According to Insurance Business Canada magazine, many Canadians are surprised to learn their government health-insurance plan does not completely cover medical expenses—either those incurred outside the country, or even out-of-province. The result can be not only a ruined vacation, but also unexpected and overwhelming out-of-pocket costs.
Most provincial health plans cover about 5% of medical expenses outside Canada. However, the Ontario government has recently proposed eliminating out-of-country health coverage altogether. This proposal has not been clearly conveyed to consumers.
The fact that most Canadians are in the dark on this issue is a call-to-action for travel insurers. They have the chance to better inform consumers of the serious risk they take when they travel without purchasing additional coverage. The insurance industry has already shown itself to be a leader with regard to data concerning climate change and weather; the industry has amassed extensive information, including models and maps, related to snow cover, rainfall, water levels, and flood terrains.
The issue of travel coverage is another opportunity for the industry to demonstrate its leadership and—through clear, well-executed communication—increase its value by providing consumers with important information they won’t find anywhere else.