Last-Minute Bookings Still Need Travel Insurance!

Monthly Sales Tip:
by Isaac Cymrot

Pop quiz!  Your client comes in and books a trip departing in two weeks but declines insurance because the departure date is so close. Do you:

A.  Offer the Worldwide Trip Protector (WTP) as you normally would.

B.  Let them walk out the door with nothing.

C.  Explain that while trip cancellation coverage may no longer be a priority they should still cover themselves for medical emergencies, trip delay, etc while traveling.

If you answered C then you would be correct!  If you chose option A that’s not a bad choice either, but if you encounter resistance you do have an alternative.  Since there has been a dramatic increase in last-minute bookings this year many travel consultants are searching out alternatives for insurance.  One frequently overlooked but appropriate choice is to book the policy at $0 trip cost.

Travel consultants who have been selling our products since before April of 2008 will remember this as our Post Departure program.  The distinguishing feature of the $0 trip cost purchase is that the policy effective date, instead of being one day after the policy is purchased, is not effective until the day of departure. There is no trip cancellation coverage, and trip interruption is limited to $1,000 return air only. Your clients, however, do receive the full emergency medical, medical evacuation, trip delay, baggage benefits and everything else included in the “normal” policy. All of this is included in the $0 trip cost policy at a ridiculously affordable cost.  In addition to the client still receiving excellent coverage, you still earn your commission.

Let us do the math for a moment. Say that you book 20 last-minute packages this summer.  Imagine that all of them, for the sake of this calculation, are in the 36-60 age bracket with each package consisting of 2 people.  The premium rate for the $0 trip plan is $30 per person to cover a $1,000 per person trip, as opposed to $51 for the Worldwide Trip Protector plan. The $30 premium yields $1,200 in total premium for those 20 packages.  The 20 package sales would result in your commission at 25% totaling $300.

Demonstrating your ability to sell this alternative solution for insurance is just one more way to differentiate yourself and prove the value in booking through your agency.  While many clients do not think there is a need for insurance if they are leaving in two weeks, you can draw on your own experiences. Continue to tell the stories about the clients who have had some unforeseen disruption happen to them while traveling.

When your clients tell you they have no need of insurance, tell them a “why” story and sell them the $0 trip cost policy as their affordable, alternative solution.

The time you find yourself in this position, just think about your last client who did not have insurance and needed medical treatment. Think of the one who had a flight delay and had to book an unexpected hotel, or another client who lost his or her bags. Think of all the different disruptions that have occurred to your clients or even to other friends you know while traveling.  The extra time you take to explain why insurance is still important for the last-minute trip could earn you a client for life. It could also win you a bunch of referrals should something go wrong!  Don’t forget that if they purchase their policy within 14 days of initial deposit, or if they pay in full, they still receive the pre-existing conditions waiver!

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One Response to Last-Minute Bookings Still Need Travel Insurance!

  1. It seems to me that, for last-minute sales, we should try to sell the policy to include full interruption insurance first; then try the zero trip cost option.

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