recognized and accepted program (like NAUI or PADI), then you most likely will be covered. If you’re not certified though, don’t count on having any related medical costs paid for by your travel medical insurance.

I’ll touch on bungee-jumping and other scenarios in the next article. Any other specific situations you’re wondering about? Leave a comment below and we’ll respond in future posts. Stay tuned for more in this series…

Written by Derek F.
Insurance Services Manager, New Westminster London Drugs

The real cost of saying ‘No’

I sell a product that most of my clients won’t use. Every day I take money from people in exchange for a promise from me and the companies I represent – a promise of restoration – basically that if you experience a financial setback under certain circumstances you will be restored to the financial position you were in before that disaster occurred (stick with me here, it gets more interesting).

The majority of people who turn their hard-earned money over to me in exchange for this promise never experience such a loss. Think about that. They pay but get no material object or physical property in return. So, when people pay for years and years and seemingly get nothing for it, some become embittered about the insurance transaction and the industry in general, and begin complaining about how much they’re paying.


Safeguarding your vehicle during holiday shopping season

Ever had your car broken into? 

I can tell you it’s a terrible feeling when you’re standing outside of your car looking in, and you can see that someone has forced their way into your vehicle and taken things you worked hard to pay for.

Shock quickly turns to anger, irritation, confusion (who do I call? What do I do now? WHY would someone do this to me?).


What to do after a Car Crash

We all know that accidents happen, but what you may not know is what to do after they happen.

Should you ever find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being in a car accident, our friends at ICBC has compiled a great five (5) step list on what you need to do:


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