Half of Canadians shun purchasing travel insurance

Thomas Cook makes it easier to protect yourself against trip hazards

TORONTO, Jan. 21 /CNW/ - While more than 50 per cent of Canadians have had their flights delayed or cancelled and one in four say they have had their luggage lost, only half of Canadians see a need to purchase travel insurance, according to a survey released today by Thomas Cook Financial Services.

The survey - conducted by Harris/Decima as part of its Televox National Telephone Omnibus January 7 to 10, 2010 - asked Canadians about travel insurance and mishaps that occur on vacations. The results surprised seasoned travel executives.

"You should never leave home without travel insurance, especially when we know what can happen when you leave the country," says Kevin McAdam, Director Financial Services for Thomas Cook North America. "Our figures prove that travel insurance is all too often forgotten in the excitement of getting ready to go on vacation, or even worse, it is considered by some to be non-essential."

"But something as commonplace as a lost bag or visit to a doctor abroad could see a person shelling out hundreds of dollars if they don't have insurance," McAdam continued. "Why take the risk?"

The news coincides with the launch of Thomas Cook Travel Insurance, the most-consumer friendly travel insurance package available. This travel insurance plan offers consumers the choice from trip, medical and all-inclusive travel insurance options as well as many new features and benefits including:

    -   Exceptional tour and cruise cancellation coverage; up to $2,000
    -   Emergency medical insurance covers up to $5 million, and up to $350
        per day for accommodation and meal expenses along with additional
        expenses covered to allow a member of your family or friend to be by
        your bedside or arrange childcare
    -   Thoughtful inclusions per trip such as a $500 benefit for
        passport/travel visa replacement, up to $500 in case of loss of
        personal items on your trip, up to $500 for pet return and up to $500
        for mislaid luggage
    -   In addition, Thomas Cook covers you up to $100 against loss of your
        personal money and up to $200 for any foreign currency purchased from
        Thomas Cook
    -   To make things even easier, Thomas Cook offers a 10-day money back
        promise from date of purchase if customers decide this is not the
        policy for them. Or, if a customer would like to modify their
        insurance, they can adjust the insurance package to their liking
    -   Quick claims settlement within five business days*
    -   Easy online purchase at www.thomascook.ca/travelinsurance or by
        calling our toll-free number 1-877-764-5199

"Travel is a lot more fun when you know you are protected from misfortunes," McAdam continued. "Thomas Cook is the consumer champion, offering travel insurance that is accessible and affordable, with terms that are easy to understand and in the consumer's interest."

From as little as $10 per trip(xx), Thomas Cook Travel Insurance gives Canadians the safety net they need to relax and enjoy their vacations.

Thomas Cook Travel Insurance is the first new product announcement by Thomas Cook Financial Services for 2010. Thomas Cook Financial Services was introduced to the Canadian market in June 2009 with the opening of its flagship store in Toronto, with an initial offering of commission-free foreign currency exchange offering more than 100 currencies on demand or within 24 hours, in any denomination, with no purchase limit.

Thomas Cook Financial Services also introduced Canada's first four-currency ATM with instant availability of US Dollars, Euros, GB pounds and Canadian Dollars, and rolled out its foreign exchange service to retail stores in Barrie, Mississauga, Saskatoon, Kelowna and Ottawa with each store featuring the four-currency ATM, as well as offering the option of pre-ordering over 100 foreign currencies and American Express(R) Travellers Cheques for next-day delivery, picked up from a range of selected locations.

Two new four-currency ATMs are launching in early 2010 - one in Markham, and the other in Waterloo.

About Thomas Cook

Thomas Cook Financial Services is a fully-owned subsidiary of Thomas Cook Canada, which is part of Thomas Cook Group plc, the second largest leisure travel group in the world. Thomas Cook Group plc was created by the merger of MyTravel Group plc and Thomas Cook AG in June 2007.

With a portfolio of market leading travel brands across the U.K., Europe, India, the Middle East and North America, Thomas Cook is committed to providing the best quality products and services to its customers, and continuing to deliver shareholder value.

Each year, more than 22 million people choose to travel with Thomas Cook Group plc, buying holidays from its network of more than 3,400 owned or franchised travel stores, online or through call centres.

    * Claims settlement within five days is subject to all the correct
        documentation being available to process the claim.
    (xx)$10 per trip relates to a single trip travel insurance product with
        medical covering travel between one and four days, for an adult up to
        the age of 25 years.


For further information: For further information: Mary-Margaret Jones, PUNCH Canada, (416) 360-6522 ext. 241, marymargaret@punchcanada.com; Kerry Sharpe, Communications Specialist, Thomas Cook Canada, (416) 485-1481 ext. 6309, kerry.sharpe@thomascookgroup.ca

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