Insurance

Canadians Continue to Embrace Cruise Vacations, But Need to Consider Travel Insurance Pitfalls

In 2018, close to 960,000 Canadians will have embarked on a cruise—almost 39 per cent more than in 2010, according to estimates reported by the Conference Board of Canada (CBOC). Citing data provided by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the CBOC projected that it was cruisers from Canada’s Atlantic region who posted the largest average annual rate of growth in embarkations since 2010—11.6 per cent from then to the end of 2017. The report also indicates that while the average age of Canadian ocean and river cruisers in 2017 was 51, there was a discernable distinction in age cohorts between those taking longer itineraries such as trans-Atlantic or exploration cruises (which tend to attract older travellers), and shorter Caribbean cruises which are more popular among younger travellers. For example, the average age of Canadian passengers on cruises to the Panama Canal/South America, Antarctica, Galapagos, or the Arctic is 66;…

The Real Value of Travel Insurance: Staying in Touch

It’s just a little over three years since Paris was stunned by a terrorist attack in the heart of the city, with 130 people shot dead—mostly young people having fun at a concert. It made those of us who have come to know Paris stop in our tracks. And now we have again witnessed scenes of protesters in yellow vests disrupting this city of lights with anti-government demonstrations: cars being burned, fires set, graffiti marring the Arc de Triomphe, tourists and visitors running from those sites they have come so far to see. And this is Paris, one of the world’s most visited cities. Is any place safe anymore? Is London safe, or Barcelona, or Brussels, or Nice, or Las Vegas? For travel insurers, whose predominant mission is to safeguard their customers when they leave home, there is increasing need, and opportunity, to bring value to their clients beyond helping…

SUNx & Ingle International Announce SDG-17 Climate Resilience Partnership

KATOWICE, Poland and TORONTO, Dec. 11, 2018 /CNW/ – A Climate Resilience partnership, focussed on creating 100,000 Strong Climate Champions by 2030 was announced today at COP 24 in Katowice, Poland. The partnership, which was made in the spirit of SDG-17, is between leading Canadian-based global travel risk management and travel insurance provider Ingle International Inc., and SUNx (Strong Universal Network), which focusses on Climate Friendly Travel. The partnership is founded on a shared commitment to develop the Maurice Strong Legacy Scholarship Program, with Ingle International as its first global sponsor. Speaking from COP 24 – the United Nations Climate Change Conference, Professor Geoffrey Lipman, Co-founder of SUNx, said: “We are honoured to announce our partnership with Ingle International to launch the global rollout of the Maurice Strong Legacy Scholarship Program. This will create 100,000 “Strong Climate Champions” by 2030, in every UN State, to help to drive the behavioural change and influence the fundamental government and industry actions needed to tackle Climate…

Health Insurance Is a Key Factor in International Students’ Choice of Canadian College

When the Government of Manitoba de-listed provincial health care as a “right” for foreign students at its universities this September, reaction to the move revealed just how significant health care insurance was to students’ choice of school. As one student from Nigeria enrolled at the University of Manitoba told local media, “free” health care was an important factor when he was deciding where to attend university. He added, “It was a big issue when I was considering Manitoba.” The student, who as a foreign national was paying at least two to three times the tuition and fees charged domestic students, was reacting to the provincial government’s repeal of a 2012 clause to the Health Insurance Act that offered foreign students access to its provincial health care scheme—access which covered not only them, but their spouses and dependents. The repeal was expected to save Manitoba taxpayers $3.1 million while costing foreign…

Put the “Serious” Back in Travel Insurance

Where is the logic? Some people will take two or three trips to an appliance store before deciding on a new flat-screen TV costing them over $1,000; they will grill the salesperson about the pros and cons of this set or that; and they’ll scour the fine print details to make sure their purchase meets their specific needs. Yet when purchasing a long-term travel insurance policy, without which they might lose their life savings, they’re OK to do the purchase over the phone or online in three minutes, and don’t think twice about throwing the policy in a drawer unread after receiving it from their agent. According to a recent survey of Canadian travellers done by a trade group representing travel insurers, less than half (48 per cent) of respondents said they normally check their travel insurance coverage before taking their trips; 35 per cent admitted being unsure what their…

