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COVID-19 Canadian Travellers FAQ’s

Effective Date: March 26, 2020Please note: This FAQ document replaces any and all previous versions. Currently Available in English Only. Can I receive COVID-19 testing even if I have no symptoms? Since medical benefits are largely limited to expenses related to unforeseen emergencies requiring immediate attention, elective testing for COVID-19 is unfortunately not covered. If you are in Canada, please check with your province’s Ministry of Health for COVID-19 testing details. For example, in Ontario, COVID-19 testing is covered at no charge, regardless of your eligibility under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan. Where do I go for COVID-19 testing? If you are in Canada, please visit the website for your province’s Ministry of Health to view a list of assessment centres in your area. Are over-the-counter COVID-19 screening kits (such as those available in pharmacies) covered? Unfortunately, over-the-counter medications, including screening kits, are not covered. Does my policy cover medical…

Stay in Place. Follow Official Guidance. This will End.

By Milan Korcok By now, all Canadians who have been abroad should either be at home or in the final process of getting there. The coronavirus COVID-19 has changed our lives, and perhaps, when we come out at the other end of this trial, we’ll all be better off for it. We’ll be better prepared to deal with any such disruption in future, more cognizant of how vulnerable we really are when we travel to environments not our own. For now, travel is not in our immediate future. For Canadians, some of the most inveterate travellers on earth, that may seem like a forbidding challenge. But this too will pass and when it does we may view travel as more of a privilege than a human right and we’ll be more careful about our choices, our preparations, our own untidiness when it comes to making plans, our own consideration for…

Cruise Lines Roll Out Deep Bargains During Virus Threats… Interested?

By Milan Korcok Cruise lines are now offering deals you wouldn’t have believed possible even a couple of weeks ago—obviously not to China or other western Pacific regions, but anywhere else—to the Caribbean (which normally attracts 32 percent of the world’s cruise traffic), to Mediterranean waters (forget Italy), Alaska and the rest of the world. They have suffered severe business losses since the COVID epidemic spread, and they intend to stay afloat during the current tempest. It’s a buyers’ market, for either short or long term bookings. Should You buy? That’s your personal decision and your willingness to take on risk. Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases, and consultant to the White House COVID response team, has advised that anybody with a serious underlying condition, and especially persons over 60 with serious conditions “should not get near a cruise ship.” Canada’s PHAC…

5 Inspiring Women Travellers You Need to Know

Today we celebrate International Women’s Day—and in the spirit of trailblazing women, we want to honour the experiences of some of the most inspiring female travellers from around the world. From a world-record holder, to a decorated Paralympian, to the creator of a supportive community for adventurous travellers of colour, there is no limit to the heights these intrepid travellers can reach. Let’s jump into their amazing life stories to celebrate these women’s courage and love of travel! Lhakpa Sherpa In spring 2000, Lhakpa became the first Nepalese woman to summit Everest and descend alive, and she has continued to make history since: she holds the world record for women climbers of Mount Everest after reaching the summit nine times. Raising her three children by herself after ending years of abuse in her marriage, Lhakpa has let no obstacle keep her from her adventures; she frequently works many jobs to…

Coronavirus Advisory for Italy and Neighbouring Countries

February 25, 2020: Travellers planning trips anywhere to Europe in the near future need to stay tuned  to government and media alerts now that COVID-19 has seriously impacted Italy and begun its spread to neighbouring countries. As of this date, more than 200 Italians have been confirmed positive for the virus and seven have died—the heaviest toll of any country in Europe. Though most of the cases reported to date have been clustered in northern Italy, a late report has just been received of a positive confirmation of coronavirus in Sicily, southernmost Italy. And according to Germany’s DW (Deutsche Welle) News service, Austria has confirmed its first two cases of the coronavirus—detected in two Italians living in the Tyrol region who were likely infected on a recent trip to Lombardy (encompassing Milan) in northern Italy. Croatia has also reported its first confirmed case in a young man who returned from…

StudyInsured to Sponsor Former NHL Star Theo Fleury as Keynote Speaker at Conference of Canadian Association of Public Schools – International (CAPS-I)

