The Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA) is working with the Canadian travel insurance industry to develop an accreditation program for selling travel health insurance in an effort to bring greater consistency to consumers and insurance brokers. The initiative is being undertaken as the Canadian travel insurance industry conducts a thorough review of its often complex and confusing products and sales procedures.
ACTA said it recently completed a first draft of a travel insurance study guide with The Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada’s (THiA) Education Committee for Travel Health Insurance. Course content includes chapters on the insurance contract, product suite, pricing and underwriting, sales and distribution, claims and assistance, compliance, ethics and fraud.
The work comes on the heels of the publication of an issues paper by the Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators (CCIR) this past July. A comment period on that report ends Sept. 30. ACTA has said it will file comments on behalf of travel agent members.
THiA is Canada’s national organization representing travel insurers, brokers, underwriters, re-insurers, emergency assistance companies, air ambulance companies and allied services. ACTA has been working with THiA’s Education Committee since 2015.
ACTA said the THiA committee is now reviewing the chapter questions and creating an online exam for individuals to earn a Travel Insurance Professional accreditation. ACTA anticipates publishing the study guide and launching an online exam in 2017. The industry then plans on lobbying the council of insurance regulators to recognize the accreditation as the national standard for selling travel health insurance.
THiA accreditation will be available to anyone in the “travel insurance sector including brokers and banks,” ACTA said in a statement issued last week.
“ACTA will continue to work closely with the committee as the voice for travel agents and with the launch of the ACTA LEARNING CAMPUS, ACTA has the platform to house the voluntary exam for our members. We intend to work with THiA on enabling this capability,” ACTA said.
The current standard to becoming licensed to sell travel health insurance varies from province to province, ranging from paying a fee, passing an exam, gaining an exemption when licensed with the provincial regulator or no requirements at all. “A single standard would align all provinces and offer consistency in licensing requirements that will enable a consistent level of professional consultation in the sale of travel health Insurance to consumers,” ACTA said.