Despite recent turbulence in the financial sector, Canadians considering a travel insurance purchase need not fear for the security of their investment. Their out-of-country safety net will be there for them so long as they meet the basic requirements of their insurance contracts.
All Canadian insurance companies are subject to very stringent government regulations. For example, any federally chartered insurers that cover most large companies are monitored by the federal Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) to make sure they have the assets to back up their obligations to consumers.
Canadian insurers are further backed by Assuris, a not-for-profit organization that protects Canadian consumers in the event that their life insurance company goes out of business. Any life insurance company authorized to sell insurance policies in Canada is required by federal, provincial, and territorial regulators to become a member of Assuris. Funded by the life insurance industry and endorsed by government, Assuris offers protection at no cost to policyholders. Similar safeguards are in place for customers buying travel insurance policies from property and casualty insurance companies.
Canadians purchasing insurance products from other countries must rely on the protections offered by regulators in those countries.
During this period of economic uncertainty, the best rule of thumb for any Canadian looking to buy travel insurance is to deal with an insurer or broker licensed to sell in the customer’s home province.