ITIC | International Travel & Health Insurance Conferences

Meet the ITIC Global committee: Brad Dance, TuGo

As we finalise preparations for the upcoming ITIC Global conference in Madrid, we have been catching up with the ITIC Global committee, and are pleased to share their views on the return of international travel ahead of the conference. We recently spoke with ITIC committee member Brad Dance, Chief Customer Officer of TuGo, about starting to travel again and the current situation for travel insurers operating in Canada.

How’s it going in Canada with vaccination rates? Can you join us in Madrid for ITIC Global?

After a very slow start, I think Canada is now one of the leaders in the world. Over 70 per cent of Canadians have had at least one dose, while over 57 per cent are fully vaccinated. In my home province of British Columbia, 81.8 per cent of all eligible adults have received their first dose and 66.1 per cent have received their second dose. My plan is to be in Madrid. I would have to say I am looking most forward to any sessions that don’t mention the word Covid, pandemic, unprecedented times or you are on mute. (editors note: check out the agenda here to see which sessions Brad will avoiding…)

How are travel insurers in Canada updating their policies in light of the increased risks of cancellation and self-isolation following a positive Covid test?

As Covid is a known circumstance, most trip cancellation products in Canada would not provide coverage in the event of a cancellation due to Covid. The exception to this would be some Cancel for any Reason products that are available.

What are the major challenges facing the Canadian insurance market right now – are there signs of consolidation, or a lack of underwriting capacity affecting provision of insurance?

Have not seen a lot of consolidation. Covid coverage under medical does vary from insurer to insurer. We are starting to see more insurers providing the coverage within their base plans, primarily for those who have been vaccinated. For those unvaccinated, coverage is also available, typically at a higher cost and a lower limit.

What are you most looking forward to about travelling again, and is there anything about travelling you are not looking forward to?

Honestly just being able to travel. For someone who was on the road regularly, being home for the last 17 months has been both challenging and enjoyable, but it is definitely time to get back at it. I did my first trip a couple weeks ago and it was different. The biggest challenge was wearing a mask for the duration of a five-hour flight. Though the trip was domestic, I will say internationally I’m not looking forward to the tests both leaving and re-entering Canada and the extra processes I will have to go through in order to travel internationally. Having said that, we do need to get the world travelling again, so I’m willing to put up with it.

Brad Dance – Chief Customer, TuGo

Brad joined TuGo in 2003 as Executive Director, Business Development. He’s now Chief Customer Officer and responsible for all customer-facing operations. In addition to overseeing growth in the traditional sales segments, he manages the Customer Operations and Customer Service teams.

Brad brings more than 35 years of insurance experience to the team, 25 of which were spent with AON and Marsh & McLennan, where his role involved providing risk management and consulting services to corporate clients, with an emphasis on medical and health insurance program structure.

Most recently, he served as President of Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada’s (THiA) Executive Board, having previously served as Vice-President. He is still active on the Executive Board in his current role of Past President.

Brad attended Concordia University College of Alberta and the University of Alberta. He has a Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker designation.

ITIC Global Madrid 2021

ITIC Global is an annual gathering of the travel and health insurance community. It’s where you can connect with partners and colleagues, hear from insightful speakers and join discussions that shape the future of our industry. ITIC Global 2021 is taking place in Madrid, Spain 31 October – 4 November, and marks our return to face-to-face business networking after an 18-month hiatus.

Stay connected and join our conversation #ITICGlobal