Canadian Insurance

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Nov 8th, 2014, 08:49 AM
  #1
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Canadian Insurance

I posted this on another thread but have not seen any replies and maybe that thread is dead since it dealt with Evacuation insurance alone.

One of the companies I've looked at for a safari was Lion World and they offer insurance through a company called Manulife, a Canadian company. Is there any problem dealing with a non-US insurance company? Has anyone dealt with Manulife?

In general I've used US based companies for travel and this would be the first time not doing so.

From a practical standpoint, what would be a sensible minimum for Medical and Evacuation coverage?
AfricaTexas is offline  
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Nov 8th, 2014, 03:04 PM
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Hi - I'll try to help. Manulife is one of the largest insurance companies in the world, headquartered in Canada. In the US it offers insurance products via John Hancock which it bought about 10 years ago.

I usually buy our travel insurance from them - have never made a claim so can't speak to that but I assume they would be as difficult to pry money out of as most insurers (my high regard is showing)

I see that Lion World is based in Toronto which likely explains why they sell Manulife's product - on the Lion World website there is an insurance policy for "United States" which I guess is what you're considering purchasing.

I'd look into alternatives before committing - I'm sure you don't have to purchase from Lion World and the prospect of dealing with insurance companies cross border in the midst of a medical situation and claim seems unnecessarily complex to me. Also - and I'm on thin ice here in terms of my knowledge - Canadian travel insurance does not waive pre-existing conditions in the first two weeks after purchase (I believe by law or perhaps by collusion) and all Canadian insurers are VERY strict regarding questionnaire compliance/accuracy/etc if a claim is made.

So if pre existing conditions are at all a factor for you, you might want to double check that with Lion World and/or buy from a US company. Not sure what the Manulife terms are re Evacuation - when we went to Tanzania the camps required we have "Flying Doctors" insurance ($50 as I recall).

Hope you have a great time!
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Nov 9th, 2014, 02:54 PM
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Elizabeth,

Thank you for the information.

I think Flying Doctors, or similar, is only available in Tanzania and Kenya. Botswana from what I've seen does not have them.

I have looked at Travel Guard and Allianz and can get the policy I want, with Medical and Emergency Evac though limits are $25k for Medical care ($500k for Evac).

I agree with dealing cross border and will probably go with a US company. All these guys are about the same price though Manulife was at least $100 to $200 Higher.

Thank you again.
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Nov 9th, 2014, 09:30 PM
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I use insuremytrip.com. They give many options available to you, and it applies to our neighbors to the north. I get a minimum of $100,000 medical and $1,000,000 evac per person and make sure they will evac me to the biggest city near home. Before a pre existing condition made it more difficult and much more expensive, I put $0 in the trip cost (I don't pay much up front usually, so rarely insure the trip cost) and enter the other info. Surprisingly inexpensive. Read all the fine print and call if you don't understand something.
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Nov 10th, 2014, 07:52 AM
  #5
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Christabir,

Thanks. I have looked at insuremytrip too and generally speaking most of the comparisons are fairly equal in costs, usually the variables being amounts of benefits, though some companies seems pretty expensive. Most of them provide $25k or $50k medical and $500k evacuation, both of which seem sufficient. I also get the Cancellation and Pre-Existing waivers.

When you look at Safari's though, the need to prepay, and the expense of the high end camps, if they are non-refundable you really need to insure and that gets expensive.

My current best bet seems to be Travel Guard who I've used before for European trips.

Thanks again for your advice.
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Nov 15th, 2014, 09:22 AM
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As my reply to your other thread, I too use Insuremytrip for insurance, often Comprehensive that includes: cancellation, interruption, baggage and flight delay, baggage loss, medical/dental, evacuation (repatriation if on death).

Unfortunately, my last two trips arranged last minute and all I could insure was for medical and evacuation which was fine with me and the minimum I really required.

Nowadays, regardless the destination I always purchase insurance whether trip is prepaid or not. No guarantee where one is that the unforeseen could happen. So again, minimum is medical/evacuation. Thankfully, have never had the need to put in a claim.
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Nov 15th, 2014, 08:41 PM
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Hi AfricaTexas -
I safari very differently than most here. We use the national parks and go to less expensive camps. We go to community owned reserves and do conservation projects. Our last safari was less than $5000 (for everything - gas, food, tips, gifts, insurance, ff flights) for two of us for two weeks, and only about half of that was prepaid. With a pre-existing condition now I have to insure the entire cost of the trip to get medical coverage, but with the inexpensive trip it's not so bad. Before the pre-existing condition, we paid less than $100 pp for $100,000 med/$1,000,000 evac.

I would rather return often than go on safari that I can only do once every 5-10 years. It works for us. When we retire to S Africa we will be able to do more. We love the way we go and probably won't use the high end camps again in the future. But as a resident those high end camps can be much more affordable, so maybe we will. Safari does not have to break the bank.
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