Making the Most of Low Season Bookings with Travel Insurance Sales

ustia stats infographicIt’s that time of year when it’s likely that more of your clients are traveling than booking trips. Making the most of the sales that come in during shoulder season is key, and maximizing revenues generated from travel insurance sales is part of the overall equation.

How to do this? Offer travel insurance in a way that makes the benefits obvious. Here are some tried-and-true ways:

Timing

The best time to bring up travel insurance with a client is when you outline cancellation penalties for their trip. When your customers discover that there’s a way to avoid losing their vacation investment if they are forced to cancel their trip due to a covered event, they might be more inclined to purchase travel protection.

You might also take this opportunity to remind them that they could be responsible for costs associated with any medical expenses incurred during their trip or lost or stolen baggage and personal items, and that travel insurance can help limit those risks.

Anecdotes are Key

Use personal stories or examples of clients who lost money because they didn’t purchase travel insurance: “Recently, a client who came down with food poisoning the night before his cruise was unable to go on his trip and lost his full trip cost because he didn’t purchase travel protection.”

Focus on Certain Coverages

If possible refer to the client’s specific situation or personal details: “Because your flight arrival is close to the departure of your tour, you might especially consider the Travel Delay and Trip Interruption benefits of the travel protection.”

Coverage for Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

If a client mentions a health condition you might focus on the fact that they could qualify for coverage for pre-existing medical conditions with certain CSA plans:  “Another reason to buy travel protection now is if you have concerns about coverage for pre-existing medical conditions. In order to qualify for coverage for pre-existing medical conditions the travel protection would have to be purchased prior to or within 24 hours of your final trip payment. Other conditions must also be met in order to qualify.”

Keep in mind that many continuing conditions aren’t actually pre-existing medical conditions as defined by the policy/DOC. Particularly if there is no change in condition, medication or treatment during the 180-day look-back period. If the customer asks for more details about what qualifies as a pre-existing condition, please request they call CSA Travel Protection.

Try, Try Again

Don’t lay out all the travel protection coverages up front. Save some until you get a yes or no from the customer so that you’ll have more sales ammo if they are unsure at first. Go over the travel protection when discussing their trip plans and if they decline it, then consider re-pitching when you go over final details and prices.

Overcoming Objections

Sometimes your clients won’t immediately see the benefits of travel insurance. That’s OK, insurance can be a confusing subject. Here are some simple replies to common objections you might encounter that can help your client see the benefits of insuring their trip:

I don’t think I need travel protection.

Sometimes people don’t want travel protection because they aren’t familiar with it and how it can benefit them. Travel insurance is a good way to protect your trip costs from covered events that are out of your control. Life is unpredictable—a survey by the US Travel Insurance Association1 showed that more than one in four American travelers experienced an event that impacted their travel during just one year. Consider the investment you’re making on your vacation. For a lot of people a big trip can be the third biggest investment after their house and car. You wouldn’t leave those investments unprotected and it’s important to do the same thing for your vacation as well.

My credit card will cover it.

Actually, they might not. Credit cards may provide coverage for fewer instances and can offer lower limits. They also may not provide protection for lost baggage, medical expenses or emergency medical transportation—which can be costly if you don’t have the right coverage. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, medical evacuations by air ambulance can cost $50,000-$100,000. In addition, the card could likely only cover the cardholder, while this plan can cover up to 10 people.

I don’t need travel insurance because my medical insurance will cover me on my trip.

You’ll find that primary medical insurance doesn’t always offer coverage outside of a patient’s network. Note that Medicare, in particular, may not provide coverage internationally. This plan provides coverage for Medical and Dental and Emergency Assistance and Transportation, which can be valuable to you should you have a medical emergency during your covered trip. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, medical evacuations by air ambulance can cost $50,000-$100,000. Also, a national survey of travelers, including cruise passengers, found that 63% reported that they or a travel companion had become sick while on vacation.2

What happens if I can’t make a cruise or tour on time?

A trip interruption can throw a serious wrench in travel plans, especially if you’re on a tour or cruise. For example, if adverse weather causes your flight to be canceled, which makes you late for your cruise departure, travel insurance can provide reimbursement for your unused, non-refundable, pre-paid trip costs. You can also be reimbursed for additional transportation costs to return home or rejoin your group.

Can I call back and add the travel protection in the future?

Yes, but it is recommended that you add the travel protection to your reservation now because the plan includes a 10-day Free Look. You can receive a refund of your plan cost as long as you cancel your insurance within 10 days of purchase and have not filed a claim or departed on your trip. This will allow you to research the plan terms and conditions and discuss them with your traveling partners. If we do not hear from you within 10 days then the insurance will remain in force and will be in effect for your trip.

  1. www.tiny.cc/ustiastats
  2. The survey results are based on an Omnitel poll 

Travel insurance plans are administered by Customized Services Administrators, Inc., CA Lic. No. 821931, located in San Diego, CA and doing business as CSA Travel Protection and Insurance Services.  Plans are available to residents of the U.S. but may not be available in all jurisdictions. Benefits and services are described on a general basis; certain conditions and exclusions apply. Travel Retailers may not be licensed to sell insurance, in all states, and are not authorized to answer technical questions about the benefits, exclusions, and conditions of this insurance and cannot evaluate the adequacy of your existing insurance.  This plan provides insurance coverage for your trip that applies only during the covered trip. You may have coverage from other sources that provides you with similar benefits but may be subject to different restrictions depending upon your other coverages. You may wish to compare the terms of this policy with your 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 to you by your travel retailers. If you have any questions about your current coverage, call your insurer, insurance agent or broker.  This notice provides general information on CSA’s products and services only. The information contained herein is not part of an insurance policy and may not be used to modify any insurance policy that might be issued. In the event the actual policy forms are inconsistent with any information provided herein, the language of the policy forms shall govern. 

Travel insurance plans are underwritten by: Generali U.S. Branch, New York, NY; NAIC # 11231. Generali US Branch operates under the following names: Generali Assicurazioni Generali S.P.A. (U.S. Branch) in California, Assicurazioni Generali – U.S. Branch in Colorado, Generali U.S. Branch DBA The General Insurance Company of Trieste & Venice in Oregon, and The General Insurance Company of Trieste and Venice – U.S. Branch in Virginia. Generali US Branch is admitted or licensed to do business in all states and the District of Columbia.

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