Industry News > Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada Launches Bill of Rights

Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada Launches Bill of Rights

posted on 9:05 AM, June 12, 2017

Toronto, ON (June 12, 2017) – Canada’s Travel Health Insurance Association (THIA) has launched a Travel Insurance Bill of Rights and Responsibilities endorsed by its membership. Travel health insurance was designed to give all travellers peace of mind and protect against unexpected medical expenses. 95 per cent of submitted travel health insurance claims are paid in Canada, says a report based on a KPMG survey of Canadian providers commissioned by the Travel Health Insurance Association (THIA).  

“Our goal is to see every claim paid. The industry came together and designed the Bill of Rights and Responsibilities to deliver a clear statement as to what the public can expect from their travel health policies,” said Will McAleer, THIA’s President. “Everyone deserves a carefree vacation and the new Travellers’ Bill of Rights will help provide Canadians with peace of mind when they take off, be it for business or pleasure.”

Unexpected medical treatment outside of Canada can be expensive. The world’s most expensive health care system is in the United States, which is also the most common travel destination for Canadians. A significant medical emergency in the US could cost $10,000 a day or more depending on the nature of the emergency. 

The Travel Insurance Bill of Rights and Responsibilities builds upon the following key elements of travel health insurance: 

  1. Understand your travel insurance policy – Insurance providers have staff available to answer any questions related to policies
  2. Know your health and consult a health care provider if you have any questions
  3. Know your trip - How long will you be gone? Are you a snowbird? Will you be travelling many times during the year? 

Under THIA’s Travel Insurance Bill of Rights and Responsibilities travellers have the right to:

  1. A no obligation purchase: Travel insurance providers will allow a minimum 10-day free review of the policy.
  2. To Be Informed: You will receive your policy documentation and confirmation of coverage outlining the policy terms and conditions whether purchased in person, over the phone or online.
  3. To Request Clarification: You may ask questions about the travel insurance you have purchased.
  4. To Review & Modify Medical Screening: You will receive a copy of the answers you provided on the medical questionnaire prior to the start of your policy.
  5. To Receive Worldwide Assistance & Toll-free Support: You have 24/7 access to the help you need when you need it from your travel insurance provider.
  6. To Fair & Prompt Claims Handling: You will have a timely and transparent communication process.
  7. To Escalate & Appeal: You may challenge decisions and request additional reviews with new information.
  8. To Confidentiality: Your personal information will be protected in all dealings with your travel insurance provider.
  9. To Know Your Insurer: Your policy will clearly identify the underwriter of your travel insurance and the process to file and resolve complaints.
  10. To Your Preferred Language: You may transact and correspond about all components of your travel insurance in English or French.

Travellers are responsible for the following:  

  1. To Provide Accurate Information: The travel insurance application needs to be completed accurately.
  2. To Understand Your Policy: Take the time to read and understand your policy.
  3. To Travel With Proof of Insurance: Have your policy number and emergency assistance contact information easily accessible.
  4. To Notify Your Travel Insurance Provider: Provide prompt and timely communication when a claim situation arises and provide all requested documentation related to your claim including all relevant receipts. 

The THiA website has a guide available to help Canadians understand their travel insurance needs before they investigate policies.

About the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada (THiA)

Founded in 1998, the Travel Health Insurance Association (THiA) is the national organization representing travel insurers, brokers, underwriters, re-insurers, emergency assistance companies, air ambulance companies and allied services in the travel insurance field. THiA is the leading voice of the travel insurance industry in Canada and is engaged in public education and issues relating to regulatory affairs and member communications.

For more information, to speak to a THiA spokesperson, or for more statistics, please contact:

Pascale Gordon