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An Agent’s Guide to the Growing Market Opportunities in International Student Insurance

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…

The Flip-side of the Falling Loonie: An Agent’s Guide to Increasing Sales of Visitor to Canada Plans

The loonie is at a 5-year low and the temperature is rising, making it the ideal climate for visitors to Canada season! By offering your clients medical insurance for their visiting friends or family, you can easily benefit from the growth of the Canadian tourism industry. Best of all, Visitor to Canada (or VtC) insurance is easy to sell. Here are the basics you need to know to successfully build a business with this niche product. Entry visa requirements It is important for you to serve as a support to your clients as well as their visiting family or friends, which is why you should have as many answers to their questions as possible, starting with the initial visa application process. Anyone who visits Canada from a temporary resident visa-required country must apply for entry through the Canadian visa office. A visa officer will review the application and decide whether to…

An Agent’s Guide to Travel Insurance Basics

Your client bought a travel insurance policy, but do they know what they’re covered for? I sell travel insurance every day and I’m always surprised at how easy it is to sell. Clients may have a variety of concerns, like planning high-risk activities in faraway places, but I always find a product that’s right for them. I always wonder, how can they know if they’re getting good value for their premium? Sure, they have ‘coverage’, but do they actually know what are they covered for? Eligibility—Can they be covered? Often, all that a client needs to do to purchase travel insurance is pass the ‘Eligibility Requirements’ of the policy. Some policies have very few eligibility requirements, while others have many. A client may rejoice that they can buy travel insurance for their trip, but just meeting the basic requirements to buy the policy doesn’t mean they’ll have coverage for…

Agents: Help Your Clients Save on Travel Insurance with Family Plans

The financial realities of young families can sometimes be difficult. Even being financially responsible with RRSPs and an RESP can strain your funds. Families may be surprised to learn that there are a couple of ways they can save on their travel insurance costs and still enjoy those well-earned (and well-needed!) family vacations. With a family multi-trip annual plan, dependents travel free—even a family of five or six members can take advantage of this discount. But to plan responsibly, families need to be aware of the limits of the insurance. Who is considered a dependent? For children to be covered free under their parent’s policies, the child must meet certain requirements set out by the insurer. Guidelines vary from plan to plan, but the basic requirement is that they must be at least 15 days old. From this age, they can be included on their parent’s policy at no extra cost.…

Ingle International is Bringing Travel Insurance–Focused Education to Our Partners

Ingle International/Imagine Financial Ltd. is now an approved Continuing Education (CE) Provider with the Registered Insurance Broker of Ontario (RIBO), the Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC), and Advocis, The Financial Advisors Association of Canada. What does this mean for our partners? Partners within our network can now register for our regular information sessions and earn CE credits for free! Not a partner? Learn more here. Be informed Ingle is committed to providing our partners with the information and education they need. Our informative, continuing-education-accredited sessions will help brokers and agents to grow and develop their travel insurance knowledge so that they can help travellers understand the insurance products in the marketplace and find the product that best fits their needs. Stay current As our valued partners know, having a professional designation or carrying on business as a licensed broker/agent in Canada requires that your knowledge and expertise remain…

Insurance Agents: The Red Flags of Travel Insurance

There are many reasons why people enjoy travelling. Some enjoy the opportunity to relax on a beach, others want to climb the highest mountain, and sometimes people just want to hit the open road in search of adventure. In most cases, a “standard” off-the-shelf travel insurance product will offer coverage for these situations, but sometimes special underwriting might be required to issue a policy. Can you spot the red flags? When is a “standard” policy not enough? Government travel advisories The Government of Canada issues travel warnings when there is a potential risk for Canadian travellers internationally. There are many reasons why an advisory may be issued; outbreaks of communicable diseases; unstable security situations; and political upheavals. These advisories can either be issued for an entire country or for a region within the country. If there is a travel advisory for the area your client is travelling to, additional underwriting may…

How Will President Obama’s Announcement on Cuba Affect Insurance Agents?

How does President Barack Obama’s recent announcement regarding the significant changes to travel and financial transactions with Cuba affect your clients? Canadians, Latin Americans, and Europeans have been visiting Cuba as a travel destination for decades, In fact, Canadians are the top travellers to Cuba, making over one million trips to the country each year. However, the Cuban-USA foreign affairs embassy has been closed since 1961, which has meant that borders between the US and Cuba have not been open to US citizens for over 50 years. While President Obama’s recent announcement on loosening restrictions between the two countries means significant changes for Cuban-USA relations, it will also have the following effects for Canadians, Latin Americans, and Europeans travelling to Cuba: Improvement to the country’s infrastructure—more money pouring into the country means improvements to building, roads, and public facilities. Difficulties booking accommodations like hotels and resorts—with potentially millions of additional visitors…

An Agent’s Guide to Selling Visitors to Canada Insurance

Canada is fondly referred to as a cultural mosaic. And with a nation as multicultural as ours, it’s no surprise! With residents from around the world come family and friends visiting from abroad. If your clients are expecting overseas visitors, they will contact you to find the right insurance! Give our Agent’s Guide to Selling Visitors to Canada Insurance a read to assist you in selling this type of insurance.

