Vancouver-based app provides travel insurance on the go
There are a lot of people in the Vancouver area who cross the border into the U.S. every day, either to buy gas or for some quick shopping, but they could be forgetting something. Travel insurance.
Whether it’s a day trip or a vacation, you don’t want to leave home without a travel insurance policy to cover you for medical emergencies and accidents.
That’s why Dejan Mirkovic and his team have come up with a way to help keep you covered. He’s the founder and CEO of Goose Insurance Services, which has developed an app to buy travel insurance on the go.
“Any Canadian that leaves the country needs to have travel insurance,” Mirkovic said while standing in front of the Peace Arch at the Blaine border crossing, “50 per cent actually forget.”
Think about what could happen if you were in an accident or were struck with a sudden illness and needed hospitalization.
“The financial consequences can be huge,” Mirkovic said.
The app is called Goose and the company playfully promotes it as covering your "tail feathers."
It has a notification alerts to let you know when you are near a border or an airport. You can launch the app and buy travel insurance for $4 a day. Total coverage is $10 million and the policy is located within the app for you to read along with emergency contacts and what to do if you need to file a claim.
You can buy the insurance even after you’ve arrived at your destination, but remember you won’t be covered for illness until 48 hours has passed which is why you need to buy it before you leave home.
CTV had some questions for the company about exclusions, like what happens if you had a pre-existing condition and how the 48-hour waiting period works. Here was the company’s response:
Policies sold by Goose are subject to a 48-hour waiting period only if purchased after leaving Canada and it only applies to sickness; however accidents and injuries are covered. If policies are purchased prior to departure, there are no waiting periods and the traveller(s) are covered as of the effective date of the policy.
Travel insurance policies purchased with Goose will cover illnesses starting the effective date as long as the health has been stable 7 days prior to the effective date. Most Canadian doctors will not advise you to travel if you have any critical illness, including stroke, heart attack, TIAs and etc; Goose does not cover anyone that travels against a physician's advice and/or treatment.
With Goose, travellers can purchase an optional unstable pre-existing medical condition coverage (of $250,000) which is available for any trip duration including a cross-border day trip. If the traveller is under the age of 59 and their trip duration is less than 35 days, with Goose they will not need to purchase the unstable pre-existing condition coverage as their base travel medical insurance policy would cover them.
As each individual’s health status is unique, Goose highly recommends for all of their travellers to review the policy wording, including the terms and conditions. Goose also has licensed insurance agents who are easily accessible through live chat, email, and/or phone calls directly from the Goose mobile app.
Other important things to remember about travel insurance: Often it will not cover high-risk activities like parasailing, extreme skiing and scuba diving below 30 metres, to name a few. And even one drink before an accident could void coverage as it could be considered as "being under the influence."
However, any coverage is better than none at all - especially if you can get it on the fly.
Goose just launched this summer and has sold about 500 policies. The claims process has not been tested but they company has partnered with an established underwriter, Industrial Alliance and TuGo, one of Canada’s top travel insurance providers.