Canadians are generally happy with travel insurance coverage

Published: July 2, 2018

Updated: September 19, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



The majority of Canadians are happy with their travel insurance coverage and most have received claims during the last year. A new study shows over 80 per cent of participants with medical travel insurance are “satisfied with the product” and 98% had successful claims.

Conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights, the study featured 1,200 adult Canadians. Satisfaction was high, and while many claims have been successful, they are the biggest cause of problems. 31% of participants who made a claim say they have an issue with the process. The chief issues were how long the claim took to process and an unclear system of requirements. However, it is worth noting the number of people unhappy with the claim declined over recent years, down 7% from 38% in 2015.

Keith Martin, co-executive director of the Canadian Association of Financial Institutions in Insurance (CAFFII) said there is no hard data on how long the average claim takes. “The industry works hard to settle claims as quickly as possible, but the times it takes can vary depending upon a number of circumstances, including specific situation, and the geographic location of a medical emergency.”

CAFFII says it is working to make claims processes easier and shorter:

“One way of doing this is to provide consumers with clear and concise information about travel medical insurance and what’s required to make a claim,” Martin told Canadian Underwriter. “Another way is to continue to invest in new technology that can speed up the claims process. Our members are doing these things well, and the research shows that consumers are reasonably pleased with our progress in this regard.”

In the study, Canadians showed a solid level of knowledge regarding travel medical insurance, including coverage jargon, premium costs, level of protection, and limitations. 89% claimed their knowledge to be reasonable and defined the following factors as reasons for buying travel insurance:

  • Features and benefits
  • Overall amount of coverage
  • Ability to speak to someone
  • Price
  • Ease of purchase
  • Coverage for pre-existing conditions (policies that cover more conditions will generally have higher premiums; unstable medical conditions or pre-existing illnesses could be subject to exclusions).