All-Inclusive Vacations: Covering the Extras is a Reason to Prepay

February 17, 2009

Value Added Insurance

Offer your clients one more reason in the current economy to consider an all-inclusive vacation, such as an all-inclusive resort, a cruise or an escorted tour. Trips that include prepaid, and potentially non-refundable, components such as meals, sports activities, sightseeing excursions and entertainment, can be protected by a Worldwide Trip Protector plan that covers all of the extras, provided these prepaid costs are included in the premium paid for the plan. In many cases the insurance premium paid is a minimal increase over the cost of protecting a vacation that does not cover the food, activities, sightseeing and entertainment paid for during the course of a non-inclusive vacation.

When your clients are considering whether to book an independent vacation in which they pay for extras as they go, or an all-inclusive trip in which daily expenses are included, protecting these extra items at minimal added cost with a WTP plan can tip their mind toward the all-inclusive. Remind them that even if they purchase a WTP plan with their initial trip deposit and add prepaid excursions, or a prepaid meal plan or prepaid entertainment or all of the above prior to departure they can still update their WTP plan to include coverage for these prepaid extras. Once again, there is minimal added premium. Either way, the coverage of prepaid vacation components by your clients brings them added trip protection and brings you increased income dollars, both from the added revenue of an all-inclusive travel booking and your added insurance commission!

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Research Says Happy Vacations Can Help Cure Recession Blues

February 17, 2009

Travel Research

A research study by Dr. Ryan Howell, a psychology professor at San Francisco State Univ., has determined that experiences, especially vacations, bring consumers greater happiness than buying material objects. The study of 154 people from age 19 to 50 showed that people “feel more alive,” “feel invigorated or inspired” and “are left with positive memories, a return on their investment” with experiences compared to material purchases, according to Howell in a Los Angeles Times report of the study.

“You’re happy with a new television set, but you’re thrilled with a vacation,” the psychologist reported from his study. He added that, “whether you spend a little or a lot on a life experience, you still have the same level of happiness.”

Travel agents, who might want to share this information with their clients and prospects, can find a complete report on the Howell study from the L.A. Times at:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/booster_shots/2009/02/money-doesnt-ma.html


School Make-Up Days Can Ruin a Trip; Travel Insured Can Save It!

February 17, 2009

Consumer Alert

Schools from Arkansas to Alaska to Connecticut have been rescheduling and extending their class calendars this spring semester to make up for days canceled earlier this school year due to snow and ice storms in one of the worst winters in years. Make-up days, whether taking place during spring breaks or at the end of the school year in June, can disrupt prepaid, scheduled travel departures. Rebooking airline and hotel reservations can be difficult to impossible given recent cutbacks in flight schedules and hefty fees attached by carriers to any flight changes by passengers.

Most Travel Insured Worldwide Trip Protector plans allow for Trip Cancellation or Trip Interruption coverage when “the primary or secondary school where you or your dependant children attend must extend their operating session beyond the school year due to unforeseen events commencing during your plan effective period, and the travel dates for your trip fall within the period of the school year extension.”

The coverage means that when your clients already have their Trip Protector plan in effect when the snow days and school cancellations occur that lead to the school calendar being extended for make-up days, and your trip is disrupted due to trip dates conflicting with the school make-up dates, your Trip Cancellation or Trip Interruption coverage can fully protect your insured trip costs.


Your Client’s Relative Suffered a Relapse. Will the Trip be Lost?

February 17, 2009

Product Comparison

Your clients may not understand that protecting their prepaid trip costs should include covering the Pre-Existing Medical Conditions suffered by their non-traveling as well as traveling family members. They may know that most third-party insurance plans include an exclusion waiver allowing them to cover their own pre-existing medical conditions. But do they realize that some third-party travel insurers, as well as many plans offered directly by travel suppliers, do not protect against pre-existing medical conditions suffered by their non-traveling family members?

What happens if an elderly parent or other immediate family relative suffers a medical relapse between booking and scheduled departure that requires your client to stay home? Most Travel Insured plans, including our flagship Worldwide Trip Protector comprehensive plan, Trip Protector Gold and Trip Protector Lite Expanded, provide a waiver of the normal policy exclusion for Pre-Existing Medical Conditions of your client, their family’s members, whether traveling with your client or not, as well as your client’s traveling companion and all members of his or her immediate family. Not all insurance companies offer this broad coverage!

Four simple conditions to obtain this protection will help you sell more plans. You client must purchase a Trip Protector plan within 14 days of their initial trip deposit and insure the full trip cost. This must be their first and only travel booking for the same dates and destination, and they must not be disabled from travel at the time they pay for the plan. Protecting the Pre-existing medical conditions of traveling and non-traveling family members with Travel Insured is the right plan for a stress-free vacation!


Dear Travel Agent: I Lost My Job. Can I Get My Money Back?

February 17, 2009

Sales Tip

Your clients cannot escape the nightly news of major job layoffs these days. Even those with good positions might feel nervous about traveling in case they suffer a job loss between booking and departure. Travel Insured’s Worldwide Trip Protector comprehensive, WTP Gold and WTP Lite & Lite Expanded all offer Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption coverage for job terminations or layoffs when the insured or their travel companion lose their job after being continuously employed a minimum three years at the place where the job termination occurs.

Clients with less than three years on their jobs can still protect themselves by opting for Cancel for Any Reason coverage. The option, which must be purchased within 14 days of initial trip deposit, allows your client to cancel for any reason up to two days prior to his or her scheduled departure date and receive up to 75% of their prepaid, non-refundable trip cost in a cash reimbursement. Note that unlike some plans, including many offered directly by suppliers, the Travel Insured Cancel for Any Reason option pays a cash, not credit, benefit and does not require your client to rebook the same trip within a booking deadline such as one year.


Happy Birthday, Travel Insured! Thank You All for 15 Great Years!

February 16, 2009

Company News

Travel Insured International this month celebrates the 15th anniversary of the company’s launch of business operations on Feb. 1, 1994. The company took shape in 1993, when new ownership acquired The Travelers Insurance Co. in Hartford, and separated travel insurance from its core business lines. Peter Gehris, a former executive at The Travelers, successfully acquired the travel protection division and launched Travel Insured International as a new, privately-capitalized company the following February.

Travel Insured builds on the strength of our independence from ownership ties or financial affiliations to underwriters or other financial companies with non-travel entities. As a privately-held company, Travel Insured can select financial partners based on their quality of support dedicated to travel insurance, which is our only business. In 15 years Travel Insured has grown to become the largest privately-held travel protection administrator in the U.S., and the fourth-largest travel protection firm in the U.S. with more than 5,000 travel-selling partners, including retailers, wholesalers and specialty travel organizations.

We thank each and every one of you, our valued and loyal industry partners, who have made our first 15 years so successful! We look forward to many more years of working together with you!