Accreditation programme for Canada

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Travel insurance

As part of the Canadian travel insurance industry’s wide-ranging analysis and review of its products and sales processes, which have been described as overly complex and confusing for consumers, it has been announced that the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA) will work with the industry to develop a new system of accreditation for the sale of travel and health insurance products

The system, it is hoped, will improve consistency and clarity in the relationship between consumers and insurance brokers. It will be based on a travel insurance curriculum developed by the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada’s (THiA) Education Committee for Travel Health Insurance, a first draft of which was recently completed, covering pricing and underwriting, sales and distribution, fraud, ethics, claims, the insurance contract and many other areas. THiA’s committee is currently reviewing the study guide and using it to develop an online exam, through which individuals may earn accreditation as Travel Insurance Professionals, and thus help travellers to more easily find the best coverage.

The ACTA hopes that both the guide and exam will be launched in 2017, and Canada’s insurance industry will then lobby the Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators (CCIR) to make the new accreditation process the national standard by which sales of travel insurance will be measured. Accreditation will be available, according to the ACTA, to all working within the travel insurance sector, ‘including brokers and banks’.

“ACTA will continue to work closely with the committee as the voice for travel agents,” the Association said in a statement, “and with the launch for the ACTA Learning Campus, ACTA has the platform to house the voluntary exam for our members. We intend to work with THiA on enabling this capability.”

At present, standards of licensing for selling travel and health insurance products are varied throughout the different provinces in Canada, and the ACTA believes that ‘a single standard would align all provinces and offer consistency in licensing requirements that will enable a consistent level of professional consultation in the sale of travel health insurance to consumers’.