A client calls to say: “Hi, we are heading across the border next week.” You forget they already have an annual travel plan and jump into your sales routine.
“Where will you be going? How long will you be travelling? What sorts of crazy things will you be doing while away?” The interrogation continues. The caller answers all of your questions politely, then mentions their existing coverage.
Patrick Chiasson, Broker Services Manager at Ingle International, says he has had several such calls over the years, particularly from those who regularly drive across the US border.
Eventually the novice annual-plan holders will pop the key question: “Do I have to call you every time I plan a trip?” The short answer is “no.” But you can save them (and yourself!) some time by passing along a few tips at the time of the original sale.
Short trips: You need not notify anyone about a short trip any time during the term of your annual plan—provided you have not experienced a change in your health.
Change in health status: Call us if your health situation changes. We can then check whether you will be in danger of limiting or eliminating your coverage, and we can discuss other coverage options.
Days per trip: There is a limit to the number of days you may travel per trip and still be able to submit a claim. Make sure you know what that limit is.
Proof of travel: Be sure to keep proof of your travel dates, in case you need to make a claim.
- Keep your tickets. Develop a habit of saving your electronic or paper boarding passes for planes, boats, trains, and buses.
- Create your own record. If you travel by car, bike, boat, or foot, create your own record. Simply stop before and after crossing a border to buy fuel, a snack, or other small item, and keep the receipts until you get home safely.
- Make it official. As a further backstop, use a debit or credit card to make the purchase, or to withdraw cash. Your bank will have an electronic record of your actions if you lose the paper receipt.
Risky sports or activities: Always check your policy if you plan any activities the insurer regards as dangerous. You might need to get coverage under a different plan, or avoid those activities your plan simply will not cover.
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Annual travel plans are a good option for the frequent travellers on your client list. These tips could help save you time in the long run, reassure your clients, and limit the chance of a claim being denied.