Written By: Christa O’Rear, Marketing Manager, Travelex Insurance Service
If your clients have never insured their travels, they may wonder if the price – usually 4% to 10% of total trip cost – is worth it. Chances are one in six a trip could be impacted by unforeseen issues like a medical condition, natural disaster, or mechanical or common carrier delay, according to a survey for the US Travel Insurance Association (UStiA). Travel insurance can help keep one’s investment safe from unexpected personal or financial burdens that may ruin a trip.
Travel insurance is beneficial for several reasons.
- Prepaid, Nonrefundable Vacations: Travel protection is recommended if cancelling, interrupting or delaying a trip could cause serious financial burden. Most people advise they would protect a trip costing $500 or more per person, according to a survey for UStiA. Don’t forget, return air fare for an interrupted trip usually costs at least 150% of the original ticket price. Consider these covered reasons to cancel, interrupt or delay a trip, included in Travelex Insurance Services’ plans.
- What if a natural disaster or terrorist act prevents your clients from leaving on a trip?
- What if a non-traveling family member is hospitalized during a trip and your clients need to return home early?
- What if a flight is delayed, causing your clients to miss part of their trip and incur extra expenses?
- Emergency Medical and Evacuation: Anytime your clients travel outside the United States or to a remote location, purchasing a travel protection plan is recommended. Medicare and many health insurance carriers may stop or decrease coverage once a person leaves the country. Did you know hospitals outside the United States may ask for payment prior to treatment? Travel protection helps secure your clients’ physical and financial well-being when the unexpected occurs while travelling.
- Lost, Stolen or Delayed Baggage: Traveling with checked luggage? If your clients’ bags are lost or stolen while on a trip, they can be reimbursed for the replacement of their belongings. If baggage arrival at their destination is merely delayed, they can be reimbursed for the emergency purchase of personal items to help them enjoy the trip.
- Travel Assistance and Concierge Services: What if a client becomes injured during a trip and needs to find an English-speaking doctor? Some travel insurance companies offer 24/7 helpline with their protection plans that travelers can call for help finding a nearby hospital, travel health information or even local restaurant recommendations. All Travelex plans include 24-hour travel assistance and concierge services* at no additional charge.
Now that you understand the top reasons your clients may wish to purchase travel protection, consider these frequently asked questions when comparing various travel protection plans.
- How much emergency medical and evacuation coverage do I need? Medical evacuation and transport costs start at $25,000 and can exceed $250,000, according to USAtoday.com. The cost of hospital stays internationally can vary greatly. In 2015, Travelex’s approved assistance provider, On Call International, guaranteed payment to foreign hospitals of about $10,000 per person on average, as related to Travelex protection plans.
- Are pre-existing medical conditions typically covered? Travel insurance companies may waive your client’s pre-existing condition if they purchase travel protection within a designated time frame, usually within 3-30 days of their initial trip payment. Non-traveling family members do not need a pre-existing condition exclusion waiver with any Travelex plans.
- Primary or excess coverage? Primary coverage is less complicated. With excess coverage, your clients need to exhaust benefits from existing policies and supply proof of their carrier’s disposition before filing a claim for the travel protection benefits. A deductible payment may also be required before the plan kicks in. With primary coverage, your clients typically receive reimbursement on eligible losses before any other collectible policy. This becomes important when considering the time required to file and process a claim and receive payment. All Travelex plans are first payer coverage. On average, 94% of Travelex claims are paid, according to Transamerica Casualty Insurance Company claims administration, with most claims paid within 8-10 days from the date all requirements are received. A plan with no deductibles will help keep your clients’ out-of-pocket expenses low.
- How do I know what’s covered? Your clients will receive coverage documents after purchasing a protection plan. It’s wise for them to read the terms and conditions of the plan thoroughly to understand available benefits and plan exclusions. (Helpful hint: Most travel insurance companies, including Travelex, make documents available online and have call center experts available to answer questions.) Your clients should take these important coverage documents on their trip in case they need emergency assistance or have to file a claim.
- What if I change my mind after I’ve paid for a travel protection plan? Some travel insurance companies offer a review period, sometimes called a free look period. If your clients are not completely satisfied with the purchase, they will be refunded the premium cost, within a specified timeframe, if they have not already departed for the trip or filed a claim. All Travelex plans include a 10-day free look period.
- Doesn’t my credit card or regular insurance provide travel–related protection? If your clients think they’re covered by their credit card, homeowners, auto, or health insurance, it’s wise for them to contact each company and read the fine print. Many companies may stop or limit coverage once your clients leave the United States or only cover expenses purchased with the company’s credit card. Remember, if your clients ever need to file a claim against the travel protection plan, the plan will most likely pay for itself.
Travelex Insurance Services offers travel protection plans for families, adventurers, business travelers, honeymooners, students and more. For more information on Travelex protections plans please visit our website at www.travelexinsurance.com, or contact our Sales Development Department at TISSalesDevelopment@travelexinsurance.com or 1-800-537-8052.
Travelex Insurance Services has been supporting travel protection plans since 1996. Travel Insurance is underwritten by Transamerica Casualty Insurance Company, Columbus, OH; NAIC #10952, rated A (3rd of 16 ratings) by A.M. Best Company for financial strength as of June 15, 2016 and has over 50 years of underwriting experience.*Travelex travel assistance & concierge services are provided by the designated provider as listed in the description of coverage.