Medi-Quote Blog

2013 was a very busy year here at Medi-Quote Insurance Brokers. This was our first full year as Medi-Quote Insurance Brokers after changing our name in 2012 to reflect our expanded range of insurance products beyond travel insurance.

2013 saw us adding four new brokers to our sales team, who all came from our administrative team. In turn we added four administrators and a travel agent. We also expanded our management structure to catch up with the last few years of growth. 

Core Values and Value Proposition

We spent some time defining what we value most as a company and as a group.  We also came up with what we call our “Value Proposition” where we came up with the acronym TEAM to explain the type of relationship we have with our clients. We work with clients to Track (medical history), Educate (clients about issues that affect them), Advocate (on your behalf) and Mitigate (risk). Read about our value proposition here.

Travel Agency

This year we began offering travel agency services in partnership with Travel Professionals International, TPI. We are new, but we have added some very experienced travel agents to our team and combined with our understanding of travel insurance, we think it’s a natural fit that will be a big benefit to our clients.

This year we used our travel agency resources to plan an Alaskan cruise to celebrate our 20th anniversary in 2014. We are excited for the cruise and to meet all of our clients who will be joining us.

Arizona Trip

Lori made her annual trek down to Arizona to visit our clients who spend their time down there. As a Senior Broker at Medi-Quote Insurance Brokers, she really goes out of her way to reach Snowbirds in their winter habitat. She was so happy to see so many old and new faces come by the booth at the marketplaces in Yuma and Mesa.
In 2014, Lori will be joined by fellow senior brokers Sandy and Shirley who will both be making the trip down for the first time.

 

Webinars

We embraced our commitment to educate clients more than ever this year. We have held a number of online training sessions for clients as well as our broker partners.  We understand that travel insurance can be complicated, and feel like our knowledge and expertise needs to be shared with others. We will have more webinars in 2014, so keep your eyes open for announcements in our monthly email newsletters.
 
Volunteer work and Charity Fundraising

2013 wasn’t all good news. Floods caused massive destruction to the homes of many Albertans. Our Calgary staff spent a day in High River volunteering and saw the devastation first hand. You can read about that here.
Recently we have been collecting food in our Winnipeg office for Winnipeg Harvest, and the Calgary team spent some time volunteering for the Calgary food bank, which you can read about here.

In August, Lori rode her bike from Stonewall to Gimli and back to raise money for the MS Society of Canada. That is 84 km’s each way.  We were all very proud of Lori’s accomplishment and made donations to the cause.

Refer-a-Friend contest

If our attention to detail and great customer service wasn’t enough, when someone refers a friend to us, both the referrer and the referee are entered into a contest. This year’s winning entrant, B. Trotter of Belmont, MB won a trip to anywhere in North America that Air Canada flies.
New Partners and New Markets
This year we were happy to begin a relationship with Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services, adding one more parter to our roster of insurance providers.
For years we have been licensed to sell insurance from BC to Ontario, now we are licensed to do business in Nunavut, too. The north tends to be an underserved market, so we look forward to hearing more from potential customers in the North.

 

Highlights for the coming year, 2014

2014 will mark our 20th anniversary as a company and we will be celebrating this milestone all year long. Stay tuned to our website and email newsletters for updates.

- Annual Plans: If you take more than one trip per year, you will probably save money with an annual plan, even if you just come home for the holidays and go back.  An annual plan is a set amount of days that can be used multiple times. If a trip is longer than the annual plan, top-up days may be purchased for the rest of the trip. 

- Book as early as possible: Every year travel insurance companies increase their prices. Luckily you can book travel insurance six months before your departure date. Book in the late summer or early fall to make sure you get the best rates for your trip that leaves in the fall or winter. Be sure to ask how much  you are saving to ensure it is worthwhile to book so early.

-  Book your insurance before an upcoming birthday: Travel insurance plans are priced based on medical conditions, but also on age bands. An age band might be 55-60 on one plan, but it might be 55-59 on another plan for example. Once your age increases, it could mean a big jump in the price of your travel insurance, so book before your birthday.

- Call your utility companies and let them know that you are leaving for a period of time: Some companies may be able to suspend your services so that you won't have to pay for them, or pay less, when you are away for an extended period.

- Early Return Refunds: If you return home early and you have a travel insurance policy that is still inforce for days you are not using, you can should call us, and see if you qualify for an early return refund.

We are on your

 

 

 

We Track your medical history based on the information you provide each time we provide a full consultation to ensure the plan options we recommend work best for your specific situation.

We Educate you in the important matters of travel and medical insurance and shop around for the best option for YOU - we don't sell you travel insurance, we help you buy it.

We Advocate on you behalf when dealing with the insurance companies with claims, refunds and extensions.

We Mitigate your risk of denied claims by recommending the best coverage for you and ensuring you understand the parameters of the plan you've purchased.

CBC's consumer watchdog program, Marketplace, has featured segments about travel insurance in the past. This most recent episode, titled You're Not Covered, looks at some issues that affect people dealing with home, auto and travel insurance.

When stories like the ones described on Marketplace are told in the media, it raises awareness about the importance of using a specialized travel insurance broker who understand the ins and outs of how to navigate the sometimes murky waters that is the travel insurance industry in Canada.

 Watch the episode here

Christmas Eve - Tuesday, December 24: Open from 8:00AM to 1:00PM CST

Christmas Day - Wednesday, December 25: Closed

Boxing Day - Thursday, December 26: Closed

New Years Eve - Tuesday, December 31: Open from 8:00AM to 1:00PM CST

New Years Day - Wednesday, January 1, 2014: Closed

Q. How long have you been with Medi-Quote Insurance Brokers?
A. Since Feb 4th, 2013

Q. What did you do before working at Medi-Quote Insurance Brokers?
A. I was a Western Canada Area Sales Manager for Merit, Travel CUTS & ATC. (with this company for 12 years in total)

Q. What is your favourite thing about working at Medi-Quote Insurance Brokers?
A. the staff, training and management all are wonderful

Q. What is your hometown?
A. Melville, Saskatchewan

Q. What are your hobbies or favourite pastimes?
A. Travel...and being a mom to my 17 month old daugher (Tayvia). Reading and yoga too when I find time.

