Multi-trip Insurance: The Right Plan for the Time?

Before the pandemic struck, annual multi-trip plans were growing faster than any other segment of travel insurance due largely to a more mobile society, more young travellers taking shorter trips, and even seasoned older travellers opting for more choice and flexibility.

According to the Conference Board of Canada, in the years prior to the pandemic, some major insurers were reporting year-over-year sales increases of 20 to 30 per cent for annual multi-trip plans. As Canadians return to travel, perhaps tentatively at first, might shorter multi-trip plans be just the right choice for the time? Shorter trips, flexible schedules, only one application to complete—you select the number of days you want covered per trip, use it an unlimited number of times throughout the year, your premium remains the same, and you save money. What’s wrong with that?

What’s the catch?

All policies are priced on a daily rate that is based on your age and health. A policy that limits you to a maximum of 10 or 20 days per trip is less of a risk to the insurer than a single-trip plan for 150 days. So the premium can reflect that. In addition, multi-trip plans give you a choice in selecting the number of days you want per trip, say, 10, 15, 30, 45—the denominations vary from policy to policy. The choice is yours.

But a 15-day trip means just that. No longer than 15 days for any one segment, or whatever denomination you have chosen for any given trip. And no linking of one trip segment directly to another. You must return to your home province for at least one 24-hour day before leaving on the next trip and be able to prove it. And if you generate a claim while out of the country, your insurer will require proof that the claim occurred within one of your selected trip segments: a credit card statement, airline ticket, passport-crossing stamp, something verifiable by a third-party agency—not a note from your next-door neighbour.

Need more time?

If you want to extend one or more of your segments to accommodate a longer trip you can easily ask your insurer for a top-up supplement. But do that before you leave on your trip or, if necessary, before the expiration of your current trip segment. And if you have a medical emergency while travelling and need a little more time to get back home, there are allowances in your policy to accommodate that, but you must contact your insurer immediately for further advice.

And even if you don’t need more time to get back home, you must notify your travel advisor, broker, or insurer that you have had a medical emergency before leaving on your next trip.  Don’t count on your plan vendor to know that you’ve had an emergency. Such matters are usually kept confidential, for your sake. Also, understand that the fact you had a medical emergency may alter your terms of coverage for the remainder of your policy. It won’t invalidate your policy, but when you were first sold the multi-trip plan, it was on the basis of your health status at that time. If that changes, so may the remainder of your coverage for further trips.

Multi-trips have much flexibility built into their structure. Take advantage of it.

© Copyright 2021 Milan Korcok. All rights reserved.


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