Most Canadians Believe Travel Insurance Brings Peace Of Mind, RBC Insurance Study Shows

Many feel travel insurance is worth the cost

MISSISSAUGA, October 15, 2003 – An RBC Insurance/Ipsos-Reid study shows that while 84 per cent of Canadians believe buying travel insurance is worth the cost for their peace of mind on their vacation, only 60 per cent of people who travelled outside Canada or the U.S. in the past three years actually purchased travel insurance.

“Emergencies can happen at any time, even to the most well-prepared traveller,” said Stan Seggie, president and CEO of the travel insurance division of RBC Insurance. “Travel insurance is designed to provide coverage for everything from trip cancellation and interruption to emergency medical assistance and baggage loss. It can really help ensure one bad experience does not ruin your trip or leave you with extensive unforeseen costs to cover.”

According to the Conference Board of Canada, spending on outbound travel by Canadians is expected to be about C$18.9 billion in 2003. World events such as SARS, the war in Iraq, and the ongoing threat of terrorism make travel insurance a larger part of the trip planning process. In fact, 84 per cent of Canadians say it is important to be offered the option to purchase travel insurance at the point of sale when booking a trip.

“The cost of insurance is minimal compared to the cost of emergency medical treatment while travelling,” said David Redekop, principal research associate with the Conference Board of Canada. “Neglecting to purchase travel insurance before heading out on a trip is akin to neglecting one’s own health or safety.”

The survey results also point to some costly misconceptions about the coverage of provincial and employee health plans. These plans typically provide limited coverage for medical treatment and hospital costs outside a person’s home province or territory. However, 20 per cent of Canadians believe 100 per cent of their medical expenses are covered by provincial, and/or employee health plans should they have a medical emergency while travelling outside of Canada or the U.S.

“If you have an emergency in a foreign country you want the security of calling someone who can help you – and this is where the emergency assistance component of travel insurance comes in,” Seggie said. “We’ve seen many international cases where a traveller has had some kind of medical emergency that required being taken by air ambulance to the nearest hospital and that kind of treatment can easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars.”

Other key findings from the RBC Insurance survey are:

  • Women are more likely than men (71 per cent vs. 63 per cent) to agree that an accident can happen to anyone, even during a short business or recreational trip, so they always purchase travel insurance.
  • Women are more likely to agree that buying travel insurance is worth the cost to have peace of mind on a vacation than are men (88 per cent vs. 80 per cent).
  • Women are also more likely to say it’s ‘very important’ that travel insurance is offered when booking a trip (89 per cent vs. 77 per cent).
  • Residents of Quebec (89 per cent) are more likely to agree travel insurance is worth the cost to have peace of mind than those from British Columbia (77 per cent).

These are the findings of an RBC Insurance/Ipsos-Reid survey conducted between August 26th and August 28th, 2003. The poll is based on a randomly selected
sample of 1,000 adult Canadians. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within �3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult Canadian population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were statistically weighted to ensure the sample’s regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the 2001 Census data.

About RBC Insurance

RBC Insurance, through its operating entities, including RBC Travel Insurance Company, Assured Assistance Inc. and The Liberty Marketing Corporation, provides a wide range of creditor, life, health, travel, home, auto and reinsurance products to more than five million North American customers. RBC Insurance is the leading provider of travel insurance and emergency assistance services in Canada and has recently expanded into the U.S. travel insurance market. Its travel insurance operations draw on more than 35 years of professional experience and provide a wide range of products and services through a network of over 4,000 travel agencies, as well as over the Internet and through bank channels, to more than three million individual and corporate customers annually. For more information, please visit

About RBC Financial Group

Royal Bank of Canada (TSX, NYSE: RY) uses the initials RBC as a prefix for its businesses and operating subsidiaries, which operate under the master brand name of RBC Financial Group. Royal Bank of Canada is Canada’s largest financial institution as measured by market capitalization and assets, and is one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies. It provides personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, corporate and investment banking, and transaction processing services on a global basis. The company employs 60,000 people who serve more than 12 million personal, business and public sector clients through offices in North America and some 30 countries around the world. For more information, please visit