Travel

Manulife Travel Insurance Cheapest?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 6th, 2019 8:53 am
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 25, 2017
1869 posts
1314 upvotes

Manulife Travel Insurance Cheapest?

I’m going to the US for a day trip (early morning all the way to late evening but back same day). I was curious how much insurance companies would actually charge for a day’s worth of travel insurance.

The quote I got online from Manulife was $2.75, compared to Allianz, which is $22.05. Others are around the same price range.

Is it normal that Manulife charge that little?? I know they are a major insurance company but I’m quite confused that the policy is that cheap compared to everyone else.

Edit: this is emergency travel medical insurance only, with a limit of $10 million.
22 replies
Deal Addict
Jun 15, 2015
2565 posts
1742 upvotes
Mississauga, ON
It makes sense- I recently had friends buy 8 days of insurance through Manulife it was $28 pp.
Member
Dec 7, 2009
379 posts
181 upvotes
burbs
Did you try insurance through Costco? They use Manulife and rates are good.
Deal Addict
Oct 23, 2017
1618 posts
1192 upvotes
GTA West
People who are young (say, under 55) and don't have any medical conditions can usually use insurance from a travel credit card.

I suspect much of that difference between Allianz and Manulife would even out for a longer term. Maybe Allianz doesn't find it worthwhile to issue a policy for $2. But there could also be major differences in the coverage. For example, one insurer may require a 1-year "stability period", another 90 days, following any medical treatment or start of a prescription drug. Travel insurance is NOT all the same.

So you should be shopping on coverage first, and price second.

The main thing with ANY travel insurer is to study ALL the fine print. People typically buy "insurance" and then become very angry when they need to make a claim and discover they are not covered. This is because travel insurance has all kinds of exclusions and conditions that people don't think about or are not immediately obvious. I also found that when you call an insurer to clarify the coverage, no one in the call centre is empowered to explain anything - they just read the language verbatim to you, to prevent any legal issues if you sue them later.

It is a hassle to go through a 20 page travel policy for a 1-day trip. That's why it is best to get familiar with one policy that suits you and stay with it every time you travel.

Many insurers outsource their emergency call centre and claims adjustment to Allianz and I personally found them very frustrating to deal with. That is not to say other companies are necessarily better - if you look at the various forums and newspaper stories, there is lots of dissatisfaction with travel insurance to go around.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 25, 2017
1869 posts
1314 upvotes
BrunetteGirl wrote: It makes sense- I recently had friends buy 8 days of insurance through Manulife it was $28 pp.
Makes sense, last time I was insured with Manulife was a three day trip to Seattle on a family plan of four. That cost roughly $20 and that looked more reasonable to me.
ManInTheBurbs wrote: Did you try insurance through Costco? They use Manulife and rates are good.
They are!!! It’s even cheaper! It’s $2.48 instead, provided they issue the same policy, I’ll use Costco’s.
Dealmaker1945 wrote: People who are young (say, under 55) and don't have any medical conditions can usually use insurance from a travel credit card.

I suspect much of that difference between Allianz and Manulife would even out for a longer term. Maybe Allianz doesn't find it worthwhile to issue a policy for $2. But there could also be major differences in the coverage. For example, one insurer may require a 1-year "stability period", another 90 days, following any medical treatment or start of a prescription drug. Travel insurance is NOT all the same.

So you should be shopping on coverage first, and price second.

The main thing with ANY travel insurer is to study ALL the fine print. People typically buy "insurance" and then become very angry when they need to make a claim and discover they are not covered. This is because travel insurance has all kinds of exclusions and conditions that people don't think about or are not immediately obvious. I also found that when you call an insurer to clarify the coverage, no one in the call centre is empowered to explain anything - they just read the language verbatim to you, to prevent any legal issues if you sue them later.

It is a hassle to go through a 20 page travel policy for a 1-day trip. That's why it is best to get familiar with one policy that suits you and stay with it every time you travel.

Many insurers outsource their emergency call centre and claims adjustment to Allianz and I personally found them very frustrating to deal with. That is not to say other companies are necessarily better - if you look at the various forums and newspaper stories, there is lots of dissatisfaction with travel insurance to go around.
I’ll take a look on the policy, it’s not my first time being insured by Manulife, but I never made a claim from them. I do remember reading/skimming the policy but I should read it properly to understand what’s covered and what’s not.

I mean having a $2/day policy is just peace of mind and something I wouldn’t bother buying normally if it costed me $20. I don’t have any coverage from a credit card unfortunately, can’t get those Visa infinite or World Elite Mastercard issued to me.

Considering someone said to use Costco to get sent to Manulife and apparently rates are even lower, does the policy usually change? Anything I should be aware of if I don’t buy directly?
Deal Addict
Jun 15, 2015
2565 posts
1742 upvotes
Mississauga, ON
IEpicDestroyer wrote: Makes sense, last time I was insured with Manulife was a three day trip to Seattle on a family plan of four. That cost roughly $20 and that looked more reasonable to me.



