Each province regulates travel insurance distribution in its own way.
In Quebec, travel insurance vendors require at least an accident and illness permit. Yet in provinces like British Columbia, property and casualty insurers can also sell travel insurance.
“We’re talking about 1 per cent of the business volume for P&C insurers in British Columbia. Often brokers will put the option directly on their website. Customers are used to buying this type of insurance that way,” says Mélanie Lessard, business development manager at Allianz Global Assistance.
In Quebec, “it’s less common; many customers don’t know think of asking their P&C insurers for travel insurance,” Lessard says.
Manulife also sees differences in the volume of insurance sold. “We noticed that we sell more in Ontario and in British Columbia. Of course there are population differences, but in general the residents of these two provinces travel more,” assistant vice-president, travel insurance, Rob Iafrate explains. In these two provinces, an estimated 90 per cent of people ages 55 and over buy travel insurance, he points out.