September 26, 2018 07:00
Photo : Freepik
Insurers travel are faced with two major challenges, say industry stakeholders. The first : to clarify the coverage sold to travelers. Improve timeliness of a claim is their other major project.
According to the latest survey of thecanadian Association of financial institutions in insurance (ACIFA), 89 % of Canadians believe they have a good understanding of the terms, conditions and limits of coverage of their travel insurance at the time of purchasing their policy. Some stakeholders in this field were entrusted to the Log of the assurance that it is their responsibility to properly educate clients on this type of insurance is rather complex.
This is notably the case of Robin Ingle, CEO of Ingle International, which works in the industry of travel insurance for 40 years. “You can’t play blind and think that consumers understand all of the products. Insurers should ensure that policies are easy to understand and read. There are too many legal terms used. It is up to the industry to communicate in a language that consumers will understand. “
To do so, Mr. Ingle made many seminars each year across the country for consumers, but also for those who sell the product. “We want to raise the awareness of the customers to be well informed. If it happens a problem during the claims because something has poorly been understood by the client, and the case goes in front of the media, it makes a bad reputation to the entire industry of travel insurance. “
Complaints the level of complaints
Cafii indicated in its survey that although they are satisfied with their travel insurance, the Canadians complained that it could take time the period of repayment of the claims.
According to the CEO of TuGo, Patrick Robinson, claims in travel insurance are complex, which explains the delay. “The medical claims abroad are part of the most difficult cases to manage. It is necessary to take into account the foreign language, the jet lag and the different medical systems. To speed up the process, the insured are encouraged to provide all relevant information quickly and the original receipts to the insurer. “According to the assistant vice-president of travel insurance with Manulife, Rob Iafrate, the communication with the client’s medical doctor in Canada, and the evaluation of the medical records added to the delay of the claims process.
Despite the delay that can occur, Robin Ingle says he is satisfied with the handling of complaints in the industry. “According to thecanadian Association of travel insurance (THiA), 96 % of claims are paid by the industry. This is the kind of information that you should communicate to the population. “
The claims in travel insurance are often very expensive because of medical costs, noted by the stakeholders surveyed by the Journal of insurance. Mr. Ingle gives as an example a bed in a hospital in the United States can cost anywhere from 5 000 to 10 000 usd per day.
The technology at the heart of the travel insurance
To assist customers in the claims process, several insurers have turned to applications or other tools at their disposal. “All insurers have their own way to help the clients when they are abroad. In our case, we have an emergency service available at any time and we can communicate in 28 languages. This way, if there comes a problem, we can guide the insured or talk to the health professionals of the country where they are located, ” explains Mr Ingle.
According to Patrick Robinson, of TuGo, the industry is poised for change. “Technology is fuelling consumer preferences in all areas, with online platforms and mobile apps to connect customers with the tools they need to get quotes, purchase insurance and submit claims. We note that the expectations of consumers are higher. “
The advanced technology in the industry is also felt in the purchase of the insurance. Cafii was confirmed of the insurance Journal earlier this year that 34 % of consumers purchase travel insurance online, compared to 32 % by telephone, 30 % oral and 4 % in another way.
The Conference Board of Canada has made a similar argument in his report on the travel insurance. Shared by Mr. Robinson, the report indicates, however, that those who obtain coverage from a travel agency or an association that members are more likely to do so in person, whereas the telephone is the method to purchase the most common for policies underwritten with insurance companies and brokers. Travelers who purchase an insurance policy with a financial institution or a supplier of travel (that is to say, an airline) are more likely to buy their policy online.
“Customers increasingly purchase their travel online, so they have to go towards the purchase of the insurance online too,” notes Rob Iafrate of Manulife. Patrick Robinson, TuGo, notes that clients with medical conditions are more complex tend to continue to get their insurance in person or over the phone.