Canadian Underwriter

Pay-as-you-go travel insurance comes to Canada

April 2, 2018   by Jason Contant

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An AIG company has launched a pay-as-you-go travel insurance app.

Travel Guard Group Canada launched the iPhone app last week to allow Canadian customers (except Quebec residents) to purchase travel insurance coverage in blocks of time ranging from one day to 90 days. GPS technology enables travelers to use the coverage from the moment they leave their home province to the moment they return, with the app tracking the number of hours used. Coverage includes $2 million in emergency medical expenses, $1,500 in emergency dental expenses, $1,500 in trip delay, $1,600 in baggage and personal effects, and assistance benefits.

The Travel Guard On Demand app is a departure from traditional travel insurance options, including single trip or annual plans. “Usage-based insurance is a new concept in the travel insurance industry,” AIG said in the release. “This new method of buying and utilizing travel insurance allows travelers to customize their protection period for each trip – down to the hour.”

Marc Lipman, AIG Canada’s chief operating officer, said the app allows customers to gain protection only 90 seconds after filling out four required fields. Customers can activate the purchased insurance by swiping the app button “on” at the start of their trip and “off” at the end, or use the app to pre-set the desired departure and return dates for an upcoming trip.

“When the app’s geolocation feature senses that the customer has arrived at an airport or a border crossing into the United States, a notification is sent to the customer’s iPhone to ask whether he or she wants to activate the purchased insurance,” AIG said.

Customers can purchase the following blocks of time: one day, five days, eight days, 10 days, 15 days, 30 days, 60 days and 90 days – all for use within 365 days of purchase. Once activated, the app tracks unused balance to the nearest hour. It works on an iPhone 5 or higher for customers between the ages of 16 and 55.

The app is powered by JAUNTIN’, a Canadian insurance technology company. AIG’s relationship with the start-up was formed when it won the AIG Canada Innovation Challenge from among more than 80 entrants.