4 Things Travel Agents Should Share about Travel Insurance

Written by: on February 04, 2019

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As some destinations begin to require travel insurance, including many European countries, Cuba, and Turkey, travel agents can demonstrate their value by staying up-to-date on insurance and why it is important. Travel agents should know and share these four main points when discussing travel insurance with their clients.

Why would someone purchase travel insurance?

Travel insurance protects a client’s financial investment in their trip if the trip is canceled, interrupted, or delayed for a covered reason. Lost, stolen, or delayed baggage may also be covered in a travel insurance policy. Travel insurance can provide emergency medical and dental coverage. This can be especially important as most US medical insurance policies do not cover clients while they are traveling internationally.

Exactly what is covered varies based on the travel insurance policy a client selects. You should always advise clients to thoroughly read the policy they are considering and contact the insurance provider with any questions. Make sure to offer your clients the option to purchase insurance and never automatically include it in their vacation package.

Remember, you do not “sell” travel insurance, as travel agents are not insurance agents. Instead, tell your clients that you offer the option to purchase travel insurance. Don’t try to “decode” the policy for your clients. You don’t want to misstate something or tell a client something is covered that isn’t. Always have clients refer to the policy for details and questions.

If a client cancels their trip, can they get their money back for the trip?

Travel insurance policies cover a variety of unanticipated events, like family, medical, and weather emergencies. Each policy will vary slightly, so again, clients should refer to the policy to see if the reason for their cancelation is covered.

Clients should choose a policy that covers specific reasons for cancelation that they are concerned about. For example, if they plan to travel to the Caribbean during hurricane season, they may opt for a policy that would refund their trip if it is canceled due to a hurricane. It’s important to remind your clients that they will usually not receive any non-refundable deposits or the cost of their travel insurance policy back.

When should clients purchase travel insurance?

The sooner a client purchases travel insurance the better. It is best to offer your clients travel insurance when you present a trip quote. Many clients will purchase the policy when they book their trip, and this maximizes the period of cancellation coverage. It is important for those with pre-existing conditions and those looking for specific coverage, like hurricanes, to purchase as close to the time of booking as possible to ensure they are covered.

For those clients who don’t purchase travel insurance at the time of booking, you will want to make sure to have clients sign a document stating that they were offered travel insurance but declined to purchase it. In most cases, clients can add travel insurance to their trip later, but not always. For example, Allianz usually requires those with certain pre-existing conditions to purchase travel insurance within 14 days of their trip deposit.

How much does travel insurance cost?

The exact cost of travel insurance varies by the cost of the trip being insured and the policy a client selects. Simpler policies can start as low as 4 percent of the cost of the trip while some extensive policies can reach 12 percent of the trip cost. On average, travel insurance costs between 4 and 8 percent of the trip cost. Your clients should select the policy based on the coverage and cost that they feel comfortable with.


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