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 be required.


Adventure sports

Certain high-risk activities are specifically listed in standard policies as exclusions to coverage. Any rodeo activity, motorized speed activity, and unsupervised scuba diving are strictly prohibited. Anyone looking to try their hand at the Calgary Stampede will need to think twice about travel insurance! Professionals and those who make their living participating in sporting contests will also face exclusions relating to their performance. Give your clients peace of mind when they’re competing, so they can keep their eye on the prize.


High net-worth individuals

If your client is a high-profile or high net-worth individual considering travel to an unfamiliar or foreign location, they may want to consider the benefits offered by Kidnap, Ransom, and Extortion insurance policies. The underwriting process will cover the basics of their financial situation and ask for details of the security precautions they will follow during their trip. Apart from the danger and stress suffered by the victims of kidnap incidents, the financial impact of these events can also be enormous. Upon acceptance, benefits are payable for the cost of negotiations, ransom monies, and transportation logistics.

It’s important to be able to see the red flags in someone’s travel plans, and that might mean going through special-risk underwriting to get appropriate coverage. Special underwriting often requires weeks of preparation, so identifying your clients’ needs early and planning in advance is a must. But don’t let the risk scare you away from a sale! At Ingle International and Imagine Financial, we have decades of experience in this area of the industry, and can work with you and our emergency assistance team to find a custom plan. We will make sure you understand the policy you sell your clients and that it meets their individual needs for safe and happy travels.

For most, a standard travel medical insurance policy will give the peace of mind needed to make the most of a vacation. For clients that face a special risk while travelling internationally, be ready to help them mitigate that risk by understanding important policy terms and offering an underwritten service.


Find more insurance tips on the Partner Portal, or contact us at 1-800-292-9460 or


This article was provided by Patrick Chiasson, Broker Services Manager, Ingle International & Imagine Financial

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