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 issue a visa. Immigration specialists are common in Canada and are able to assist in the application process but they are not always equipped or licensed to handle medical insurance policies. Furthermore, for Super Visa applicants, medical insurance is required as part of the application process. These applicants must show proof of emergency medical coverage of at least $100,000 for a period of 365 days.
Key policy terms
Ingle International partners have the benefit of offering visitors to Canada a wide array of products. Emergency medical insurance contracts for visitors to Canada will contain similar terms and conditions to policies for outbound Canadians, but there are some key differences. Among them, visitors to Canada must choose from coverage levels ranging from $10,000 to $300,000. Due to the high cost of medical care in Canada, you should recommend a coverage limit of at least $50,000. A visit to a hospital in Canada can cost over $4,000 per day, meaning a medical emergency resulting in several days of hospitalization can easily cost over $30,000.
Most plans will offer coverage for pre-existing conditions for people up to the age of 79, but coverage can be limited. Ongoing treatment, such as prescription refills and other treatment to maintain a stable condition, is not covered under any emergency medical policy. It is the responsibility of the insured visitors to maintain their treatment regime at their own expense.
Hopefully the flip-side of the falling loonie means Canada will receive an increase in tourism this spring and summer. Remember, applying for VtC coverage is simple and only requires the traveller’s name, date of birth, and an address in Canada. Take the extra step and ask your clients if they are expecting any visitors this season.
You are now equipped to serve any visitor to Canada situation and if you have any questions, we are always here to assist you—feel free to contact us.
This article was provided by Patrick Chiasson, Broker Services Manager, Ingle International & Imagine Financial.