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January 21, 2022

Are you willing to hit the road without travel insurance?

Most Canadians don’t think twice about the need for car insurance, but many are willing to take the risk of travelling uninsured, according to a survey from American Express Canada.

Only 59% plan to purchase travel insurance prior to taking off on their next trip, which isn't that surprising considering that 30% (42% of those 18 to 34) admit that they’ve actually never purchased such coverage.

What's holding them back? Well, they're not sure whether they're getting a good deal or not (72%), think there's too much jargon and don't understand what coverage includes (66%), and that it's just too complicated to compare one product to another (65%).

And, even when they do buy, it's tough to collect. At least that's what one Toronto man argues, even though he may not have been completely forthcoming during the application process.

Sometimes though, it's useful to know what the other guy is thinking. Here's Travel Market Report's take on what messaging works best when agents are recommending travel insurance to clients and at what point in the sale they become forceful about pushing the policies.

Here's one experienced agent's suggestion on how to approach vacationers.

"It took me more than 20 years to figure out how to sell insurance. There were times I’d talk about the trip of a lifetime for 45 minutes and then spend an hour and a half discussing insurance. I got really tired of doing that, so I distilled it down."

He now asks clients simple questions such as whether everyone in their family is currently healthy and whether the clients are willing to take a financial risk, and then makes his recommendation. "It takes about three or four minutes now," he says -- hardly advanced financial planning.

Do you usually buy extra insurance when you travel? Have you ever had to make a claim? Were you satisfied with the result?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money




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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...