Insurance

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…

Take That Cruise, and Insure Your Health

This year, more than 25 million people, including more than 750, 000 Canadians, will board cruise ships in ports around the world for what has become the fastest growing vacation option available to leisure travelers. According to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), which represents 95 percent of the world’s cruise companies, 13 new ocean liners and 13 river cruise vessels, accounting for over 30,000 additional passengers will be added to the world’s fleet in 2017 alone. And between now and 2026, 97 new ships (80 ocean liners and 17 river cruisers) with a total capacity of almost 231,000 will be added to this travel market sector. For Canadians, who have easy access to the world’s busiest cruise ports (such as: Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Galveston, New Orleans, and Vancouver) there is a huge range of cruise options available, and thanks to online cruise booking services you can easily sign…

Buy Early and Stay Tuned

With more Canadians travelling for longer periods and to varied destinations (according to the Conference Board of Canada, 40 percent of Canadian outbound trips are to non-US locations) there is a greater need for travel planning well ahead of departure time. This includes travel insurance requirements to cover unexpected medical emergencies or other losses. Travel Insurance is a Two-Way Contract These arrangements should not be left to the last minute. And though buying travel insurance is easier than ever—over the phone, online, by iPad or smart phone—there is no substitute for talking directly to an agent who specializes in travel insurance, who can point out not only the benefits of any given plan, but the limitations, exclusions, and responsibilities the purchaser has in fulfilling what is a two- way contract. There are many purchasers of travel insurance who, after they complete their application and get the policy, put their…

Product Spotlight: HCC Student Secure

Ingle International has a special place in its heart for international students. Foreign exchange programs are the foundation that the Ingle name is built on! That is why our 19th travel insurance spotlight is shining on the HCC Student Secure plan. The HCC Student Secure plan covers international students and scholars worldwide, regardless of your home country or destination. As a plan purchaser, you can expect coverage for physician and hospital visits, up to 80% coverage for prescriptions, and $50 towards paramedical visits such as a chiropractor and physiotherapist. Key features include: Daily rates as low as $1.45 Ambulance by ground or air from $300, up to $50, 000 Up to 80% coverage for mental health disorders Coverage for acute onset of pre-existing conditions (speak with your student insurance representative or check policy documents for an understanding on waiting periods and limitations) Browse more features Are you or your…

Product Spotlight! The IMG Patriot Group Plan

Are you planning a resort wedding, or a family reunion far from home? The IMG Patriot Group Plan might be right for you. The IMG Patriot Group Plan is available to groups of 5 and up who are temporarily travelling outside of their home country. This plan sticks out from other group plans because travellers can come depart from different places and arrive different times, as long as their destination point is the same. It provides coverage for medical expenses, evacuation, and repatriation, as well as non-medical benefits including trip cancellation, baggage, and accidental death. This plan offers a wide range of options for the deductible and for the overall maximum amount of coverage, up to $2,000,000 (USD). Some other key features of the plan include: Pre-existing medical condition coverage (join your loved ones without hesitation) Basic sports coverage or optional rider available for adventure sports (it is time to…

What Type of Travel Insurance Do I Need?

You’ve heard it here before: travel insurance is not a one-size-fits-all sort of purchase. That’s why Ingle carries an extensive list of insurance products to cover all sorts of travelling scenarios. But if you’re not familiar with all the ins and outs of travel insurance, looking at the long list of available options out there can feel a little daunting—like having too many brands to choose from in the grocery store. So, what exactly are all these different plan categories? And which one is right for you? With a few quick questions, we can help you figure that out.   1. ARE YOU CANADIAN? Yes, I’m Canadian. For most travelling Canadians, however, Canadian Travellers Insurance offers extensive coverage for a wide range of scenarios. In addition to travel medical coverage for illness and injury abroad, there are also non-medical coverage options for things like cancelled and delayed transport, lost…

Buying Travel Insurance: Apply in Good Faith. But Verify. 

