The market for travel medical insurance is segmented according to demographics, and a fast-growing segment of the industry is international student insurance. Canada continues to offer world-class educational facilities and a secure, welcoming atmosphere for students engaged in academics, as the country continues to see large numbers of international students enrolling in Canadian academic institutions. International students can open a new line of business for enterprising insurance agents. As insurance professionals we can help guide young students through the life stages of insurance, and extend our services to their friends, family, schools, and workplaces. A student in Canada may soon be opening his or her first business, or starting a family, and will need good financial planning each step of the way.
Student medical insurance offers high benefits at a low cost because of the applicants’ unique demographics. First is the average age of applicants. Young students are generally healthy and don’t need the same level of coverage for pre-existing conditions that a senior might need. Second, student travellers are engaged in high school exchange programs, college-level language programs, or university courses. The social network of a school ensures that students have a supportive environment in the event of an emergency, diminishing the risk that individual travellers without established networks can face. Finally, as individuals in academic pursuits, students are more risk-averse than older adventure travellers. (Not to say that young students aren’t adventurous at times!)
Agent resource: Our insurance brochure for international students
The low cost of student insurance is combined with high benefits, often far above what a standard emergency medical plan will offer. Working with Sun Life Financial, Ingle Internationall offers a student plan that combines crucial emergency medical benefits with maximum claim limits of $2 million without deductibles. If coverage is purchased for a 365-day period, applicants receive benefits such as general physician visits and other extended health benefits. At higher levels of coverage, applicants can even be covered for maternity expenses. All this is above and beyond the standard emergency medical benefits for ambulance, physician, and prescription medications (see policy for full details).
Parents of students are also eligible to purchase travel medical insurance when they visit their children abroad. Although they will not be able to purchase student insurance, there is a wide range of “visitor to Canada” insurance products available—meaning there is a large potential for follow-up sales when working with students. And when a student graduates, as insurance brokers we can help them plan for the next stage of their life. If they plan to stay in Canada to work or to seek residency, a Visitor to Canada plan can provide emergency medical coverage in the interim. Or if the plan is to take a world tour before returning home, inform them about insurance for international travellers.
The potential for growth in the international student insurance market should be considered within the context of student’s extended support networks and their long-term potential. Connecting with international students can often lead to more connections with their peers, their parents, or their school boards—not to mention the potential of lifelong services for students who plan to stay in Canada to begin their professional careers. Students are the future, and connecting them to crucial financial services can enhance your business while helping to bring their dreams to fruition.
Article provided by Patrick Chiasson, Broker Services Manager, Ingle International