StudyInsured: Your One-Stop Shop for International Student Insurance

Looking for the best travel insurance coverage for your international student(s)? Look no further – StudyInsured has it all! From protecting a student’s medical needs, to the accessibility of 24/7 multilingual emergency assistance services, and even a Stay Healthy at School Program. Read our latest press release on why StudyInsured is your one-stop shop for International Student Insurance. Are you an international student? Let us help you feel at home while you study abroad. We cover all your health insurance needs, give you easily accessible resources for navigating the healthcare systems, provide physical and mental wellness support through the Stay Healthy at School program, 24/7 claim services should you need assistance, and much more. For more information, visit https://www.inglestudents.com/studyinsured/, call us at 1-855-649-4182 or email us at studentteam@studyinsured.com.

New Surveys Show Canadian Travel to the US Is Up—and So Is Insurance Coverage

Despite a plethora of news stories asserting deteriorating relationships between Canada and the US over trade and political differences, it appears Canadians have not pared back their leisure travel plans south of the border to their most favoured vacation destinations. In fact, according to new data reported by the Conference Board of Canada (CBoC) and Statistics Canada, Canadian leisure trips to the US lasting at least one night increased in 2017 by almost 4.5 per cent from 2016’s number, rising to 15.5 million—the first annual increase since 2013. Overall, Canadians made over 25.5 million leisure trips out of the country (to both the US and abroad) in 2017, more than in the previous two years.   More than three-quarters maintain travel coverage The CBoC survey also commissioned a poll of Canadians to determine their travel insurance buying habits. It found that 78 per cent of those who had travelled out…

Canadians Show Growing Satisfaction with Travel Insurance

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…

When Hurricanes Threaten, Here’s What Travel Insurance Can and Cannot Do for Your Clients

With the peak of hurricane season in the Atlantic basin approaching, travel insurance vendors need to reinforce not only the value of cancellation/interruption policies to clients planning trips to storm-prone areas, but make sure clients understand these plans’ limitations and exclusions as well. Travellers need to understand that trip cancellation insurance is designed to cover only prepaid monetary losses that are not refundable by the travel supplier—reservation deposits, payments for tour packages, cruise ship tickets. It’s not meant to compensate for the disappointment of a lost “dream trip.” If your client’s Caribbean cruise is shortened by two or three days due to a mechanical failure or an unscheduled rerouting to a safer port and the cruise line offers a make-up voucher for future travel, that’s considered a refund and disqualifies the need for a claim. Same story if an airline leaves the client stranded and then offers a voucher for…

Tips for Travel Insurance Agents: Assist Your Customer, But Protect Your Trust

When travel insurance claims are denied based on non-disclosure or failure to provide accurate medical information, it can easily generate tension or mistrust between the customer and the agent who sold and “processed” the policy. This is especially so if the medical questionnaire is done verbally over the phone (or online) and the customer is unfamiliar with the medical terms used, or is unfamiliar with his or her own medical records, or simply unaware of the consequences of non-disclosure. A claim denial comes as a shock to any insured person and the first reaction will often be to deflect the blame—to the doctor for not sharing pertinent medical information, to the wife for not properly completing her husband’s medical questionnaire, or to the agent who didn’t “take the time” to explain the medical terms or didn’t emphasize that any change in health status prior to the effective date of coverage…

Premier Expatriate Insurance Now Available!