TORONTO, FEBRUARY 25, 2020 – StudyInsured is pleased to announce its sponsorship of former NHL star Theo Fleury as keynote speaker at the Canadian Association of Public Schools – International (CAPS-I) annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia this April. The conference provides school administrators, homestay families and other support agents of international students in Canada with the opportunity to exchange information about pressing issues in international education. This year’s theme is “Responsibility and Sustainability in International Education”. Best-known as a former NHL All-Star, Stanley Cup winner and Olympic gold medallist, Fleury’s off-ice contributions as a motivational speaker are even more inspiring. In sharing his own visceral story about overcoming trauma and addiction, he hopes to empower others to face their demons and foster healing through open conversation. Fleury’s message of hope comes amid a growing awareness of the need to support mental health initiatives for international students in Canadian…

Cruise Lines Issue Advisory on Booking Future Travel in Response to Fears around COVID-19

The impact of COVID-19 has spread far beyond China and has affected cruise ship operations not only in the Pacific but worldwide. A recent poll by Travel Weekly, a US-based trade publication, reports that 43.6 per cent of traveller-respondents expressed concern about booking a cruise anywhere. In response to such fears, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the Florida-based trade group representing the world’s global cruise industry, has issued a statement (which follows in full) outlining what cruise line operators are doing worldwide to prevent COVID-19 from being transmitted to their passengers now and in the immediate future. At this point we also advise that, though standard trip-cancellation/interruption travel insurance policies can protect you in case you are forced to cancel a cruise booking for reasons of illness or other unexpected emergencies (as defined in your policy), cancelling your booking for fear or concern that something untoward might happen is…

Spring Break Part Two: The Caribbean & South America

Feel like wandering a little farther afield than your typical Spring Break jaunt? Try venturing to one of these destinations closer to the equator for a tropical getaway. The Caribbean Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica are Caribbean hotspots this time of year. It’s worth planning any excursions and activities well in advance. When it comes to dining, made-to-order food stations guarantee fresher and better-quality options. Seafood is a wise, and likelier cheaper choice, given the proximity of these locales to the ocean. Staying at an all-inclusive resort? Check the activity calendar for fun things to do—just be sure to verify what’s included in your stay. Brazil The Carnival of Brazil is a feast for the senses. Considered to be one of the world’s biggest parties, the five-day festival features parades with elaborate floats and thousands of dancers and drummers in the streets. Samba with the locals at…

COVID-19: STAY SAFE WITH THE FACTS

from the MSH Americas Medical Team WHAT IS COVID-19? COVID-19 is a strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. CORONAVIRUSES are a family of viruses causing illness ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Synrdome (MERS-CoV), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV), and COVID-19 (2019-nCoV). Coronaviruses are transmitted between animals and humans. SARS was first transmitted to humans from civet cats; MERS was transmitted to humans by dromedary camels. WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS? Common symptoms are: Fever over 38°CCoughShortness of breath / difficulty breathing In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, kidney failure, and even death. HOW IS IT SPREAD? COVID-19 is transmitted from person to person by respiratory droplets from coughing or sneezing. These droplets can be inhaled if you are in close contact with an infected person. Touching objects or surfaces with respiratory droplets on them and…

Top US Spring Break Destinations for 2020

Whatever the reason for your getaway– tired of the cold, need some family time, or just plain burnt out– here are some tips to help you get the most out of your travels during this upcoming spring break. First up, some places to consider for both relaxation and excitement in the continental USA. 3 places to spend a week off in America: MIAMI, FLORIDA It’s called the Sunshine State for a reason, so be sure to wear lots of sunscreen and drink plenty of water. The Metromover train is a convenient (and free!) way to get around downtown Miami. If you can’t do without your dose of yoga while on vacay, free classes are offered across the city. View local graffiti and street art at Wynwood Walls or take in one of the live music shows at Bayside Marketplace. A trip to Miami isn’t complete without a visit to Miami…

