THiA study finds Canadians confused

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Travel insurance

A new study from Canada’s Travel Health Insurance Association (THiA) tells a sadly familiar story of a consumer public that possesses a less than optimal understanding of travel insurance.

The suggests that 13 per cent of Canadian travellers aren’t sure whether or not they have travel insurance before heading off on trips – a slightly mystifying thing to be ignorant about, on the face of it, though potentially it could be because they believe that their domestic health insurance will cover them for an overseas venture, a fairly common misconception. THiA also found that of the Canadians who do take out travel insurance, 17 per cent do not know what is and isn’t covered. Another case, perhaps, of customers not reading the small print, and more evidence perhaps that travel insurers need to bite the bullet, meet the travelling public in the middle and make some efforts to simplify policy wordings.

However, there could be another way of looking at this story. Thirteen per cent of Canadian travellers do not know whether they have travel insurance – but this logically means that 87 per cent do know that they have it, a much more promising figure. Likewise, while 17 per cent of insured Canadians may not know what they are and aren’t covered for, 83 per cent presumably do know.

THiA President Brad Dance, in an interview with Global News, offered some advice to Canadian travellers in the hope of closing the awareness gap. He said that Canadians need to make sure they know exactly what kind of coverage they have, as some employers – and some credit cards – may offer it. He also said that when purchasing insurance for a trip, travellers should: make sure that their policy covers them for the duration of their holiday; consider buying multi-trip policies if they plan to take more than one trip over the course of a year; know exactly what activities they will be undertaking while travelling, as some may be excluded from certain policies; and ensure that they know as much about their policies, their own health and their rights and responsibilities as possible.

To help travelling consumers in this endeavour, THiA has created an animated video explaining their rights and responsibilities. You can view the video here.