Travel and health insurance sales on the rise in Canada

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Canada’s Travel Health Insurance Association (THiA) has released new figures showing that Canadians are buying travel health insurance in increasing numbers

As is the case in other markets, growing fears over terrorism, civil unrest and the spread of diseases such as Zika have contributed to the increase.THiA’s figures reveal that 78 per cent of Canadian travellers purchased cover in 2015  ̶  a four-per-cent increase on the previous year’s figures. Thirteen per cent of respondents changed their travel plans because of civil unrest or violent events, and a further 14 per cent of travellers of child-bearing age changed travel plans because of concerns about the Zika virus, said THiA.

The rise in insurance hasn’t meant a rise in policy awareness among customers, though, according to THiA. Its report stated that 40 per cent of travellers believe that their policy covers trip cancellation, and only 47 per cent regularly review their coverage before travelling.

Alex Bittner, the outgoing president of THiA, told Insurance Business that the report’s findings highlight the importance of brokers in keeping policyholders educated and informed. “The last thing [brokers] want is to send a client out who isn’t insured adequately, at all, or inappropriately,” he said, “because the first phone call that’s going to ring once a claim isn’t paid [by an insurer] is going to be back to the broker.”

With education efforts about the risks of travelling without the appropriate insurance on the rise, Bittner said that he expects sales of policies to rise further.