They are!!! It’s even cheaper! It’s $2.48 instead, provided they issue the same policy, I’ll use Costco’s.



I’ll take a look on the policy, it’s not my first time being insured by Manulife, but I never made a claim from them. I do remember reading/skimming the policy but I should read it properly to understand what’s covered and what’s not.

I mean having a $2/day policy is just peace of mind and something I wouldn’t bother buying normally if it costed me $20. I don’t have any coverage from a credit card unfortunately, can’t get those Visa infinite or World Elite Mastercard issued to me.

Considering someone said to use Costco to get sent to Manulife and apparently rates are even lower, does the policy usually change? Anything I should be aware of if I don’t buy directly?
Costco & CAA have competitive rates but you need to be a member.

& Manulife but if you buy from an online agency NOT necessarily direct. You don’t have to necessarily BOOK your travel through them just call them up (Itravel2000 - SellOffVacations kinda place). I know both of them sell Manulife and large agencies actually off Manulife policies that are not available to consumers directly believe it or not (will spare you the boring details).

**IF** you had to make a claim whom you bought the Manulife policy from is irrelevant as agencies/agents cannot get involved. You get a toll free/collect call phone number available 24/7 to reach Manulife directly.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 25, 2017
1869 posts
1314 upvotes
BrunetteGirl wrote: Costco & CAA have competitive rates but you need to be a member.

& Manulife but if you buy from an online agency NOT necessarily direct. You don’t have to necessarily BOOK your travel through them just call them up (Itravel2000 - SellOffVacations kinda place). I know both of them sell Manulife and large agencies actually off Manulife policies that are not available to consumers directly believe it or not (will spare you the boring details).

**IF** you had to make a claim whom you bought the Manulife policy from is irrelevant as agencies/agents cannot get involved. You get a toll free/collect call phone number available 24/7 to reach Manulife directly.
My household has a gold star membership with Costco, I imagine that they just need the membership number and nothing else (as previously costco.ca online store only cared if a valid membership number was entered or not). I just fill everything else out with my info and pay. A relative has an Executive membership, I wonder if they live elsewhere could I just use their membership number for the additional discount.

As for Manulife, this is where I've been getting my quote: https://insttrip.manulife.com/ I imagine it's their website as their website sent me there but could also be not true. But if Costco is only involved as a aff only, I guess it's better if I just buy from Costco..
Deal Addict
Jun 15, 2015
2565 posts
1742 upvotes
Mississauga, ON
IEpicDestroyer wrote: My household has a gold star membership with Costco, I imagine that they just need the membership number and nothing else (as previously costco.ca online store only cared if a valid membership number was entered or not). I just fill everything else out with my info and pay. A relative has an Executive membership, I wonder if they live elsewhere could I just use their membership number for the additional discount.

As for Manulife, this is where I've been getting my quote: https://insttrip.manulife.com/ I imagine it's their website as their website sent me there but could also be not true. But if Costco is only involved as a aff only, I guess it's better if I just buy from Costco..
I’ve never bought instance through Costco despite being a member but I’ve heard they are competitive.

Yes Manulife public rates / plans for consumers are different from what agencies have/sell & the price should be competitive due to their contracts (you likely have to call in to get a quote for liability reasons). They sell policies like the “Premium Protection Plan” which is like “cancel for any reason” and includes medical and other extras (Manulife does not sell that policy directly to consumers). Worth to check out.

So you not have medical on a credit card? That would be the cheapest/ best way imho.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 25, 2017
1869 posts
1314 upvotes
BrunetteGirl wrote: I’ve never bought instance through Costco despite being a member but I’ve heard they are competitive.

Yes Manulife public rates / plans for consumers are different from what agencies have/sell & the price should be competitive due to their contracts (you likely have to call in to get a quote for liability reasons). They sell policies like the “Premium Protection Plan” which is like “cancel for any reason” and includes medical and other extras (Manulife does not sell that policy directly to consumers). Worth to check out.

So you not have medical on a credit card? That would be the cheapest/ best way imho.
Unfortunately I don’t qualify for medical from a credit card... :(

Aside from just buying via Costco, any tips on getting rates made available to agencies only? I’m traveling to the UK late July to early August and would be nice to know and purchase these things ahead.
Deal Addict
Oct 23, 2017
1618 posts
1192 upvotes
GTA West
Don't worry about reading your policy before you buy it. When you make a claim, Manulife will be happy to explain if it doesn't apply to your particular situation :)

The price comparisons I see in this thread are meaningless if you don't know what is covered, the age/sex/smoker/meds/existing conditions of the applicant, and the benefits/deductibles that apply. Not to say that there are no significant price differences among insurers (as withhome and auto) and it certainly pays to shop around.