An Agent’s Guide to Snowbird Insurance

After the first snow falls, snowbirds will soon be jumping on a plane to escape another cold Canadian winter. Before heading south, many of them will be looking for insurance to protect them during their time away. Planning to dive into the snowbird market this season? Give our Agent’s Guide to Snowbird Insurance a read first! Who can sell snowbird insurance? Insurance Companies Insurance Agents Associations & Groups Travel Agents Banks What to look out for when making a sale Age. Those over the age of 75 (and especially those 80 and over) have fewer choices in the marketplace. (Keep in mind, Ingle offers insurance for any age group—so give us a call if you’re stuck!) Pre-Existing Conditions. Those with high-risk conditions might be faced with limitations and exclusions on their coverage. It is important to ask your clients if they are being treated (e.g., taking medications or receiving care)…

Your Customers Need to Know: Travel Insurance Is a Serious Purchase

Canadians are expected to take close to 30 million out-of-country leisure trips over the next 12 months. Most will buy travel insurance to cover the costs of unforeseen medical emergencies and they will expect insurers and agents to provide the right plan, at the best possible price, but with the absolute assurance that they will be covered “for everything”…

Rationing Your Time: Let Ingle Help

Your compensation for helping loyal clients find travel insurance will vary widely. So do yourself a favour and develop a triage or priority system to keep your work in line with your pay. Small sales to healthy, young travellers should be handled quickly and efficiently. That will leave more time for clients who are more at risk, spend long periods away from home, cross the Canada-US border frequently, or book expensive trips to exotic places. Yet, even the cheapest travel policy and puniest sales commission could result in disappointment, resentment, or worse: An accusation of professional negligence. So proceed with caution. “Sometimes it’s better to inform the client that a condition may not be covered rather than to say that it might be,” warns Patrick Chiasson, Broker Services Manager, Ingle International. “You can put yourself at risk if you promise more than you deliver.” Ask clients to commit to…

These Tips for Annual-Plan Holders Could Save You Time

A client calls to say: “Hi, we are heading across the border next week.” You forget they already have an annual travel plan and jump into your sales routine. “Where will you be going? How long will you be travelling? What sorts of crazy things will you be doing while away?” The interrogation continues. The caller answers all of your questions politely, then mentions their existing coverage. D’oh! Patrick Chiasson, Broker Services Manager at Ingle International, says he has had several such calls over the years, particularly from those who regularly drive across the US border. Eventually the novice annual-plan holders will pop the key question: “Do I have to call you every time I plan a trip?” The short answer is “no.” But you can save them (and yourself!) some time by passing along a few tips at the time of the original sale. Short trips: You need not…

Travel Insurance: Extras and Exclusions that Will Affect Your Clients

Additional types of coverage available on top of travel medical insurance can double the cost of coverage, and boost your sales revenue. But it may also add potential pitfalls as you strive to satisfy clients. Each type of optional coverage could have its own list of policy exclusions, beyond the obvious exclusion that follows a government advisory to ‘avoid all travel’ to a particular part of the world. So it’s important to ask clients how much they will be spending while away, where they will be going, where they will be staying, and what they will be doing and packing. All of these details matter when it comes to choosing extra coverage. Trip cancellation and interruption insurance, for example, is generally designed to reimburse a traveller for prepaid expenses for commercial transportation, accommodation, and activities. While all insurance plans have a long list of insurable reasons for recovering those prepaid…

Quiz Insurers about Stability Clauses. Quiz Clients about Their Health

A standard travel insurance policy will include coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, provided the policyholder meets the insurer’s stability requirements. Unfortunately, each insurer defines stability in its own way—years after the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada first tried to promote standard wordings. So we have compiled a list of the words insurers tend to use. Defining ‘stable’ During a specified period, these health-related developments could void coverage for a pre-existing condition when travelling outside of Canada: Symptoms or signs of illness, whether new, more frequent, or severe New diagnoses or tests pointing to a deterioration in health New treatments, medical care, medications, dosages, or admissions to hospital Referral to a specialist, or a recommendation for treatments or tests A failure to act on the recommendation or referral, or a refusal to wait for test results before travelling As a broker, you should expect your clients to question you…

Travel Insurance: Gather the Right Information to Make the Right Sale

A customer planning a trip may have unique insurance needs. So it is vital to ask key questions to guide your recommendations. No client will want to duplicate coverage they already own. Employer-sponsored benefit plans and extended health care insurance may already pay for air and land ambulance expenses within Canada. Some employers’ plans and credit cards pay for emergency medical care outside of Canada. And basic homeowner policies insure clothes, luggage, and other possessions anywhere in the world. Clients may be unaware of policy limitations, among them lifetime dollar limits, limits on the value of transportation covered, days covered per trip, policy deductible amounts, and the number of travellers covered. So ask questions to better understand your client’s situation and existing coverage. This will help you supply a useful service—and make a sale. Any indication that the client will be leaving the country or province more than once a…

Don’t Be Afraid to Talk about the Silent Killer with Your Clients

High blood pressure is called the Silent Killer. Yet, as dire as its nickname sounds, it will not be a deal breaker for travel health insurance unless your client deliberately or mistakenly keeps it a secret. What you need to know As a broker, you should remember that both high blood pressure and ignorance of the condition are common. About 17 per cent of Canadians who have it don’t know, while others believe their hypertension disappeared once they began taking their medication. So you may have to pointedly ask: “What medications do you take?” If they say “a water pill,” tell them they’re busted! America’s Mayo Clinic website­­ says these particular medications (i.e., diuretics) are used to treat hypertension, the medical term for high blood pressure. They control the condition, but do not cure it. What your clients need to know If your client is receiving treatment, that…