Time and again, travelers who have had their out-of-country health insurance claims denied complain that they applied for coverage “in good faith” and expected full and complete coverage after paying their premiums and heading out for a carefree vacation. If only it were that simple. First, let’s make it clear that according to most reliable surveys—the most recent being one by Canada’s provincial and territorial insurance regulators—the number of travel insurance claims denied is minuscule when compared to the millions of trips actually taken. But, statistics aside, if it’s your claim that’s denied leaving you with the burden of a large foreign hospital or medical bill, it doesn’t matter how many millions of others have been approved and paid. It hurts. So what must you do to shield yourself from the possibility of having your claim for an out-of-country medical claim denied? Read all That? Get Real. We could…

4 Reasons Your Insurance Claim Might Be Denied

When you buy travel insurance, the hope is that you are purchasing some peace of mind for your trip. However, every once in a while, a high-profile case hits the news about a claim that was denied, leaving the claimants with huge medical bills. This understandably has some travellers concerned about how much they can actually rely on their insurance policy. The good news is: as long as you fully understand the workings of your insurance policy, there’s no need to fear an unexpected surprise from your insurer. To help you gain that confidence, let us explain the four main reasons why someone’s insurance claim might be denied. Why could my claim be denied?  1. Because your claim was related to a pre-existing condition. This is a term one hears often when it comes to travel medical insurance, and there can be some confusion around what it really means.…

Will US Health Insurance Cost Crisis Affect Canadian Visitors?

As of November 1, 2016, the US media will be inundated with horror stories about historically high spikes in the cost of health insurance for millions of middle class Americans forced to buy their coverage from  marketplace exchanges. The stories will be generated because November 1, 2016 is the opening date for the 2017 healthcare insurance enrolment period, and the prospect of double digit increases in premiums and deductibles (those are the fees patients must pay before their coverage benefits kick in) may force families to cut back on routine services and reroute them from their family physicians to hospital emergency rooms for urgent care. If you’re visiting the US during the forthcoming snowbird season and you need urgent or emergent services, the health cost spike should make little immediate difference, so long as you are properly covered by private travel health insurance. Your basic provincial health insurance will not…

Product Spotlight! RSA Medi-Select Advantage for Ages 55+

Canadian snowbirds know that it’s important to have comprehensive travel insurance in place for peace of mind during their year-round adventures. If you’re a travelling Canadian who’s age 55 or over, we have good news: the RSA Medi-Select Advantage plan is boasting some exciting new features to make your travels more stress-free than ever. Here are just a few of the key benefits this plan has to offer: Newly simplified medical questionnaire: Fewer questions and more straightforward wording means it’s easier than ever to make sure your coverage matches your needs. Pet return benefit: Travelling with your furry companion? Then we know the last thing you want to do is leave them behind! If you are hospitalized during your travels or need to be transported home due to sickness or injury, this benefit will pay for your cat or dog to be homeward bound. Coverage for pre-existing conditions: Travelling with…

How to “Vet” Your Travel Insurance Policy

Critics of travel insurance often argue that claim denials are too frequent, unfair to the customer, and might be avoided if issuers vetted policy applications at the time of distribution instead of when a claim is made. The rationale for that argument is that applicants could then be certain that their policy would pay off in case of medical emergency abroad. Sounds reasonable, as a principle—except that it’s impractical given the millions of policies issued to Canadian travelers each year. At present, most policies are issued on the understanding that customers provide complete and accurate information about their medical histories when applying for insurance. Some are asked a few questions about recent treatment interventions, medication use, or hospitalizations; others, usually elderly travelers, are required to complete detailed medical questionnaires designed to give underwriters a more precise assessment of their health status. And there are other policies—usually attached to credit cards—that…

Product Spotlight! Sporting Coverage with TuGo

Are you travelling abroad for a sporting adventure? You will need to make sure you have travel insurance to match—as your average plan often does not include coverage for injuries sustained while taking part in sports. Luckily, we have TuGo’s Traveller Emergency Medical plan on hand, which automatically includes coverage for most amateur and professional sports. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the plan’s highlights: In addition to coverage for amateur sports, for those who like push the envelope, you have the choice of add-ons for contact sports, adventure sports, and extreme sports. In other words, you can tailor the plan to fit just the types of adventures you like to have. The plan includes emergency transport: either air ambulance or economy airfare back to your home province or territory. Some common sports injuries (like a broken leg) can make travelling difficult, and an air ambulance back to your home…

How to Buy Travel Insurance Safely – Part II

Canada’s travel insurance market is rich in choice, even if you’re not quite as healthy as an Olympic athlete. But before you get to the nitty-gritty of comparing products and prices, you should sort out your basic needs according to your general health, age, duration, frequency and purpose of travel. Let’s narrow down the choices to make them more specific to your individual needs. No frills, No Pre-existing Coverage Required If you’re perfectly healthy, take no medications, have no medical history, see your doctor only once a year for an annual checkup, and are not under orders to have tests taken or to see a specialist, consider a basic plan that does not cover pre-existing conditions nor asks you to complete a medical questionnaire. It is the cheapest, and the least complicated to buy: so long as your medical history is as impeccable as you think.  But don’t delude…