Plain Talk: How To Make Sure Travelers Understand Their Insurance Coverage

Published on Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Understanding travel insurance

In a perfect world, travelers might be required to take a test after buying travel insurance, just to be sure they know what they have. Major misconceptions, leading to disappointment down the line when an inappropriate claim is made and rejected might be eliminated…if they could be forced to take that test. Stop right there; that strategy is riddled with customer un-friendly problems. While sellers of travel insurance might want to ensure that travelers understand their coverage, we all know that reading policies is about as interesting as watching paint dry.  Still, if those who sell travel protection do a good job of selling it, understanding comes naturally. 

One of the worst-case scenarios involving travel insurance, one that keeps buyers from buying, is not understanding the coverage. Agents who are successful are selling “protection” rather than “insurance” and include education, just a bit of it, in advance of completing the sale. Like any other option, a need for travel insurance has to be established far in advance, for whatever reason resonates with the traveler.

Assuring By Insuring

I remember starting out in sales and did not care for the job at all.  I felt like I was being annoying with my cold call pitches…and I probably was. But one day, I ran into a seasoned sales pro at an airport bar. Discouraged, wondering why I had gottenintothis line of work in the first place, that sales pro of many years offered me a golden piece of advice. “You’re looking at it all wrong,” he said.  “Forget the word sell and substitute the word “need” instead. You’re not selling anything, you’refulfillinga need, one that client may not know they have yet. Armed with that different frame of mind, my entire sales life changed and suddenly I was not annoying anymore. Instead, I was doing the noble job of helping others. 

That exact strategy applies very well to helping clients understand why they need travel insurance. In the process of establishing that need, if done well, clients absolutely understand what coverage they have. Answer all the typical questions, simply and completely, before they are asked; that’s easy. Yes, it covers cancellation if done so for a covered reason AND here are the typical reasons. No, it does not cover ______, AND here is why. Include in all that and a toll-free number to the insurance company where clients can call, anytime, to ask their “What if?” questions. It's easy to file a travel insurance claim with RoamRight

Some Sales Tools That Benefit Sellers And Buyers Both

If a complete job of selling is done, clients will indeed understand their coverage.  Still, some other helpful suggestions:
  • Have a ‘cheat sheet’ of the essentials, like a checklist to go through when establishing a need. Take that same checklist and turn it around, making a benefit list that clients can have on hand to know the general coverage of their policy. It’s also a good idea to send this information to travelers just before trip departure. (see below)
  • Provide insurance cards. It’s one of the most frequently missed parts of a successful insurance sales program. Give clients something to prove they have insurance…to themselves. Something to hold in their hand makes it real.
  • Review coverage just before travel. Clients forget details. Reviewing arrangements just before travel regarding other elements like air schedules or hotel accommodations is as key as following up with the client after travel. Throwing in a quick review of travel protection, especially if it includes assistance while traveling, is critical and reinforces the expectation set at the time of the sale.

At the end of the day, it is indeed all about helping people, as that old salesman in bar told me decades ago. Believe that and you’ll be most of the way to insuring your clients know exactly what coverage they have.


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