Insurers missing big travel insurance market gap for Canadians traveling to another province

Published: May 25, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



Insurance companies could be missing out on a major travel insurance market for Canadians traveling within the country. Residents who plan to travel within the country, but outside their home province, often do not take travel insurance.

That is 60% of Canadians who will vacation this year. It is widely expected that other provinces cover healthcare for Canadians, wherever they are from. Dan Keon, director of marketing and communications for Allianz explains that some aspects are certainly not covered.

For example, a province will not cover a Canadian from another province for an ambulance ride, while air ambulances and commercial airline repatriation are also not covered.

“Some insurers will provide plans that are specific to travel within Canada,” Keon said. “But for the most part, any travel insurance product that is meant for someone travelling outside the country is more than sufficient for someone travelling within Canada because it will include those benefits for things like medical repatriation whether by air ambulance or commercial flight.

“I think the opportunity for brokers is rather than waiting for your customer to mention if they’re travelling, because it may not be top of mind when they’re talking to their broker, every time a broker is renewing a home or auto policy, it’s great to ask if they have any travel plans for the upcoming year.”

53% of Canadians planning on traveling outside their province will not get travel insurance, an RBC Insurance survey found this year. This is a considerable number that represents a sizeable gap in the market. Insurance companies could fill that gap if they could attract those customers to take coverage.

“For most brokers selling travel insurance, their aim is to be able to offer a multi-trip or an annual plan – because what that means is a customer is covered for the whole year no matter the number of trips they take,” Keon said. “Also it offers an opportunity to renew their policy at the end of the year and keeps them on as a preferred customer for travel insurance. The other piece there is that if somebody buys a multi-trip plan that will cover them regardless of whether they’re inside of Canada or outside.”

Insurance companies can appeal to customers by warning them of the unforeseen events that would not be covered by another province’s healthcare.

“Say they’re flying from Ontario and they’re going to see the west coast for example, there are technical benefits that aren’t your typical medical benefits,” Keon added. “They cover things like trip cancellation, trip interruption, they cover your baggage. Those typically aren’t available on a multi-trip plan or on an annual trip basis – they’re more for a single trip plan – but they’re equally important for travelling within Canada or outside of Canada for protecting your trip investment.”