The Travel Insurance Critical Point

Published on Wednesday, July 29, 2015

When Is The Best Time In The Booking Process To Suggest Travel Insurance?

Become a broker to offer RoamRight travel insurance.The title of this article suggests that there is a perfect time in the selling process for travel agents to recommend buying travel insurance, and indeed there is. But no one formula for success will convert that effort into a sale. That process begins well before the booking even occurs.

To try slipping in “Shall I add the travel insurance?” when gathering required booking details works well for some travel agents. They are happy with their results and see no reason to change what works. But I would almost guarantee you that the percentage of clients taking them up on the offer is far less than agents who make a point of going about the entire topic of travel insurance in a more engaging way.

Get social and personal

Right here is a bona fide reason for having a robust online presence on a variety of social media platforms. Through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others, wise agents are posting information that’s interesting to travelers. It’s a fun, engaging way to establish themselves as experts in whatever niche of travel they specialize in. Mixed in with that engaging content are indirect reasons to buy travel insurance; they are planting the seeds that will grow into a “yes!” when it comes to adding travel protection later, when it counts.

I have a story of being on a cruise, perfectly healthy with no real reason to believe I would ever cancel my vacation or need medical care while on the sailing (two of the premiere qualities of travel protection). On a rough day at sea, I was washing my hands in our cabin’s restroom when the ship listed to one side, causing the metal door to close on my hand as I braced myself. $5000 later, I was glad I had opted in for travel protection. It’s an easy sale for me, mainly because of that one personal story. The operative word there is “personal,” because that is exactly what it takes to get past the majority of objections raised about travel insurance.

True: most travelers will never, ever have their hand caught between two metal objects but accidents do happen and can happen to anyone. That’s my go to story. But the effort begins long before a client travels, relating success stories about real life situations that actually happened, stories that could have resulted in a major loss but did not because those travelers were covered.

Along those same lines, agents may find it useful to share the virtues of the coverage that is not often talked about, but happens more frequently. Lost luggage, flight delays or cancellations are events that happen with a great amount of frequency. That coverage is often overlooked or not highly valued, but might very well be the quality of travel insurance that is most often used.

Sow the seeds

Asking “would you like me to add the optional travel insurance?” is not the most effective way to sell travel insurance. That’s a lot like asking, “Would you like me to add anything you won’t need?” It’s hardly a good sales practice and it blows an opportunity for you to look like the hero if your travelers have a valid need that would have been covered if they had travel protection.

It's easy to file a travel insurance claim with RoamRightThe far better idea is to establish that need through a regular engaging newsletter that covers a variety of topics, including travel protection. This is not the place to list anything with a price - no special deals, offers, packages or buying opportunities of any kind. Even one offer labels a stellar effort as sales offer, and can greatly reduce the odds of it being seen.

To call this the ‘indirect’ approach would be accurate, but that effort needs to go beyond the obvious. A better approach might be these key words I have used for years that most often result in a sale:

I do have travel protection available and highly recommend it, as you probably know from reading our newsletter. You may find you have coverage elsewhere – through your credit cards or other means. If you’re not sure, just call the number on the back of your credit card and ask ‘If I buy travel with your card, do you include travel protection?’ If the answer is yes, ask for information on what it covers to be sure that coverage is adequate. You may want additional protection for higher benefits.

The result of that effort almost always brings clients back to you. The credit card company that offers travel protection often provides very limited coverage. This is when your value as a seller of travel gets a bump in the right direction and further establishes your service as one that is necessary and helpful.

Learn more about protecting your travelers with RoamRight travel insurance.

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