Check-a-Box Versus Third Party Coverage

Published on Tuesday, October 13, 2015

How to Decide Which Coverage is Best for Your Travelers

Regardless of which travel product we speak of, almost all will include an option to add travel protection just by checking a box. It’s the easy way to include some kind of coverage, which might make some sense. Still, the notion that some ‘coverage is better than no coverage’ can be misleading if not a critical error.

Buying travel protection at the same place we buy travel is most often not the best choice for a number of reasons. The worst case is when a travel company is self-insured. If it goes out of business, the travel protection it sold could be in jeopardy. If nothing else, the process of filing a claim and collecting reimbursement for covered expenses can be difficult.

Another major reason not to buy directly from the travel provider itself; choices are quite limited, if there are any choices at all. A good online third-party insurer will have customizable options and different levels of coverage, rather than a one-size-fits-all plan. Better yet, third party insurance will have broader umbrella-like coverage, going beyond insuring just one flight, hotel stay, or car rental.

By bundling coverage for the travel product and related services, travelers get a better value and can more easily see the need for travel protection in the first place. A good, common example of how this works out can be found when comparing airline flight insurance to what might be offered by a third-party insurer.

Bought through the airline, that flight coverage might indeed refund the fare paid. Third party insurance can include coverage for flight delays, lost luggage, and other travel disruptions, often at a lower price. A bonus: the flexibility of many third-party insurer plans allow them to be modified later as additional elements are added to a travel plan.

Finally, a big benefit for forward-thinking agents comes from the process of adding third-party insurance vs checking a box. It takes a bit of work to determine the appropriate amount and type of coverage for each traveler. In the process, agents will examine every element of the travel package including, air, hotel, car rental, and other parts not covered by other options. It’s a double-check system of sorts that reminds sellers of travel to look at the details of the travel plan their clients will engage, and that’s always good for business.

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