Do you take a good, hard look at the strategy you use to offer travel protection regularly?
You should, but not many travel agents do. Travel protection can seem daunting, and you aren't in the business to be an insurance expert. You're in the business because you love the art of travel planning. To be an expert in planning, we also have to prepare our clients for what can go wrong. There are plenty of tools out there to help you along the way, but I wanted to share three tools many travel professionals overlook – and shouldn't.
1. The U.S. Passport
Most travelers already have it. In many cases, travel agents and travelers don’t even know about it. It’s the information inside of the United States Passport. The passport lists fourteen important things travelers should know on pages six and seven. We are going to look at one of the most important items on the list – number three!
The U.S. Passport states the following, "HEALTH INSURANCE Medicare/Medicaid does not cover healthcare costs outside the U.S. Does your insurance apply overseas, including medical evacuation, payment to a hospital or doctor overseas, or reimbursement to you later?"
Remember, if your clients are 65 or older, they most likely have Medicare. It usually doesn’t cover health care outside the U.S., or even on a cruise ship! What about HMO’s and PPO’s, do they offer medical evacuation and the needed coverage when traveling outside the U.S.?
A Medigap policy can help, but your clients might be surprised when they check to see what's covered and what's not. We took a look at medicare.gov to gather some basic information. Here's what we found for coverage outside the U.S.
If you have Medigap Plan C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, M or N, your plan:
Covers foreign travel emergency care if it begins during the first 60 days of your trip, and if Medicare doesn't otherwise cover the care.
Pays 80% of the billed charges for certain medically necessary emergency care outside the U.S. after you meet a $250 deductible for the year.
Foreign travel emergency coverage with Medigap policies has a lifetime limit of $50,000.
|Accident & Sickness Medical Expense (Primary Coverage & No Deductible)||$100,000||$35,000|
|Emergency Medical Evacuation, Medical Repatriation, & Return of Remains*||$1,000,000||100,000|
|*Emergency Medical Evacuations and Medical Repatriations must be authorized by the local attending Legally Qualified Physician and the authorized travel assistance company.|
|This is not a full description of TravelSafe plans. For full plan benefit information, visit travelsafe.com/travel-insurance-plans|
2. Marketing Brochures
Another great tool to help promote travel protection is to have brochures customized for your travel agency. Brochures help explain the benefits of travel protection to your clients, while providing them with a physical or digital copy so they can look things over at their leisure. The best time to provide a quote for travel protection is during the trip planning process. Providing a brochure at this time can help your clients understand how important it is to protect themselves against the risks associated with travel – before & during their trip.
If you need to place an order for new TravelSafe brochures, check out our new and easy way to order here.
3. Story Telling
Walt Disney knew how to tell a good story and understood how effective and inspirational they truly are. He told stories that people would remember and talk about forever. Many of them became classics passed down generation to generation.
Your best tool is being able to tell stories too. For example, take a moment to think of past clients that had mishaps during their travels. Now, think about how travel protection allowed for a positive outcome and reflect on the times where clients refused a plan that may have helped their situation.
These tools can help your clients understand the importance of travel protection without putting you in a position where you need to feel like an insurance expert. After all, that's a job for Team TravelSafe! Do you have any preferred tools for offering travel protection? Tweet us @TravelSafeIns!