“The practice of automatically charging consumers for ancillary travel insurance unless consumers take action to decline coverage does not comply with the requirement of ‘informed consent.’ Consumers must be given the opportunity to affirmatively accept travel insurance or any other insurance coverage.”
-Informational memo by Kevin M. McCarty, Commissioner of the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation
State insurance regulators for two major rental markets, California and Florida, recently issued statements against the use of the opt-out sales practices to sell travel insurance.
Recently you may have heard discussion about different ways in which travel insurance and vacation rental damage protection can be sold, and that the practice of “opt-out” sales is something that the industry is diligently moving away from. We must adapt to changing trends in regulation in order to keep growing as an industry.
As an industry leader, CSA Travel Protection stays up-to-date on regulatory issues that impact your business and we strive to proactively address developments as they happen and keep our partners informed.
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) issued an informational memorandum on February 3, 2015 advising that the practice of automatically charging for ancillary travel insurance without obtaining the informed consent of the applicant, more commonly known as opt-out, does not comply with the requirement of informed consent. The OIR’s position applies to all insurance sales to residents of Florida, regardless of the origin of sale. In addition, if your business operates in the state of Florida, you may be subject to further restrictions on sales.
On March 9, 2015, the California Department of Insurance issued a notice stating that using opt-out sales practices to sell travel insurance on travel websites violates California law. Further, the Department warns that the California Insurance Commissioner can enforce pre-sale travel insurance disclosure requirements by imposing fines and suspending or revoking the license of any limited lines travel insurance agent.
Review the memorandum from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation and the notice from the California Department of Insurance (click links to view documents).
What does this mean for you?
If you’re already a CSA partner, we’re ready immediately to help you adhere to these recently published positions. We have been working with software providers in preparation for this change in the regulatory environment and we are in the process of developing new best practices and marketing tools.
If you’re not a CSA partner, contact us at email@example.com or (800) 989-8684 to find out how we can build a valuable travel insurance program that’s focused on maximizing your revenue and guest satisfaction, while minimizing risks related to non-compliance.
Click here to learn more about CSA’s Vacation Rental Damage Protection and travel insurance plans.
This plan provides insurance that applies only during the covered trip. Your customers may have coverage from other sources that provides them with similar benefits but may be subject to different restrictions depending upon their other coverages. Customers may wish to compare the terms of this policy with their existing life, health, home and automobile policies. The purchase of this plan is not required in order to purchase any other travel product or service offered by you by your travel retailers.
Plans are available to residents of the United States. Benefits and services are described on a general basis. Certain terms and conditions may apply. Your travel retailer may not be licensed to sell insurance, and cannot answer technical questions about the benefits, exclusions, and conditions of this insurance and cannot evaluate the adequacy of your existing insurance. For questions or complete information on policy benefits, limits and exclusions, please contact CSA at (800) 348-9505 or http://www.csatravelprotection.com/certpolicy.do for a sample Description of Coverage or Insurance Policy for this plan.
These plans are administered by CSA Travel Protection and Insurance Services. Services are provided through CSA’s designated providers. Travel Insurance is Underwritten by: Generali U.S. Branch, New York, New York; NAIC # 11231 (all states except as otherwise noted) under Policy/Certificate Form series T001. California is Underwritten by Generali Assicurazioni Generali S.P.A. (U.S. Branch), Colorado is Underwritten by Assicurazioni Generali – U.S. Branch, Oregon is Underwritten by Generali U.S. Branch DBA The General Insurance Company of Trieste & Venice, and Virginia is Underwritten by The General Insurance Company of Trieste and Venice – U.S. Branch.