Caribbean Bound? Do Your Homework. Don’t Get Burned

If you’re planning a trip to the Caribbean in what remains of this winter, you should have no difficulty finding your choice of location at prices comparable to last year. There’s plenty of room at the inn. But if your travel choice is one of the Big Three destinations below—which account for three-quarters of Canadian vacation trips to the Caribbean overall—you still need to do your due diligence on the state of your chosen resorts to make sure the standards are what you expect, and you need to remain increasingly vigilant about your personal safety and security. For specific warnings, check out Travel Canada’s advisory service links for each country. Mexico According to STR—the hotel data collection company—revenues per available room, average daily room rates, and occupancy rates have all fallen, with the Yucatan Peninsula (which encompasses Cancun and Cozumel) being the most heavily hit area. Yucatan has also been…

Coronavirus Impacts Travel Insurance Coverage: Stay Protected

With commercial airline traffic to and from China virtually shut down, and with little prospect that control of the coronavirus is imminent, travellers need to do a quick study of what travel insurance can or cannot do in protecting them from unexpected costs of emergency medical care, trip cancellations, disruptions, re-routings or possibly even temporary isolation far from home. To help with that study, we have asked Matt Davies, Senior Product Specialist with MSH International to help us navigate through the finer points of travel insurance benefits and limitations as they are provided to Canadian travellers planning visits to countries impacted by the coronavirus epidemic. One important point to emphasize is that these guidelines or limitations are largely dependent on government assessments of health or other risks in foreign countries and are not just arbitrary rulings set out by insurers. The before or after rule Generally, if you purchase insurance for…

Wuhan Coronavirus: Flashback to SARS? Lessons Learned

With the new coronavirus threat breaking out beyond China’s borders, many nations, among them Canada, the US, France, Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, and several others, are in action mode: setting up health-screening measures for incoming Chinese travellers; evacuating their own vulnerable personnel from Wuhan, the epicentre of the epidemic; and activating their own medical systems to keep potential infections isolated. Travel Canada has advised China-bound travellers to “Exercise a high degree of caution” while anywhere in China, but to “Avoid all travel” to Hubei Province including the cities of Wuhan, Huanggang, and Ezhou—an area encompassing more than 58 million residents. NOTE: Travel into these areas after the government has issued these advisories could invalidate your travel insurance benefits. Make sure you check out your policy. For the most up-to-date warning levels, consult Travel Canada here. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued a Level…

Protect Your International Visitors: Canada’s “Free” Health Care Isn’t Free

If you’re one of the many Canadians who considers your health care “free,” it is so only in that you don’t have to pay for medical or hospital services at the time when you are treated. But pay for it you certainly do, every time you buy a car or a pair of socks, go to a ballgame, or pay for virtually any transaction that is taxable. In fact, about 40 per cent of most provincial budgets are eaten up by health costs, and according to the most recent data available from the Canadian Institute for Healthcare Information, total health costs in Canada are expected to reach $7,068 per person in 2019 once all the data are tallied. That’s one of the highest costs for health care in the world—except for the US. And that is something to consider, seriously, when inviting relatives or friends from other nations to visit…

Winter getaway? March Break? A product designed for travelling Canadians!

Travelling outside of your home province? You’ll need travel insurance! Our Canuck Voyage plan is an outbound travel medical insurance plan designed to serve Canadians travelling abroad or outside of their home province within Canada. Canadians, or those with provincial or territorial health coverage, can expect coverage for single trips up to 365 days or multi-trip annual plans up to 100 days per trip. The plan boasts inclusive eligibility criteria, ample options for trip duration and age, as well as competitive pre-existing medical condition coverage that bridges the gap between conventional travel medical policies and snowbird plans. Consumer-friendly or what? Top features of Canuck Voyage include: Inclusivity: Applicants of all ages are eligible for companion discounts when purchasing coverage for two people at a time and a family discount is available for spouses up to age 59 and children age 21 and younger. Pre-existing medical condition coverage: automatic coverage without…

