A customer planning a trip may have unique insurance needs. So it is vital to ask key questions to guide your recommendations.
No client will want to duplicate coverage they already own. Employer-sponsored benefit plans and extended health care insurance may already pay for air and land ambulance expenses within Canada. Some employers’ plans and credit cards pay for emergency medical care outside of Canada. And basic homeowner policies insure clothes, luggage, and other possessions anywhere in the world.
Clients may be unaware of policy limitations, among them lifetime dollar limits, limits on the value of transportation covered, days covered per trip, policy deductible amounts, and the number of travellers covered. So ask questions to better understand your client’s situation and existing coverage. This will help you supply a useful service—and make a sale.
Any indication that the client will be leaving the country or province more than once a year should invite a discussion about multi-trip coverage. Your client may not realize it could save them time and money to have a single policy for the whole year. If the client plans to rely on credit cards for multi-trip coverage, ask if they might need top-up coverage. The card may limit coverage to 15 days per trip, or if past the age of 65, only three days. Ask if there is limit on cancellation coverage (e.g., $1,500 per person) and whether that will be enough. If your client isn’t sure, have them consider the cost of their flight, accommodations, or tour to determine if they are satisfied with the existing limit.
Before advising on travel coverage, always ask the obvious questions about a client’s age, destination, mode of transport, activities while away, frequency of travel each year, and recent medical issues, including pregnancy. Age 60 is usually when insurers demand more information about a client’s pre-existing medical conditions. But you should ask younger clients about their medical history too, as all policies have exclusions related to health stability.
To help gauge the client’s state of health and recommend the appropriate policy, ask about any hospital admissions, specialist referrals, outstanding test results, or chronic conditions. Request a list of their medications, learn which conditions the medications are used to treat, and find out the length of time since any changes in dosage.
Pregnant clients will have both coverage and travel limitations to consider. As an example, Manulife’s trip cancellation plan only applies if purchased prior to conception, and only for trips booked to occur within nine weeks of delivery. Meanwhile, cruise lines exclude women 12 to 16 weeks away from delivery. If you are selling trip cancellation coverage to an expecting traveller, ask about due dates, travel dates, and trip costs.
Keep in mind that particular travel destinations or activities could require a special type of travel insurance. Travel advisories, weather conditions, and activities deemed “risky” could invalidate some coverage, but not all. For example, some policies insure amateur sporting activities that others do not. So find out if your clients are adventure travellers. Also ask if they plan to ‘party hard’ while away, and make them aware of exclusions for excessive drinking.
If you are met with a special needs situation, Ingle’s specialists can assist you in identifying the right insurance plan. Gathering the necessary information for your clients will mean giving them advice they can count on, while building their trust and gaining loyal clientele.