As an Ingle agent, you are now able to offer your clients the world’s leading expatriate insurance through our partnership with MSH International. Discover the benefits of First’Expat+ and Start’Expat, like inclusive coverage, flexible formulas, easy claims and 24/7 support. Call us today at 1-800-292-9460 and start earning on select policies. Want more details? Send us an email to agent@imagineinsurance.com. —About MSH International— For more than 40 years, MSH International has been designing and managing international health insurance solutions for globally-mobile individuals: expatriate employees and freelancers, young adults living abroad (internships, studies or working holiday visas), active seniors, etc. The mission is to provide solutions for all expatriates worldwide by offering coverage of healthcare, life & income protection, medical assistance/repatriation and third party liability. As specialists in international health insurance, MSH International strives to be your true local healthcare partner abroad. —Solutions— Medical / Life & Disability / Assistance Repatriation / Third-Party…

Canada’s Travel Insurers, Be Warned: Privacy Breaches Will Cost You Big Time

For travel insurance producers, vendors, brokers, and in fact any professional gathering or storing personal information about a client, the rules for maintaining strict privacy are intensifying, as are the penalties attached to them. And we’re not talking about slaps on the wrist. On May 25, 2018, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR, termed by the experts as the strictest data-protection law in the world) came into effect to harmonize data protection laws of all EU member states. The law is intended to ensure that all personal data from individuals in the EU are protected; that gatherers of that data deal in a fully transparent fashion; and that customers have new and greater privacy rights and control over how their information is used by those who collect it and pass it on to others. How serious is the EU about its GDPR? Maximum penalty for non-compliance is four…

Canadian Travel Trade Trends Remain Strong for 2018/2019

Despite persistently negative media coverage of US political affairs (including volatile NAFTA negotiations), Canadian leisure travel to the US increased for the first time in four years in 2017—up 4.5 per cent over 2016—indicating that vendors of travel insurance may continue to enjoy robust market growth south of the border. According to a recent report from the Conference Board of Canada (CBoC), when asked about those factors that influenced their travel decisions, the “vast majority” of (Canadian) outbound travellers reported that disease/outbreaks (64.9 per cent), political uncertainty (60.2 per cent), terrorism/security concerns (59.4 per cent), and extreme weather events (54.6 per cent) had no impact on their trip planning. On the other hand, the ups and downs of the loonie vis-à-vis the US dollar did have some effect on travel decisions. Fortunately, the relative strength of the loonie throughout much of 2017 did have a salutary effect on travel to…

Applying to a Canadian University? Join the Throng, But Plan Your Health Insurance Well

As Canadian universities step up recruitment of foreign students—whose tuition may range up to two or three times that of domestic students, depending on the province—some questions are being raised about the perception that domestic applicants may be losing out, even when they have higher grade point averages. In a contentious research report, University of British Columbia economist and associate professor Peter Wylie observes that some BC high school graduates are being denied entry to campuses of their choice or even forced to go out of province, while international students with the same or lesser grade point averages are being accepted. In response to Professor Wylie’s comments, UBC Vice-Provost Pamela Ratner, who oversees enrollments, charges that “it is a myth that international students displaced domestic students.” She adds that “international and domestic students do not compete with each other when UBC is reviewing student applications; they are adjudicated in separate…

Travel Insurance Sellers and Customers Need to Get on the Same Page

As Canadian insurance regulators intensify their efforts to enhance consumer protections and confidence in travel insurance, brokers and agents are faced with a dilemma: on the one hand, simplifying the purchase of products; on the other hand, ensuring they are appropriate for the specific health and travel needs of their customers. It’s a balancing act that often pits the imperatives of medical underwriters against those of marketers. And it doesn’t get any easier when clients in less-than-perfect heath are confronted by the need to complete—often by telephone, or via the Internet—health questionnaires replete with medical (and legal) terminology that requires searching out definitions further down the page or in another part of the policy. Interviewing applicants is no easy job For agents assisting customers in completing applications by phone, navigating through multilayered questions and recording their responses accurately is no easy job. Without actually recording the interviews, there is…

