Recently we reported on provincial and federal regulators’ recommendations to reform the travel insurance marketplace and make it more user-friendly—more transparent, less complicated, easier for customers to apply and be sure they are getting the coverage they need.
Fortunately, the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada (THIA) has over the past two years been developing a consumer Bill of Rights designed to empower purchasers in their dealings with sellers of insurance and—just as important—with administrators and claims managers who service their products right through their full life cycle.
The intention of the Bill of Rights is to give you a voice, leverage, a clear declaration of what you have a right to expect from the insurers you choose to deal with—as well as what your own obligations are in making the coverage contract work for you.
Here is a full reproduction of the Bill of Rights which THIA has just rolled out publicly.
Travel Insurance Bill of Rights & Responsibilities
You Have The Right:
- To a No Obligation Purchase: Your travel insurance provider will allow you a 10-day free look.
- To Be Informed: You will receive your policy documentation and confirmation of coverage outlining the policy terms and conditions whether purchased in person, over the phone or online.
- To Request Clarification: You may ask questions about the travel insurance you have purchased.
- To Review & Modify Medical Screening: You will receive a copy of the answers you provided on the medical questionnaire prior to the start of your policy.
- To Receive Worldwide Assistance & Toll-free Support: You have 24/7 access to the help you need when you need it from your travel insurance provider.
- To Fair & Prompt Claims Handling: You will have a timely and transparent communication process.
- To Escalate & Appeal: You may challenge decisions and request additional reviews with new information.
- To Confidentiality: Your personal information will be protected in all dealings with your travel insurance provider.
- To Know Your Insurer: Your policy will clearly identify the underwriter of your travel insurance and the process to file and resolve complaints.
- To Your Preferred Language: You may transact and correspond about all components of your travel insurance in English or French.
You Have The Responsibility:
- To Provide Accurate Information: The travel insurance application needs to be completed accurately.
- To Understand Your Policy: Take the time to read and understand your policy.
- To Travel with Proof of Insurance: Have your policy number and emergency assistance contact information easily accessible.
- To Notify Your Travel Insurance Provider: Provide prompt and timely communication when a claim situation arises and provide all requested documentation related to your claim including all relevant receipts.
Keep this with you and use it. Any Bill of Rights is of no use if you don’t assert your rights. Make sure this does not become just another jumble of words you stash away in a drawer along with an unread policy or Confirmation of Coverage.
Travel insurance is a serious purchase. Pay attention to the details.
Ready? Check out your insurance options now.