Canadians Are Accustomed to “Free Trade” in Travel

With the US/Mexico/Canada (USMCA) free trade agreement settled, now might be a good time to reassess the non-political dynamics that keep our countries emotionally as well as economically linked through travel. In 2018, Canadians made more than 33 million trips of a least one overnight stay to the US: more than 2 per cent higher than the previous year. That’s getting very close to averaging one trip for every person living in Canada, and almost 25 million of those trips were for leisure purposes—tourism, visits with family, shopping, sunning, beaching, golf, watching sports events, you name it. That’s as close to being “free trade” in travel as you can get. And according to the Conference Board of Canada, there seems to be only one variable influencing that trend: the relative value of the Canadian dollar. But as Canada’s tough, resilient snowbirds have proven over the years, even a droopy loonie…

As of Jan. 1, changes to OHIP’s out-of-country health insurance are now in effect

We’ve been warning you since mid-summer that Ontario would be cutting its share of health costs for out-of-country travel to zero. At first, the cutoff date was set for October 1, 2019, then it was moved to January 1, 2020. And that’s where it stands. As of New Year’s Day, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan will no longer cover any part of your out-of-country emergency medical costs. This is the first province in Canada to arbitrarily carve that particular benefit out of the Canada Heath Act, purportedly saving $2.9 million to administer some $9 million in emergency health fees paid to foreign hospitals and doctors. Will other provinces follow Ontario’s lead? Who knows? We’ll tell you if it happens. Though OHIP traditionally paid only about 5 per cent of actual charges billed by foreign hospitals and doctors (the rest being paid by Canada’s private travel insurers, or by the patients…

Travelling to South America? Heed the Warnings

Though much of the world’s media is focused on riots in Hong Kong and the Middle East, business, leisure, and adventure travellers need to stay on high alert in the face of rampaging civil disturbances, government upheavals, and outbreaks of crime throughout South America. Just in recent months, riot police throughout Ecuador were struggling to hold back protestors furious about fuel price increases many just couldn’t afford, and the protests grew so violent that government officials deserted the capital city, Quito. In Chile, violence and looting repeatedly broke out in protest against severe public transportation price hikes, forcing the government to declare states of emergency in and around the capital city of Santiago. In Peru, the president was forced to dissolve Congress amid repeated charges of flagrant corruption as angry crowds took to the streets. The past four presidents have all been charged with corruption and all have denied the…

Travel Remains Robust, But Stay on Your Guard

OK. So you don’t need a calendar to tell you it’s time to head south. Well, if that’s what you’re planning—be assured that you’re going have plenty of company if 2019 travel patterns to date are any guide. Though some of Canada’s TV networks were questioning the dearth of snowbird migrations just a few months ago, the truth is that southbound leisure travel—by all age groups, including snowbirds—is healthy and growing. According to the Conference Board of Canada (CBoC), which tracks inbound and outbound migrations using data from Statistics Canada and its own predictive models, during the first eight months of 2019 Canadians made 14.2 million overnight trips to the US (that means at least one overnight stay—but doesn’t count day trips), 2 per cent more than the comparable period of 2018. And though auto trips during that period declined by an estimated 1 per cent, travel by other modes…

5 Reasons Travelling With MSH Navigator Keeps You Safe

What is MSH Navigator? You can find everything you need in one place with MSH Navigator! MSH Navigator is a mobile app that saves time and gives travellers quick access to their most needed medical and emergency resources while travelling abroad! MSH Navigator allows travellers to feel safe and travel with confidence wherever they are in the world. Top 5 Reasons To Travel With MSH Navigator 1 – One-touch quick access to our emergency assistance number in case of medical and security emergencies. 2 – Find a nearby medical facility. Some of our providers can direct bill for you so you don’t have to pay out of pocket. 3 – Submit a claim on your phone quickly. 4 – Access to wallet card with policy information 5 – Real-time geo-targeted notifications for travel warnings and alerts How To Get MSH Navigator Any MSH policy you purchase from us will give…

Guillaume Deybach Joins MSH International (Americas) As Chief Operating Officer

MSH International (Americas) has appointed Guillaume Deybach as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of its North America division and General Manager for the United States market. With extensive management experience spanning over 20 years, Deybach brings valuable leadership to the MSH executive team during a crucial period of growth. As COO, Deybach will lead the company’s operations as well as its expansion into the United States. Having served most recently as President and CEO of GeoBlue, he transformed the company’s strategic growth and increased customer satisfaction and profitability. Prior to his role with GeoBlue, he served as President and CEO of Europ Assistance North America for 14 years, transforming its assistance offerings and client portfolio, and growing revenue through organic growth and acquisitions. “Deybach will oversee the operations team as well as the distribution process and development life cycles for MSH International (Americas) products,” said Robin Ingle, CEO of MSH International…