Five Tips to Speed up Your Travel Insurance Claim

When purchasing travel insurance, holiday-goers are buying into the promise that they will have peace of mind for their vacation. That doesn’t just involve accident or non-accident protection. It extends to the turnaround time of the insurance company once a claim has been made, and the speed in which the insured gets paid. Travellers are often worried about receiving payment from their insurance company after making a claim. What they don’t realize, however, is that insurance claim turnarounds are often held up due to a lack of healthorganization from the insured. Submitting your travel insurance claim correctly will help expedite the claims process. Read on to find out our top tips for submitting your travel insurance claim correctly. Choose wisely It’s important to choose the right travel insurance policy for you. The policy should cover your individual medical needs, should prepare you for non-medical assistance if needed, and should…

Heads Up for Quebec Travel Insurers: Are Warning Labels in Your Future?

Are travel insurance products becoming too complicated to be sold directly to consumers over the Internet or through social media outlets? According to Flavio Vani, president of Quebec’s financial advisors’ organization Association professionnelle des conseillers en services financiers (APCSF), if pending legislation (Bill 141) is enacted in the National Assembly later this year, as expected, all online purchases of insurance products offered in the province without the advice of a registered financial professional should carry warnings similar to those posted on cigarette packages. In an interview for the Insurance and Investment Journal, Vani states that the APCSF has submitted a proposal to the Quebec government asserting that it wants direct sales of financial products to carry an explicit warning that online purchases of insurance products without the advice of a registered professional (who would first analyze the customer’s personal financial situation) “could have a significant impact on an individual and…

What Is a Companion Discount and How Can it Save Money for Canadian Travellers?

Canadians love to travel, particularly when it involves jetting off with a family member or friend. In fact, the latest outbound data for travelling Canadians saw a new record set for the number of trips to overseas countries this past fall. Some 1.1 million Canadian residents returned from overseas countries in November 2017, a rise of 6.8 per cent when compared with the same period a year earlier. These statistics don’t even include trips to the US, which also increased 5.6 per cent in the same period. With travel numbers continuing to rise across 2017, it’s fair to assume Canadians could be hitting the sky in record numbers this year. Increased foreign travel has coincided with a greater need for travel insurance, particularly when considering some countries now request that travellers show proof of medical coverage before entering their borders. Travel insurance is important for a plethora of reasons (providing…

Know Who Pays When Your Flight Doesn’t Go Up

This past summer, two of the UK’s biggest airlines stranded hundreds of thousands of travellers in distant locations by cancelling flights at the last minute and invalidating reservations for future flights already planned: Ryanair because of pilot scheduling problems, and Monarch Airlines because it suddenly went out of business—virtually overnight. What about all of those passengers left stranded overseas? Thanks to some quick action by Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority, and a special consumer protection program in which most vacationers book their trips with specially licensed and bonded travel organizers, most were returned home relatively quickly on aircraft chartered by the CAA at no cost to themselves. But at first glance it was not quite so clear as angered passengers were told by airline staff to call their travel insurers for assistance home and recompense for the costs of making and paying for alternate arrangements. At which point the Association of…

Travel Insurance for Snowbird Season

To millions of Canadian seniors, Thanksgiving weekend kicks off snowbird season: either they’re packing up for the trek south to Florida, Texas, Arizona, California, or beyond, or they’re well into the planning stage—the purchase of travel insurance being a top priority. If you’re among this fast-growing cohort (the Conference Board of Canada estimates the numbers of Canadians aged 55 to 64 will increase by 8 percent annually between 2015 and 2019; and those over 65 by 15 percent per year) you’re going to have plenty of insurance plan choices, albeit at increased premium prices. CBoC estimates that premium prices were 9 percent higher in 2016 over the previous year, and that trajectory will likely remain unchanged this coming season. The sad reality is that so long as American health care costs continue to escalate, Canadian insurers must anticipate paying increasingly expensive claims in US dollars from premiums collected in lower…

