Travel protection may not be the primary reason you are contacted by your clients, but it can be one of the most valuable services you offer them. There are many unexpected challenges your clients may face leading up to and during the trip. As their travel professional, you can help them prepare for the unexpected.
MH Ross provides travel protection solutions to businesses throughout the travel industry: resorts, airlines, cruise lines, tour operators, travel agents, OTAs, you name it. We wrote our first travel insurance program in 1961 and since then have been protecting travelers’ vacation investments, their personal belongings, and most importantly, the travelers themselves. In January 2009, we became a Trip Mate brand, joining one of the industry’s largest and most respected administrators of travel insurance programs.
If you are not currently offering travel protection to your clients, consider these five possibilities and whether you’d prefer to have given them an option, such as an MH Ross plan.
Nightmare 1: Illness in the Family – Trip Cancelled
Plan Benefit: Trip Cancellation
Vacation is just around the corner and the family couldn’t be more excited. Then, terrible news arrives. An elderly family member has been hospitalized. Of course, they cannot travel during such uncertain circumstances. Once they decided, they contacted each travel provider to cancel all of their arrangements.
Without travel protection, this family could be facing severe cancellation penalties, or even lose their entire vacation budget.
Fortunately, this family insured their trip costs, so they can recoup their losses. They file a Trip Cancellation claim, documenting the medical emergency and the expenses for unused and non-refundable travel arrangements. Even though this trip involved multiple airlines, hotels, and other travel arrangements, the family is paid the total amount for all of their pre-paid expenses that were not refunded.
They don’t have to suffer a financial loss because of a family emergency, and you helped make that possible by offering them travel protection.
Nightmare 2: You Arrive – Your Luggage Does Not
Plan Benefits: Baggage Delay, and Baggage Loss
As a travel professional, you are likely no stranger to stories about mishandled luggage. It can be extremely frustrating to arrive on vacation only to immediately be dealing with delayed bags. Let’s say it isn’t only delayed, but lost. The airline takes the travelers’ information and promises to deliver the luggage when (if) it arrives. Twelve hours pass, still no bags and they are still wearing the same clothes.
If these travelers left for their trip without travel protection, they may find themselves at the mercy of the airlines, and can expect to incur some unplanned expenses.
However, having purchased a travel protection plan, the Baggage Delay benefit can reimburse these travelers for necessary items while they are without their luggage: a change of clothes, toiletries, etc. They made sure to save receipts.
The airline calls, the luggage cannot be located. It is gone for good. This bad news is somewhat alleviated because the travelers know that items permanently lost, stolen, or damaged may be covered by the Baggage Loss benefit. The trip is almost over anyway, and the travelers return home to file two travel protection claims.
The Baggage Delay claim is submitted with documentation of the delay from the airline, as well as the receipts for the replacement items purchased. The traveler is made whole for those unexpected costs, up to the maximum benefit limit of the plan purchased. The Baggage Loss claim is filed with documentation of the lost luggage along with a list of what was lost and their replacement value. The traveler is paid benefits for those covered possessions that are permanently lost, up to the benefit limit.
Instead of enduring the aggravation and unplanned expenses, they were able to overcome annoyance knowing their belongings were protected, and you helped them do so.
Nightmare 3: Medical Emergency – Out Of Network
Plan Benefits: Emergency Medical Expense, Emergency Medical Evacuation
Quite possibly the worst case scenario for any traveler is a medical emergency while abroad. An unexpected illness or accidental injury is not something people typically consider. This could be a situation like a cruise passenger at their first Caribbean port-of-call, who took a taxi only to then be injured in a car accident. An ambulance takes the passenger to the hospital to receive immediate medical care. Depending on the medical need, this could involve a helicopter airlift from the scene, between medical facilities to receive specialized treatment, or medical transportation back to the hospital in their home city.
Many people won’t know how much coverage their home medical insurance offers out of network, or out of state, much less out of the country. Would their coverage also include the expenses of a helicopter airlift and a medical jet, or will those be out of pocket?
Since this cruise passenger had purchased a travel protection plan, those concerns didn’t pose a threat. Once the passenger was able, he placed a collect call to the 24 hour emergency assistance line. Emergency assistance service coordinated with him and the medical facility made sure the necessary treatment and transportation was provided. The passenger kept copies of all medical records from this event and filed two claims when he returned home: Emergency Medical Expense and Emergency Medical Evacuation.
Without travel protection, how much more would this trip have actually cost your client?
Nightmare 4: Cutting the Trip Short
Plan Benefit: Trip Interruption
We just left our cruise passenger under quality medical supervision and he’s on the mend, but we shouldn’t forget this happened on the first port-of-call for his cruise. He likely missed several other ports and most of the days of the cruise. Should those pre-paid costs be considered a loss, or will he come back to his travel professional to try and recoup the loss?
Similar to the first scenario about Trip Cancellation benefits before the trip begins, because our passenger insured his trip costs, his plan included Trip Interruption benefits. Trip Interruption means the trip has started and is impacted by one of the covered perils listed in the plan. An unexpected injury that occurs during the trip is a covered peril. Since it caused his trip to end early, a Trip Interruption claim can reimburse the pre-paid trip cost that went unused and was not refunded.
Had he not protected his cruise, the resulting financial loss would have added insult to injury. Instead, he’s grateful you offered him the chance to purchase travel protection.
Nightmare 5: Anything You Choose
Plan Benefit: Cancel For Any Reason
We already discussed the Trip Cancellation benefit. This benefit pays when the trip is cancelled before it begins and the cause of the cancellation is one of the covered reasons listed in the plan documents. The list includes things that are out of your control and unexpected: medical emergencies, death in the family, weather delays, hurricanes, among other reasons. While this list covers many bases, it doesn’t include every conceivable reason a traveler may want to cancel.
So what do you offer the client who wants more flexibility to be able to cancel? The solution is a benefit called Cancel For Any Reason. It means just that – you cancel and don’t have to explain why.
There are some requirements to qualify and plans may vary. One such plan must be purchased within fifteen days of first paying a deposit on the trip, the full trip cost must be insured, and the last chance to cancel is two days before the trip. Cancel For Any Reason will reimburse 75% of the trip cost that was not refunded.
So the next time your client is concerned about a bad hair day, the dog having puppies, the kid’s soccer playoffs, or any other reason under the sun that may cause them to cancel, you have a solution to offer.
The importance of offering travel protection to your clients cannot be stressed enough. At MH Ross, we have decades of experience offering quality programs protecting generations of travelers. We hope you would choose us for the opportunity to discuss how to best serve your clients, but most important is that you make sure to give your clients the opportunity to protect their investment, belongings, and themselves.
We know that you have many choices in selecting your travel insurance provider. When you select us, you have a team of experienced specialists and technical experts in the travel insurance industry working together to provide you with prompt and professional service. We strive to anticipate your needs and solve your problems before they occur.
We value your business and promise that we will always provide you with the integrity and service for which we are known. Superior customer service is as important to us as it is to you. We promise to provide you with:
- People Who Care – Our staff listens to what you have to say.
- Prompt, responsive solutions – Our staff will answer your questions or solve your problems quickly.
- Returned calls within 24 hours – If our phones are busy and you leave a message, we will call you back within 24 hours. Generally, most calls are returned same day.
- Industry-leading plans – We provide you with coverage that is flexible, usable and affordable.
Please visit us at www.mhross.com to learn more. We look forward to hearing from you.