By: Luke Jones, Published on June 25, 2018 09:00 PM, Last Update on June 25, 2018 06:03 PM
One potentially straightforward way for insurance brokers to increase business in travel lines is to ask clients if friend or family are coming to Canada some time in the future. If visitors are coming, insurers should ask the customer if their incoming tourist wants travel insurance.
Indeed, the client could buy “visitors to Canada” insurance for their friend or family. It is worth noting that this line of insurance is nothing new and has been around for several years. However, it is becoming more popular thanks to the tourism booms currently happening in Canada. In fact, data from Statistics Canada shows 20.8 million people visited the country in 2017.
Some of those tourists can be attributed to Canada celebrating its 150th birthday through last year. Still, there has been an upwards trend of tourism for several years, prompting the federal government to capitalize by announcing 2018 as “The Year of Tourism”. While that’s a catchy tagline, the government has some serious goals, chief among them doubling tourism from China by 2021.
While Canada has universal health care system and many tourists think they will be protected under tat care, that’s not the case. The universal healthcare system does not protect tourists, who will instead receive a bill for any health services in the country.
Stories of getting caught out abroad ring true for tourists in Canada as they can end up paying enormous amounts for healthcare. For example, a one-day stay in a hospital can cost up to $4,000.
“Brokers should take advantage of opportunities to ask their clients whether or not they have any friends or family travelling from abroad,” Keon told Canadian Underwriter Friday. “In the same way that [visiting tourists] are planning what they are going to do and see [in Canada], a question they should be asking is: ‘Do we have travel insurance in place when we are coming over?’ If they don’t, then the good thing about ‘visitors to Canada’ insurance is that it is available in Canada for the host to purchase on behalf of their visiting family.”