Nobody Benefits by Travel Insurance Claim Denials

Though travel insurance claim denials are rare events, they are sure to capture headlines when they do happen. In fact, according to a recent survey conducted for the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada (THIA), 95 percent of all travel claims submitted in Canada are paid. But the consequences of even one claim denial can be frightening and financially devastating. Nobody benefits by a claim denial: obviously not the client, and certainly not the insurer who must absorb the bad publicity and ill feelings such a negative event causes. If It Happens to You Any claim denial should explain in clear, plain language the specific exclusion being applied. For example, if the exclusion precludes payment for an unstable pre-existing condition, you should be shown the evidence in your doctor’s medical records that a condition truly was pre-existing, or unstable, or warranted reporting on a medical underwriting questionnaire. The citation…

Know Your Insurance. Know Your Doctor Too

If you have any chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis or COPD, applying for travel insurance can be somewhat intimidating. After all, you’re not a doctor and the terminology in some of those medical questionnaires is not written in common everyday language. It is a legal contract. Still, if you’re asking to be covered for a foreign trip—short or long—you need to give the insurer a clear, accurate picture of your health status: have you had any new diagnosis or recurrent symptoms over the past 3, 6, or 12 months; have you been treated by a physician, been referred to a specialist, undergone  tests, are awaiting tests or test results, been prescribed new medication, or had your dosage changed, during that time period? Have you talked to your doctor? In preparing for a trip, have you discussed the status of any chronic conditions with your family doctor? Has…

Terror Attack in Spain: How to Stay Aware

Incidents of terrorism swept across Alcanar, Barcelona, and Cambrils taking the lives of 15 people. Residents and visitors experienced great trauma, and the President of Spain declared 3 days of mourning. We stand united with Spain and all countries in the fight against terrorism. And we strongly encourage the return to daily activities, and travels! Add preventative measures to your upcoming trip with the safety checklist below. Purchase travel medical insurance coverage that works for you. Do not be discouraged by a pre-existing conditions, there are options for everyone. And don’t forget to read the fine print. Be aware of the Emergency Assistance feature in your travel medical insurance coverage and how to use it. Register your trip with your government agency, it is free of charge. Ensure your emergency contact information is easily accessible by you, your travel companion, or a Good Samaritan who can help you in the…

Travel Insurance Claim Denial? Demand Answers

If you’ve ever had a travel insurance claim denied, you know how frustrating it can be to get an answer in plain language that tells you why an insurer won’t pay. First of all, let’s get one fable taken care of: Insurers do not routinely deny claims and pay only those for clients who fight back. 95 percent of all travel insurance claims submitted are paid. But if you are among the unfortunate few to receive a claim denial letter and you don’t understand why, you should ask for clarity.  It’s your right. What to do Get right back to the insurer, or the party that sent you the denial letter (it could be the insurer’s assistance company), and ask for a detailed, written report that you can study at your leisure, or take to your doctor. Ask to have key words—such as “pre-existing condition,” “stable,” “condition,” “exclusion,” “eligibility,”…

Do Travel Insurers Cover Pre-existing Conditions?

Given that most people have some health imperfections, it would be unreasonable—and bad business—if travel insurers precluded all pre-existing conditions from coverage. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, irregular heartbeat, circulatory issues, and many other symptoms and conditions that can be controlled and stabilized by medications and periodic physician assessments. These types of things are routinely covered in travel insurance policies—if the insurers are made aware of them before issuing the policy, and if the insured customers understand the limitations placed on that benefit and coverage. In covering pre-existing conditions, the most important thing insurers need to know is whether or not they are stable, how long have they been stable and what medications and treatments they have required to keep them stable. Essentially, what risk are insurers undertaking in covering them? This leads to the biggest question of all: what is “Stable,” anyway? Many Canadians, before leaving on longer trips,…