Q. What is your favourite vacation destination?
A. Tanzania Africa (where I lived and met my husband)

Q. Do you have a positive memorable client moment at Medi-Quote Insurance Brokers?
A. nothing yet

Q. Which of our core values do you identify with the most?
A. Buld a positive Team and Family spirit ---but other choice is Have Fun - Unleash your creativity and be Entrepreneurial (this I believe sets us apart from many other companies out there)

Q. Which of our Value Propositions do you think is most important?
A. Mitigate

A lot of people will be leaving the country in the upcoming weeks. Below is a list of things to think about, or take with you before you leave

  • HEALTH CHANGES:   If your health or medications change before you depart, your coverage may be affected. A change in your health at any time during your travels may also affect your coverage for that condition. Please call us to discuss how your policy and coverage might be affected!
  • POLICY BOOKLET:   Please read your policy booklet and know the benefits, exclusions and limitations included. We do our best to inform our clients on as many important details as possible, but it is imperative to ensure you are well-informed before you travel.
  • CONFIRMATION/WALLET CARDS:   Please verify that the information on your confirmation documents is correct, including the spelling of your name, medical plan, deductible option, dates of travel, etc. If there are any errors, please contact us immediately. Be sure to carry your wallet cards with you at all times.  Don’t forget to save your confirmation as it also acts as your income tax receipt.
  • DATE CHANGES:   In some cases, changing your travel dates without having your policy updated may result in your policy becoming null and void. Please advise us if you plan to change your dates of travel. There is no fee to change your policy information before it has become effective. We cannot change dates once the policy is in effect.
  • EXTENSIONS:   To extend your policy while you are away, call Medi-Quote Insurance prior to your current policy expiring. Unless you have spoken directly to a broker, do not assume your extension is in place. We will extend your policy provided you have not had or intend to make a claim. If you have had a claim, special approval from the insurance provider will be required to extend your policy.
  • IN AN EMERGENCY:   Prior to seeking medical assistance it is extremely important that you call the assistance centre phone number located on your wallet card as soon as you are physically able, or even before you leave for the hospital where time permits.
  • MAKING A CLAIM:  If you have purchased Trip Cancellation Insurance, and something happens that could warrant you cancelling your trip, you must call the insurance company as soon as possible.  The phone number to the insurance company can be found on your wallet cards or on your policy.
  • REFUNDS:  Partial and Full refunds may be available if you meet the policy requirements for these.  A partial refund may be available if you return home early.  In order to process a partial refund we need to know the date you returned to your Province of Residence.  Acceptable documents must show your name, location and date. Examples are a credit card receipt, documents at border crossing, flight boarding passes, etc.  A full refund will be available if you wish to cancel your policy prior to the effective date.  Your request must be received in writing to process.  Refunds are not available if you have made or intend to make a claim.  Refunds are not available on Trip Cancellation policies or Multi-Trip Annual Plans that come into effect.

 

If you have questions, or for a free quote, call 1-800-661-3098

There is more to travel insurance than emergency medical. You can insure the cost of your trip, just make sure you understand your coverage.

You may have heard of trip cancellation or trip interruption insurance before. Both types of insurance help insure the costs of prepaid travel arrangements for certain unforeseen events, such as medical emergencies, or a death in the family. With the guidance of an expert it can be great way to protect an investment in the trip of a lifetime.

However, we’ve all been asked when we book flights online if we want to add Trip Cancellation coverage to our purchase.  It’s kind of like asking “Do you want fries with that?” when you think about how complicated Trip Cancellation insurance actually is, and the small amount of information that is provided when you are presented with the offer.

Why would you add extra costs to the price of your ticket when you don’t know what you are buying?

Even if you are booking directly through a supplier, like Air Canada, West Jet, or a travel agent, there are many things to consider before you book the insurance or even before you book your trip, to ensure there are no surprises later.

  • Do you feel you don’t have a full understanding even after you have read the policy or received the explanation from your travel agent?
  • Do you know the difference between trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage?
  • Do you have difficulties understanding the language used in travel insurance policies and are worried about not understanding the coverage?
  • How’s your health?  Have you had any health problems, hospitalizations, or changes to medical treatment in the last 90 days? If so, you may want to put off booking your non-refundable travel arrangements, as recent changes aren’t usually covered in Trip Cancellation policies.
  • What are the most probable things that could happen that could curtail your plans to go on a trip you have already booked?  Those are the things you want to ensure you have coverage for!

Don’t waste your money on coverage that isn’t worth it. Call us today to speak to a Trip Cancellation expert, or a qualified Travel Agent that can help you book your trip with a strategy towards making sure you are maximizing your chance of booking a trip and the trip cancellation that is working for you.

Call 1-800-661-3098 for a free quote from a Trip Cancellation and Interruption Expert

We will be closed Monday, November 11th in observance of Remembrance Day.

We will be holding two free information sessions at the Seven Oaks Hospital Wellness Institute this fall. See full details below:

Travel Insurance for Consumers

Don't be a denied claim statistic! Protect yourself with the basics on pre-existing conditions, stability periods, medical questions, deductibles, etc!

  • Session A: Monday, September 16th - 1:00-2:30pm
  • Session B: Tuesday, November 19th - 7:00-8:30pm

To Register:

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