Ecotourism – Not Just A Trend

As the world comes together in the fight for climate change, human rights, improving food industry standards, and more…we want to ask, what can travellers do to help? Ecotourism. As per the International Ecotourism Society in 1990, ecotourism is responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people. Ecotourism focuses on ecological conservation, responsible travel, and educating travellers on their destination’s local environment. By stressing renewable energy, recycling, protecting the natural land, and improving waste management, ecotourism helps sustain the environment and conserve natural resources, benefiting the local inhabitants as well as visiting travellers. With an emphasis on understanding local customs and natural history, ecotourism helps travellers learn about tradition, culture, and ecosystems while engaging in adventures that provide employment to locals. Ecotourist travel shows respect to nature by not contributing to the degradation of the environment. Ecotourism helps travellers learn about sustainability…

Canadians More Savvy about Travel Insurance than Their American Peers

Recently, the US Travel Insurance Association (USTIA), representing American travel insurance companies, announced that in 2018, Americans spent nearly US$3.8 billion on all types of travel insurance products—up 41 per cent since 2016. Pretty impressive figures—until you look at comparable data from Canada, which shows that Canadians (who represent but one-tenth the population of the US) are now approaching CA$1 billion in premiums spent for travel protection products in 2018 (CA$990 million, to be more precise), according to the Conference Board of Canada. Moreover, the USTIA survey has shown that the $3.8 billion covered only 66 million travellers (one-fifth of the US population), while Canadian data show that among 18- to 34-year-olds, 64 per cent were covered by travel insurance on their last trip out of the country, and 89 per cent of Canadians 55 and older buy insurance when travelling beyond Canada’s borders.  What we can glean from this…

More Brits Stranded, Victims of Airline Cancellations

The stunning collapse of UK’s giant tour operator Thomas Cook, which left more than 600,000 holidayers stranded in some 18 countries (150,000 from Britain alone) shows just how vulnerable travellers have become to circumstances beyond their control. That’s almost twice the number of travellers stranded when Monarch airlines went under in 2017, and an additional million more that lost their future bookings. The liquidation of the 178-year old tour company whose logo has become a familiar sight worldwide propelled the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to mobilize its “biggest peacetime repatriation” since the second world war to get its holidayers home—within the next two weeks and free of charge. The repatriation is being funded largely by the government-run Air Travel Organizer’s Licence (ATOL) system which requires travel companies who sell air holiday packages to meet certain licensing requirements and contribute to a trust fund protecting travellers in case one of…

Canadians to Require European Travel Authorizations in 2021

Due to heightening concerns about illegal immigration and terrorist attacks, Canadians, Americans, and citizens of 60 other countries will need electronic travel authorizations linked to their passports to enter any of the 26 European countries in the Schengen* zone starting January 2021. Under the European Travel Immigration and Authorization System (ETIAS) established by the European Travel Commission, citizens of countries who are normally allowed to travel to Schengen zone nations visa-free for tourism or business purposes for up to 90 days will have to pass background checks ensuring that they are not security risks to the host countries. In effect, the ETIAS have a purpose similar to Canada’s eTA (electronic Travel Authorization) or the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) in the US. When announcing the introduction of the system in 2016, Jean Claude Juncker, European Commission president, said, “We need to know who is crossing our borders. This way…

“Back to School” Low Season Travels

As “regular hours” resume and it’s back to school for students and families, low season starts where there will be less crowds, still great temperatures, and cheaper travel packages. Here are the best spots to visit in September: Take in the sights of Asia’s third-largest country on the Deccan Odyssey luxury train. This train travels the Maharashtra route through the southern part of the country, stopping at both popular and off-the-beaten path locations such as World Heritage Sites and palaces. Take this luxury train on one of six possible itineraries to different destinations. All meals, snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, and excursions including entrance fees and camera permits are included. Each cabin also provides a private butler, an in-suite bathroom and closet and even HDTV. If you prefer to venture on your own without a set itinerary, stay at the Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat and Spa in India to indulge in an…

Thinking about your Fall and Winter travel plans as Summer closes in? Know your rights!

Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance – and make sure you pack the right one! We have a dedicated team to help you choose the perfect plan fit for your travels. MSH Americas is dedicated to honoring our leading position in the travel insurance industry by providing exceptional service, up-to-date news, and support for our clients. Whether you are going abroad for leisure, to study, or to work, we want you to be able to travel with confidence. As part of our ongoing commitment to you, we promise to adhere to the newly updated THIA Traveler’s Bill of Rights. The Traveler’s Bill of Rights reads: The Travel Insurance Bill of Rights and Responsibilities builds upon the following key elements of travel health insurance: • Understand your travel insurance policy – Insurance providers have staff available to answer any questions related to policies.• Know your health and consult a health…

Hurricane Season is Here. Stay Alert

It’s the peak of hurricane season in Atlantic and Caribbean waters and the first major storm of the season, Dorian, has switched on the alert for residents on the southeast coast of the US, the Maritimes, and Newfoundland, as well as the highly susceptible island countries in the Caribbean and the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. If you have travels planned to any of these areas, you need to carefully read your travel documents, airline travel rules, hotel/resort contracts, and especially your travel insurance trip cancellation and interruption benefits and limitations, and you must monitor the official government travel advisories. Travel Canada has already issued advisories for many of the islands in the Caribbean, warning of the need to either practice extreme caution if you’re already in the path of the storm, or avoid travelling altogether. These warnings will change from day to day, but you need to be…

Family Vacation Destinations

Looking for the perfect family vacation for summer break? Make the most of your yearly trip with these family-friendly destinations – perfect for all ages, with fun activities for everyone in your group! Although Las Vegas may be known as an adult playground, there is a large mix of activities available for families with children as well. Picking a family-friendly hotel will be the make-or-break decision, as some hotels cater to children: For example, Mandalay Bay boasts a giant Shark Reef aquarium and multiple pools with a lazy river and an actual sandy beach. The Circus Circus hotel, true to its name, includes an actual circus with world-class jugglers and a variety of performers—as well as indoor roller coaster rides, a 50 foot waterslide tower with 3 slides, and a Splash Pad with waterfalls. Other must-see attractions you and your children will love include M&M World where they have different…

Stay Alert: Flesh-Eating Disease Expands through Warming Beach Waters

With the summer vacation season in full swing, news reports of bacterial disease in the warming waters of Florida’s Gulf of Mexico up to the east coast of Chesapeake Bay are becoming too frequent to ignore. We’ll note right off the top: this has nothing to do with the infamous red or green tides that have blemished Florida’s western shores the past couple of years. The disease—necrotizing fasciitis, also known as “flesh-eating disease”—has been claiming increasing  numbers in these areas, and Florida’s Department of Health and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued advisories warning of risks primarily to the elderly with compromised immune conditions, chronic kidney disease, or cancer; people of any age with cuts, scrapes, burns, insect bites, skin punctures or surgical wounds; and—most sadly—perfectly healthy kids with scraped or bruised toes or knees just playing in the ocean. Vicious and virulent In Florida,…

10 Things I have Learned About Human Trafficking Since Launching Our Task Force

In the run up to 30 July – World Day against Trafficked Persons, which is calling for governments to take more stringent action to fight Human Trafficking, I took the opportunity to reflect on what I have learned about the issue since WTTC launched its Human Trafficking Task Force at the 2019 Global Summit in Seville, April this year. Human Trafficking is a big money ‘business’. According to the International Labour Organization, Human Trafficking is an illicit industry worth more than $150 billion annually, which is equivalent to the entire tourism economy of Brazil ($152.5 billion). 2. Human Trafficking affects everyone, everywhere. Victims of Human Trafficking are men, women and children, and they can be found in every country in the world. An estimated 24.9 million people are trapped in forced labour: 16 million of which are exploited in the private sector, 4.8 million in forced sexual exploitation, and 4…