Questions about Studying Abroad? We’re Here to Help

International students! Studying abroad is a great adventure—but heading far away from home can also be intimidating. Before you take an exciting leap, read our recommendations to prepare. Also, if you have questions about studying abroad, we are here to help. International Student Blog Prepare yourself for an adventure overseas. Our blog contains everything from practical travel tips to inspiration for your next adventure. Start with these tips for international students heading into a new school year, then browse the rest of our articles. Intrepid 24/7 The phone number located on your insurance wallet card connects you to a team of coordinators that are ready to answer questions about the insurance you carry. If you are sick or injured and need to see a doctor, this team will arrange the care you need. They can help in every situation—any time of the day or night. This includes a…

Thailand Expected to Require Travel Insurance

If you’re planning a trip to Thailand, an increasingly popular tourist destination for Canadians, be aware that the Thai government is considering making proof of travel insurance mandatory for foreign visitors. The reason: state hospitals are losing at least $88 million USD a year treating visitors. Data from the Conference Board of Canada indicates that 244,000 Canadians visited Thailand in 2016, 7.3 percent more than the year previous. Current figures show that numbers are growing at a rate of 5 percent. According to published reports, officials at the Thai Ministry of Tourism and Sports consider travel insurance an urgent necessity and are working to get legislation enacted as quickly as possible. Officials at the ministry have stated that as soon as the rule is put into effect, all visitors will be required to show proof of travel health insurance along with their other entry documentation upon arrival in the country.…

Insurance and Consumer Resources: Why Ingle Believes in the Power of Content

The Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada has released a “Bill of Rights” for consumers of travel insurance. This document essentially outlines the basics of what consumers can expect from travel insurers, as well as their own responsibilities when they apply for coverage. This is the kind of clear content we believe consumers of travel insurance need to have. And that’s why we’ve been dedicated to producing such content from the very beginning. Here at Ingle, we strongly believe in the importance of consumer education—and that starts with providing clear, accessible information. We strive to be open and authentic, to empower consumers to ask questions about the insurance products they buy. We want consumers to understand their coverage, to know their own responsibilities when it comes to purchasing insurance, and to know what they have a right to expect back from their insurer. That’s why Ingle has a dedicated content…

Visitors to Thailand Could Soon Require Proof of Travel Insurance

Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Ministry has put forth a proposal that would require all visitors to present proof of travel insurance coverage upon entering the country. With tourism on the rise in Thailand, the ministry says these measures will protect hospitals from being on the hook for the cost of medical care provided to travellers with no way to pay. Thailand would not be the first country to enact rules like this. A number of European countries already require proof of adequate travel insurance coverage before you enter their borders. And it’s not only the country’s hospitals that would be protected under this plan. For travellers headed abroad, travel insurance coverage is vitally important, as the cost of medical care outside one’s home country can be frighteningly expensive. And should you require transportation back home for continuing medical care, an air evacuation can cost tens of thousands of dollars—which is…

Need Travel Insurance? Report Your Pre-existing Conditions

Are you hesitant about applying for travel insurance because you have a pre-existing medical condition? Don’t be. If insurers turned away all applicants who have some medical imperfection or take certain medications, or who are required to visit their physicians periodically, they would go out of business. Travel insurers understand that very few people are in perfect health, many take medications for common ailments, and as people age they are expected to become more proactive in maintaining their good health. As a result, most individual travel policies today will cover many with pre-existing conditions, so long as the conditions are reported and insurers have a clear understanding of the conditions in question, and how they are being treated and maintained. But you must reveal them when applying. Most policies will, in fact, allow coverage of certain pre-existing conditions if they have been stable and controlled over certain periods of time…

Travel Insurers Issue a Consumers’ Bill of Rights

Recently we reported on provincial and federal regulators’ recommendations to reform the travel insurance marketplace and make it more user-friendly—more transparent, less complicated, easier for customers to apply and be sure they are getting the coverage they need. Fortunately, the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada (THIA) has over the past two years been developing a consumer Bill of Rights designed to empower purchasers in their dealings with sellers of insurance and—just as important—with administrators and claims managers who service their products right through their full life cycle. The intention of the Bill of Rights is to give you a voice, leverage, a clear declaration of what you have a right to expect from the insurers you choose to deal with—as well as what your own obligations are in making the coverage contract work for you. Here is a full reproduction of the Bill of Rights which THIA has just rolled…

