TORONTO - Royal Bank of Canada said it would acquire Voyageur Insurance Co., the largest supplier of travel insurance through retail travel agents in Canada.

Royal Bank did not disclose the terms of the purchase, being made from Voyageur's parent, Crawley, Warren Group PLC of London.

It is the first acquisition of an insurance company since a June change in Canadian law that allowed banks to own 100% of insurance companies and to offer travel insurance.

Christopher Markwell, Royal's senior vice president for insurance, said demand for specialized travel insurance was rising.

He pointed to "cutbacks in provincial medical plans and medical coverage available through charge cards."

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