Earlier in March, ACTA had the opportunity to meet with Richard Gotfried, Alberta MLA representing the electoral district of Calgary-Fish Creek.
Mr. Gotfried is familiar to the travel industry having worked for Cathay Pacific Airways as Regional Manager for the Prairies for many years.
His insight into the overall operations of a travel agency was helpful in explaining our concerns with the constraints placed on travel agents selling travel health insurance in the province of Alberta. Our message to government is clear: Reduce Regulatory Burden and Ensure that Consumers are Properly Insured with Travel Health Insurance.
For the past five years, ACTA and members of the ACTA Regional Council Insurance Sub-Committee have engaged in a dialogue with the Alberta Insurance Council (AIC) and others with regard to challenges facing the industry in the province. The primary issues and our recommendations are:
1. The sale of travel insurance by individual travel agents working with licensed Travel Agencies as Independent Contractors;
Recommendation: That the current provisions of Section 454 of the Alberta Insurance Act be harmonized with the legislation and regulations of British Columbia and Saskatchewan so as to enable individual independent contractor travel agents to sell travel insurance to Alberta residents.
2. The Inter-provincial sale of travel insurance, and the need for harmonization;
Recommendation: That the Alberta government harmonize the requirements relating to the sale of travel insurance to Canadians by entering into dialogue with other signatory provinces.
3. The lack of representation of the travel industry on the Alberta Insurance Council and any future regulatory body that may be established in the province to control the sale of insurance
Recommendation: That the Insurance Act be amended to ensure that the holders of restricted insurance licenses are represented on the AIC or any future regulatory body by a separate council or by appropriate representation on one of the other existing Councils.
As Alberta heads into an election, it is important that ACTA and our member agencies voice these concerns to their MLAs. For more information, please contact Heather Craig-Peddie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The meeting with Mr. Gotfried was one agenda item at the ACTA Alberta Regional Council Meeting held on March 6, 2019. New council members Jacob Kos and Jaime Murphy CTM were welcomed by Chair, Peter Keyter. Also in attendance was guest presenter Greg Duhaime, Senior Manager Business Development National, Travel Insurance for Manulife. The concerns conveyed to the Alberta government is fully supported by our Insurance partners as they have also had to navigate the bureaucratic channels in order to comply with the regulations.