Travel Insurance & Food Allergies: Make Sure You’re Protected During Your Travels

When my baby boy was first diagnosed with a number of severe food allergies, I was devastated. All I could think about was all the delicious food he—and we—would miss out on. Peanut butter, once a staple in our home, was now banned. Much-loved bakeries were now off limits. If my husband and I wanted Asian takeout, we’d do so guiltily, after the baby was in bed, and then disinfect our table, countertops and anything else our food may have come into contact with. As time passed, I realized that his food allergies would make it challenging, if not impossible, to take part in other much-loved experiences, like travel. Not only would we need to contend with eye rolls and exasperated sighs on airplanes (not to mention seating areas covered in crumbs that could kill from previous passengers), we’d need to research where it is safe to eat out, and…

Buying Travel Insurance Online? No Time for Haste

Misunderstanding or minimizing the content of travel insurance policies is one of the most frequent causes of claim denials—more so since online applications are gradually eliminating the advisory role of trained sales agents. Quick and easy online applications that can be completed in 5-10 minutes may fit conveniently into our busy schedules, but if they encourage carelessness or lack of attention, they can invite catastrophic consequences. Let’s look at the case reported recently in the British newspaper The Telegraph—of an English family that took a leisure trip to Berlin and on the way home found that their return flight had been cancelled for the day. Because the husband and son had urgent reasons to return to London, they took alternate and circuitous flights to get home as quickly as possible, encountering several hundred GBP in additional airfares. Bought in haste? That’s trouble The husband told the newspaper reporter that…

What Does the Term Pre-existing Condition Really Mean?

With American politicians struggling aggressively to reform their health care system, we have been hearing much about covering the “uninsured” and those with “pre-existing conditions”—concepts which to Canadians may seem alien. In Canada, virtually all residents are covered from birth so there are no uninsured—with a few rare exceptions, but those numbers are minute. And since all medically-necessary services are covered by provincial health plans, “pre-existing condition” seems an abstract term. But when Canadians travel out of the country, the term takes on life and meaning, as it is a crucial element in the validity of supplemental private travel insurance. Actually, most private American health insurance plans include coverage for “out of area” services, and those cover pre-existing conditions. So the pre-existing conditions issue in the US is primarily focused on those who have no health insurance because they are unemployed or work for small businesses that don’t provide it…

Add Proof of Insurance to Your Travel Checklist

Your travel plans are set and you’ve purchased your insurance. You may feel like everything is in place. But there’s one vital detail that some travellers can forget: you need to physically have that insurance information. Copied. And in multiple locations. Yes, that’s right. When you buy insurance for a trip, it’s imperative that you carry your policy information with you—and, equally importantly, that you make a backup copy to leave at home. Why should I bring my insurance information along? If you require medical care abroad, you’ll want access to your travel insurance details right away. Bringing along documentation that includes your insurance provider and policy number will mean there’s no delay in getting your medical bills sorted, should such a situation arise. In fact, in some cases, doctors abroad may not even be willing to treat you until they know you’re insured. What’s more, some countries are…

Hey Google, I need travel insurance

I am a marketing director in the travel and health technology space. Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of speaking at the International Travel Insurance Conference in New Orleans. The topic involved different aspects of technology and how it can be employed by travel insurers and assistance companies. I shared the stage with Beth Godlin from Aon Affinity Travel Practice and Patrick Hrusa from Allianz Partners. My part focused on the modern distribution pipeline, including a distribution channel analysis: How are current innovations affecting our industry? How can we utilize technology to stay relevant? What digital marketing strategies can we adopt to manage our evolving channels? Have a look at our beautifully designed presentation on Slide Share (shout-out to Sylvie Gosselin, our senior graphic designer, and Justin Lee, our development team lead). Hey Google, I need travel insurance. Right now you can use your smart speaker, a Google Home or an Alexa…