Why You Should Scrutinize Your High Net-Worth Clients' Travel

Globetrotting high net-worth individuals vacation in ways which open the doors to often unexpected exposures.

By gaining an understanding of your clients’ lifestyle, you can ensure that they are adequately insured and prepared for every eventuality.

Whether your clients intend to find solace on a yacht aside a far-flung island, or go BASE jumping off a remote mountain cliff, “the biggest thing we can do as advisers is ask the right questions,” says Lisa Lindsay, executive director, Private Risk Management Association, a collaborative group that aims to raise awareness and educate agents and brokers about the evolving insurance industry landscape so they can better serve high net-worth insurance consumers.

Because destinations and activities vary from client to client, the most important thing is to “be inquisitive,” Lindsay says. “It’s really about understanding where they’re going, what they’re going to be doing and what are some of the emergencies that might happen there.”

For example, is your high net-worth client renting a home in the mountains, or in Napa during wildfire season?

“Our message really is to take the time to put in place a preparedness plan,” Lindsay says.

Some clients may charter a sailboat and be out in the ocean for a week. In that case, “it’s important to very diligently vet who’s going to be taking care of them,” Lindsay cautions. “What’s the background of the place they’re chartering the watercraft from? What’s the background of the crew and the captain?”

For the more adventurous traveler who wants to go skydiving or bungee jumping, “the more boilerplate evacuation or medical policy would have exclusions for those type of activities—they’re looking for policies with all the bells and whistles,” Lindsay points out.

And because high net-worth individuals are more likely to take international vacations, “we’re advising clients that they need to do their due diligence on where they’re traveling,” Lindsay recommends. “South America springs to mind because there’s a kidnap & ransom trend there.”

For all these reasons, compared to standard travel insurance, “the high net-worth individual would be looking to buy a policy that has a higher limit,” Lindsay points out. “By having these conversations in a more proactive way, we will help consumers, communities and society overall.”

Will Jones is IA assistant editor.