Offering Travel Protection may seem complex and scary, but ultimately it is a win-win. As the travel agent, you are not “selling” travel protection but simply offering it. In doing so, you are protecting your clients and you can earn very attractive commission.
If you are wondering if you have to offer travel protection every time or even at all, the short answer to this question is, no. However, you should be offering travel protection every time.
Cory Sobczyk, Vice President at Arch RoamRight, explains “...it is not required that a travel agent offers travel insurance, but it is highly suggested they do. By partnering with a travel insurance provider and offering the coverage, they are adding another level of concierge service to their travelers, showing them that they care for them once they walk out the agency doors and board the plane. It also gives the agent the opportunity to earn additional income through travel insurance commissions.”
With the above in mind and what we have seen with the outbreak of COVID-19, we know firsthand the importance of protecting dream vacations. This article offers four tips about offering travel protection to your clients to protect their travel dreams and your travel business.
Be Smart And Offer Travel Protection From the Start
Instead of treating travel protection like an add-on to the entire trip, present a travel protection quote with the initial quote for their travel plans. DeAnne Petritz, National Sales Manager at Travel Insured International, urges Travel Advisors to include offering a travel protection quote with every single booking. According to DeAnne, a great reason why you should be offering travel protection from the start is because, “it’s an immediate revenue stream from a business perspective.”
Typically agents will receive commission for the purchase of travel protection the following month. With this taken into consideration, you are not only protecting your clients, you are being smart about your travel business.
Help Them Understand, But Don’t Be An Expert
Insurance is complex and it’s best to let the insurance provider explain the ins and outs of a policy if your clients have questions. As the travel agent, you should remain the expert on travel and travel only.
This does not mean to say that you can’t help them understand the benefits. A great way to do this is by sharing real life stories of how travel protection saved the day. Cory Sobczyk, Vice President at Arch RoamRight, summarizes this perfectly and says, “The goal should not be scaring them into buying the coverage, but putting the coverage into a context they can relate to. We have found that making travel insurance coverage relatable to your consumer’s specific circumstances will greatly improve your insurance conversion rates.”
Again, you should never try to be the expert in regards to insurance, but you can stress the importance of understanding their current policies. Encourage them to do their research to make sure they are covered. You can be a helping hand in making sure they are protected and if something goes wrong, they will be happy that you made this a priority.
If They Decline, Make Them Sign
After you have offered Travel Protection to your clients if they decide to decline the purchase of travel protection it’s best practice that you get written confirmation of the declination. This is especially important so you can protect yourself and your business from lawsuits and limit your liability if something does go wrong.
To add to this, Philip Blackwell, National Sales Manager at Travel Insured International says, “Having your clients accept or decline travel protection in writing is a great tool to help your clients understand their risk AND protect you the agent. Consider including an “Optional Travel Protection form” in your suite of client documents to be signed. Many Travel Protection partners offer these types of tools.”
Always Offer Travel Protection
If you missed this at the very beginning, here it is again: You should always be offering travel protection! No, it is not required, but it’s highly suggested and it’s a smart thing to do from a business perspective.
Travel is the best investment one can make and you should encourage travelers to protect that investment. Travelers who purchase trip protection will have peace of mind knowing they are protected in the event something should happen. And when a traveler purchases travel protection this is more money in your pocket. According to Arch RoamRight, “the average commission rate in the industry is around 26%.” Which is great! If this isn’t sticking yet, I will say it again. Always offer travel protection!