Insurance Update CSANews Spring 2023

Posted on May 8th, 2023 by Medipac

The Canadian travel insurance industry is in turmoil. Three of the largest travel insurance companies, Manulife, Allianz and Blue Cross, have all had devastating articles in the news, as well as negative posts on social media. All have admitted to severe difficulties in the payment and timing of travel insurance claims. One company has actually sent alert notices to their thousands of agents and representatives warning them that “…due to the high travel insurance claims volumes…the time to process customers’ travel insurance claims will take longer than normal.”

We have heard many, many stories of claims telephone calls going unanswered for days. Many leave voice mails that are never returned (at least not on time). The odd person who gets a live body on the line is often told that they will be called back and it does not happen (again, not on time – meaning for days).

The real question is “Why?” It’s really pretty simple we have all read about the thousands of flights cancelled all over the world due to snowstorms, strikes and grounded airplanes. Every one of these cancellations would have resulted in a TRIP CANCELLATION travel insurance claim. Perhaps dozens on each flight and hundreds of thousands in total. And it is probably in the millions.

Then we have the thousands of people who were stranded in airports, far from home. They were supposed to catch a connecting flight to Europe or to the United States, or even within the United States. Their next flight did not materialize. All of these stranded people would have TRIP INTERRUPTION travel insurance claims.

Of course, all of these travellers had luggage and much of it was lost or went astray in the panic and confusion. I am sure that you have all seen pictures of the thousands of bags abandoned or lost in every airport. To try and get their belongings returned, most would have BAGGAGE travel insurance claims.

My point is that no insurers could possibly handle this dramatic sequence of events, and I wish them well, but what happens to the poor snowbird who is trying to get through on the emergency medical insurance telephone lines because of a possible heart attack or a broken leg? What do they do? Wait in line for several days? This has been a disaster for many people with real medical emergency claims.

Just last month, the federal government announced $75.9 million to tackle air passenger complaints – another sign of a broken system. They have a huge backlog of almost 50,000 complaints.

Fortunately, 30 years ago, Medipac made the wise decision to not insure baggage loss, trip cancellation and trip interruption. We determined that these were minor inconveniences and often were covered under home insurance policies, or by the travel operators themselves. No one would go bankrupt having one of these claims. Medipac concentrated on emergency medical insurance instead and became specialists in just this one kind of insurance. We are not caught up in this travel insurance nightmare at all.

Medipac answers our phones on time and will always take care of you promptly and fairly. That is what our clients expect and we deliver.