Timing Matters: When to Offer Your Customers Travel Insurance

Though some Americans may still be clearing remnants of New Year confetti out of furniture and carpets, many are already starting to make their summer vacation plans. In doing so, they are faced with a decision that CSA partners can help them with—when to buy travel insurance.

When your customers are planning a trip it’s a good idea to inform them about the ideal time to protect their trip with travel insurance. When they buy a plan could affect the value of that plan. Some travel protection coverages and features might or might not be included, depending on whether the plan is purchased when a trip is first booked, at final payment or later.

We recommend that travelers don’t wait to buy travel insurance. Help them travel smarter and offer them travel protection to show you care about their overall trip experience. If they decide to wait, they may find that something could force them to cancel their trip and, since they didn’t protect their trip before the event that caused the cancellation, they could lose their prepaid, nonrefundable trip costs.

Here’s some language you can use when discussing this with your customers:

  • “The financially prudent thing to do is to buy insurance when you have money at risk.”
  • “If you buy nonrefundable airfare, your money is at risk right away.”
  • “For cruises and tours, it may not be an issue until cancellation penalties start to kick in. That could be at six months prior to departure.”

Here are some details about specific time-sensitive coverages and features related to CSA’s travel insurance plans:

Trip Cancellation

When travelers can’t go on their trip due to a covered reason, Trip Cancellation pays for forfeited, pre-paid, non-refundable travel arrangements. It is too late to be covered for Trip Cancellation if they purchase the policy the day before departure because the coverage doesn’t go into effect until 12:01am the next day. We suggest travelers buy a plan when they make the first trip payment, like airfare or a cruise. That way the insured has a long coverage period in case they need to cancel the trip. Then, they can add coverage to the same plan for additional trip arrangements, such as hotel stays, tours, cruises, and other forms of transportation.

Free Look Back Period

For travelers who have bought a plan but wish to cancel and receive a full refund, they may do so within a designated number of days from the date of purchase as long as they haven’t left for their trip or filed a claim. This is referred to as a “free look back” period and is available with all CSA Travel Protection plans. While the timeframe for the free look back varies from state to state, it is generally 10 days from purchase. Travelers should always refer to their Description of Coverage/Insurance Policy documents to determine the number of free look back days available in their state of residence.

Pre-existing Conditions

Some travelers may need to look for plans that offer coverage for pre-existing medical conditions when they buy travel insurance. It’s important to know the purchase window for covering pre-existing conditions in case that’s an important travel insurance feature for a client. Coverage must be bought prior to or within 24 hours of the final trip payment, travelers must be medically able to travel at the time the plan is purchased and all prepaid trip costs that are subject to cancellation penalties or restrictions must be insured. Also, remember that only some of our plans offer coverage for pre-existing medical condition.

If your customers have further questions about the timing of their travel protection purchase and how that might affect what’s included with the plan, please call our Customer Service representatives at 1-800-348-9505.

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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