Travel insurers have long been criticized for the complexity of their policies, heavy-handed use of medical and legal language in their applications, and their alleged tendency to deny, deny, deny claims.
But according to a new public opinion research poll, commissioned by the Canadian Association of Financial Institutions in Insurance (CAFII), a non-governmental, non-profit watchdog association advocating a more transparent insurance marketplace, more than 8 out of 10 Canadians who have purchased travel insurance are satisfied with the value they receive from the products they buy.
Furthermore, according to a press release issued by CAFII, 98 per cent of people who made travel medical insurance claims in the past year said they were fully or partially paid, with only 2 per cent of claims being rejected.
In addition, 91 per cent of claimants said they were satisfied with their claim experience from initial contact to final outcome.
According to the public opinion research poll done by Pollara Strategic Insights, 87 per cent of Canadians who have purchased travel medical insurance in the past year were confident they would receive the quality of service they expected, 90 per cent were confident they would receive the assistance they needed, and 86 per cent expected reimbursement to cover the cost of the travel medical emergency as explained in their policy.
As for understanding the terms of coverage and limitations of policies purchased, 89 per cent of insurance buyers said they were confident they knew the policy terms and that they had at least some knowledge of the limitations and exclusions of the policy they purchased.
The only downsides reported in the poll were complaints from 31 per cent of respondents about the length of time it took to process a claim, and the lack of clarity about what was required—although this complaint level was down from 38 per cent in a similar poll taken by Pollara in 2015.
What do Canadians look for in buying travel insurance?
Respondents to the poll said the top six factors they looked for when purchasing travel insurance were:
- Features and benefits
- Overall amount of coverage
- Ability to speak to someone
- Ease of purchase
- Coverage for pre-existing conditions
Consumers should keep raising their expectations
As positive as the consumer responses were to the survey, a spokesman for CAFII emphasized that “consumers (should) continue to raise the bar on what they expect from their policies in terms of product features, quality services and value, and rightly so.”
What gives the CAFII poll added pertinence right now is that the Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators has also been encouraging travel insurers to greater transparency about their products, more consistency, simplicity, and ease of purchase.
To find out more about travel medical insurance, visit the Ingle blog.