With spring break and summer trips on the horizon, here are three things to discuss with your clients.
Bathing suits, flip flops and sunscreen have often been the staples when packing for a tropical vacation. But these days, masks, sanitizer and COVID-19 tests have become the must-have essentials to pack for a getaway. And with many travelers vowing to take those bucket list vacations this year, it's not enough to protect themselves only from COVID-19; it's also critical that they protect their trip investment with the right type of travel insurance.
“If you decide to travel, you will want to research what mandates are in place and if they could impact your travel plans," says Lisa Lindsay, executive director for Private Risk Management Association (PRMA). “Mandates could include negative testing or vaccination status requirements and international travel restrictions. For example, you want to know whether you'll be required to quarantine for 14 days once you arrive at your destination."
“Check out the U.S. Department of State and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites in addition to the website of the state or country to review travel restrictions that may impact your trip," Lindsay adds.
With spring break and summer trips on the horizon, this is the perfect time to discuss travel insurance with your clients. Here are three things to consider:
1) Proactively discuss travel plans. As part of your risk management process, consider incorporating related questions and prompts into your client reviews:
- Where do you like to travel?
- When is your next vacation planned, and where are you going?
- How will you reach your destination?
- Do you have any concerns about traveling?
- What type of activities do you usually partake in on vacation?
- Have you ever considered adding travel insurance?
2) Protect against cancellations. Because of the ever-changing guidelines that vary between states and countries, travelers may cancel a trip at a moment's notice. Travel insurance is available for a nominal premium for these circumstances. As knowledge around travel cancellation insurance continues to become more mainstream, clients will not only seek out these coverages, but they should become a part of your risk management discussions and reviews.
3) Tailor coverage. Coverage varies significantly between carriers, and each client has specific wants and needs. Consider which policy best fits their lifestyle and the location where they plan to travel.
The most requested coverages in travel insurance are:
- Cancel for any reason endorsement. This endorsement typically provides a valuable solution that gives travelers the most flexibility to recoup their expenses if they cancel their plans for any reason except those explicitly excluded in their policies.
- Trip delay coverage. This coverage reimburses your client when an event beyond their control delays or interrupts a scheduled trip. Based on the specific policy, travelers can be refunded for temporary hotel accommodations, food and even airfare costs if they are placed on a different flight or change travel plans. Trip delay coverage can also include additional items, such as compensation for lost or delayed baggage and travel assistance services.
- Travel medical coverages. Medical endorsements can provide coverages for emergencies, such as accidental bodily injury, various illnesses and loss of life beyond what their primary medical providers typically cover. These endorsements would offer valuable options to clients who travel and look for an additional layer of medical protection. Some policies also provide medical evacuation and repatriation if a client needs specialized transport to a hospital or return home.
Since coverages vary, agents should not take a one-size-fits-all approach, but you can find the coverage that best fits your clients' needs with the endorsements available to round out their coverage. Contact the carriers you represent to ask about their travel insurance options.
Whether your clients are bound for sandy beaches, breathtaking waterfalls or snow-covered mountains, remember to ask them about their travel plans and offer them coverage options to protect their next trip.
Bryan Newman is field marketing director, personal lines, with The Cincinnati Insurance Company, and Ken Smith is vice president, private client services, at Marsh McLennan. Both Newman and Smith are members of the Private Risk Management Association (PRMA), a nonprofit educational organization in the high net-worth insurance industry.