Ingle & MSH join task force to halt human trafficking

We are proud to team up with the WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council) to bring awareness and work towards halting the spread of human trafficking around the globe. Our industry has a unique opportunity to educate our partners and clients on activities that can make a real difference. For immediate release… To mark World Day Against Trafficking in Persons (July 30th), the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) today calls on governments across the globe to adopt more stringent measures in the fight against human trafficking, and specifically to support Travel & Tourism initiatives that aim to curb this illicit activity. Human trafficking generates an estimated $150 billion in illegal profits annually. In comparative terms, that’s the equivalent of the entire tourism economy of Brazil ($152.5bn). Trafficking relies on the travel industry to operate – not only across borders, but also within – using legitimate operations to illegally move…

New Season for Travel Insurance Products Coming Up—Stay Alert

With travel insurance premiums expected to rise significantly this fall—partly due to the Ontario government’s decision to eliminate all payments for out-of-country medical fees—it’s understandable that travellers, particularly longer-term snowbirds, will be looking for ways to economize. Comparing prices between several insurance providers has always been the first option for making sure you get the best price available—but that only works if you’re comparing similar products. And that’s hard, given the differences in benefits, exclusion requirements, medical underwriting, age limitations, and a score of other factors offered in the travel insurance marketplace. One stratagem that seems to have caught on is using a free credit card or employer/retiree group plan to cover the first 15, 30, or 60 days of a trip, then “topping up” with an individual single-trip plan for the bulk of it. Sometimes that can work to save you a lot of money. But there are also…

Best Places to Travel to Escape the Heat!

Can’t stand melting at 40°C? Need an escape from the scorching sun? Travel with us to cooler climates and enjoy a break from the soaring temperatures. 8 great places to visit comfortably this summer! If you want to visit Canada in the summer, Alberta is one of the best provinces to explore. With the most daily sunshine hours of the year and comfortable weather at a high of 24°C, you can trek the mountains, visit historical sites and museums, enjoy restaurants and do shopping. What brings most visitors to Alberta is nature: the jaw-dropping Rocky Mountains and other beautiful national parks are sights to behold. Travel to Dinosaur Provincial Park near Drumheller to see the Alberta Badlands and visit the Tyrell Museum to see real dinosaur skeletons up close. For those who are extremely fit and active, head to the Rockies and hike the challenging Cory Pass – it’s one…

Recent News in the Dominican Republic Calls For Extra Precaution When Travelling At All Times

It was the shooting of baseball legend David “Big Papi” Ortiz outside a bar in Santo Domingo that brought the issue of mysterious deaths in the Dominican Republic to worldwide attention, but it remains the recent spate of mostly-unsolved and unexplained deaths of American tourists at popular resort hotels that has tourism officials worried about what comes next. (Big Papi is recovering well in a Boston hospital) Though the issue has not captured much attention of Canadian media—which is mystifying as Canadians provide the second largest pool of tourism to the DR next to Americans—print and broadcast media in the US have been asking tough questions about what local tourism officials have characterized as a series of unfortunate coincidences. In one published report, however, the DR’s attorney general Jean Alain Rodriguez told local journalists that the nation is “secure but definitely has many challenges.” Indeed it has. So far this…

MSH International Boosts Its Global Expansion With New Health and Travel Insurance Products and Services

MSH International (Americas) is accelerating its international expansion and services to meet the growing demand for its comprehensive, global health insurance products. Adding to the company’s great products and services a new suite of offerings addresses up-to-the-minute needs of leisure and business travelers alike and includes: LivExpat, a new generation of flexible and cost-efficient international health insurance plans MSH Navigator, a mobile application, with geo-tracking capabilities, security warnings, travel and city guides, two-way communication and single-touch access to emergency and provider networks MSH ASSISTANCE, a comprehensive product offering with round-the-clock multilingual medical assistance, emergency evacuation, repatriation and risk management to travellers, worldwide. Born of a 2017 merger between MSH International and Ingle International, a supplier of international insurance solutions for travellers, students and expatriates since 1946, MSH International continues to experience rapid international growth. Together with its continuous product innovation, tailored facilities, global capabilities, customized web and mobile sales/information portals…