But travel insurance is NOT all the same, even when sold by the same company, and the major underwriters have all kinds of different travel polices that they sell through different channels.
Last edited by Dealmaker1945 on Jun 2nd, 2019 6:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Addict
Jul 24, 2003
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I've read through the Costco Manulife (executive membership, not sure if it makes a difference) policy lately. The one thing I realized is that air ambulance isn't exactly covered. The language makes mention of transferring between hospitals by air ambulance when pre-approved. So that rules out picking one up from a remote area by air ambulance. Which means it may be a deal breaker if one's travel include rural remote area or on a cruise ship.

Blur cross on the other hand, Covered air ambulance in general.
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Nov 10, 2015
2243 posts
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Monte Creek, BC
manho wrote: I've read through the Costco Manulife (executive membership, not sure if it makes a difference) policy lately. The one thing I realized is that air ambulance isn't exactly covered. The language makes mention of transferring between hospitals by air ambulance when pre-approved. So that rules out picking one up from a remote area by air ambulance. Which means it may be a deal breaker if one's travel include rural remote area or on a cruise ship.

Blur cross on the other hand, Covered air ambulance in general.
From my research there are two instances where you may need air ambulance.
The first us if you're in a god forsaken st!thole country that has horrible medical services. Your insurer may be convinced to get you out of there to a more civilized country.
The other is if your are in the US and in need of a whole lot of medical coverage that will cost your insurer hundreds of thousands.. Then they are very likely to fly you back to civilization (Canada).

As for seeking medical coverage while travelling, if it's for an extended period, don't go for the lowest priced insurer, go for the best.
We were in Mexico and my wife was hospitalized for a number of days. Our coverage was with Manulife through Costco and our experience with them was as incredibly good as our experience with the Mexican medical system.
I'm sure Manulife was breathing a sigh of relief that we weren't in the US.
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Oct 23, 2017
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poleman wrote: From my research there are two instances where you may need air ambulance.
The first us if you're in a god forsaken st!thole country that has horrible medical services. Your insurer may be convinced to get you out of there to a more civilized country.
The other is if your are in the US and in need of a whole lot of medical coverage that will cost your insurer hundreds of thousands.. Then they are very likely to fly you back to civilization (Canada).

As for seeking medical coverage while travelling, if it's for an extended period, don't go for the lowest priced insurer, go for the best.
We were in Mexico and my wife was hospitalized for a number of days. Our coverage was with Manulife through Costco and our experience with them was as incredibly good as our experience with the Mexican medical system.
I'm sure Manulife was breathing a sigh of relief that we weren't in the US.
My wife also got sick in Mexico this year. While the hospital experience was excellent, and the cost was low, our experience with Allianz from our employer benefit plan was not. Could you share a bit of your experience?

- Did Manulife give you any specific or general advice as to where to go for treatment?
- When you reached their call centre, did you have to key through a long list of conditions you had to agree to, before getting through to an agent? Or was the phone picked up by a live agent immediately?
- Was the call centre agent a nurse or other medical professional who could help you assess your situation and decide that a hospital visit was the right step to take?
- Did Manulife deal with the hospital and settle the expenses with them directly, or did you have to pay out of pocket and then submit a claim for reimbursement?

We are looking for another provider and would really be interested in how your situation was handled.
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Nov 10, 2015
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Dealmaker1945 wrote: My wife also got sick in Mexico this year. While the hospital experience was excellent, and the cost was low, our experience with Allianz from our employer benefit plan was not. Could you share a bit of your experience?

- Did Manulife give you any specific or general advice as to where to go for treatment?
- When you reached their call centre, did you have to key through a long list of conditions you had to agree to, before getting through to an agent? Or was the phone picked up by a live agent immediately?
- Was the call centre agent a nurse or other medical professional who could help you assess your situation and decide that a hospital visit was the right step to take?
- Did Manulife deal with the hospital and settle the expenses with them directly, or did you have to pay out of pocket and then submit a claim for reimbursement?

We are looking for another provider and would really be interested in how your situation was handled.
-I went on-line just before going to the hospital looking for recommendations and picked the top rated one. My insurer was not on my radar at that time. I needed help and needed it quick.
-I called Manulife about an hour or so after my wife was admitted, when things had calmed down. By then I had already put down a $10,000 peso deposit. I never discussed much, just gave them my policy number, told them the hospital I was at and what my wife's state of health was. Phone reception was poor and the hospital was a bit noisy so not much was discussed. And yes, I did talk to a real person, almost immediately, someone who did not have an accent.
-Probably because I had put down a deposit before Manulife contacted them, I ended up putting all the charges on my card. After I got home I went through the process of filling out the claim forms. It was a bit tedious and frustrating but they needed to know what happened.

From my experience, if the issue is serious and needs quick medical attention, I think my decision to go on-line for recommendations was best. Where I was at had a large ex-pat community as well as a large percentage of long-stay snowbirds, so there were enough of them that had required medical attention and knew which hospital was best. I would not have relied on someone in a call centre to give me recommendations considering where I was.
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