Travel insights from Andrea Sedlacek, editor of The Compass

5 Reasons Why Family Travelers Should Get Travel Insurance

A family vacation is a big deal. Some families only get the chance to go on a vacation once a year. And when they do finally get to go, you want to make sure their experience is good, even if something goes wrong.

“Of course no one wants anything to go wrong, but if it does, travel insurance is there,” says Rhonda Sloan, global head of marketing for American International Group (AIG). “It protects the trip, the family and their investment.”

Sloan says it’s important to sell your family clients the dream of a wonderful vacation, but to also give them a small dose of reality.

“You need to educate people on why they need the product. Their domestic insurance doesn’t follow them on an international trip. In some countries, if you end up in the hospital, they won’t let you leave until you pay. That’s an added stress people just don’t need,” Sloan says.

If your family clients are at all reluctant to invest in travel insurance, here are five scenarios that show why they need it.

  1. At the end of a vacation, travelers get really eager to get home and to their own beds. And if your clients have little kids, that feeling is intensified. So how about this all-too-familiar situation? Your clients arrive to the airport on time for their flight, just as they should. Surprise! Their flight has been cancelled and they’re on the next flight in the morning. To avoid a dreadful night in the airport, their travel insurance can cover a night in a hotel. Sure it’s another night away from home but at least they won’t have to sleep with neck pillows outside terminal 4 at LAX.
  2. Your clients’ toddler has an ear infection but they’ve got to get to their family reunion. The flight goes smoothly except when they get to baggage claim and their kid’s suitcase never shows up. Guess what was in there? The antibiotics for the ear infection. Neither parent will fess up as to who put it in a checked bag instead of a carry-on, but that’s beside the point right now! They need to get that medication and fast. Travel insurance to the rescue. Your clients can call their travel insurance provider for help getting a new prescription from a trusted pharmacy in the destination.

    “If you lose your prescription medication or even your glasses, your travel insurance provider will tell you where to go. They’ll send you to a vetted doctor, hospital, dentist – whatever you need,” says Sloan.
  3. Your clients and their kids just land at SFO for a family member’s destination wedding up in Napa Valley. They’re waiting at baggage claim and…their luggage never comes. Luckily they packed all their toiletries in their carry-ons so they’re covered for that but all of the formal clothes they brought for the wedding (including their daughter’s flower girl dress) were in their checked baggage. But they don’t need to freak out! Their travel insurance provider will help find their luggage. And if they can’t, your clients will get reimbursed for the cost of their missing stuff and the cost of buying new clothes that they need for their trip.
  4. Some of the best family vacation destinations include plenty of sun and sand. But those destinations can also be prone to unpredictable weather that can easily throw a vacation off course or even cancel it entirely. This is the classic reason to add travel insurance to a vacation package. If the trip is totally done for, it’s covered. If the trip is cut short and your clients need to get evacuated from the resort, that’s covered, too. You really can’t argue with that.
  5. Kids are clumsy. Even adults can be clumsy! Let’s say your clients are sightseeing around Puerto Vallarta, making their way to the Los Muertos pier. Your client’s husband trips on some of the city’s iconic cobblestone and falls on his wrist. Hard. The kids laugh at their dorky dad but he thinks it’s pretty serious and that he should see a doctor. He doesn’t speak any Spanish, so how will he find a doctor that he can communicate with? Their travel insurance provider will tell them where to go to find a trusted doctor or hospital so your clients know they’ll get good care.

Of course you don’t want your clients to experience any of these things. But if they do, and they’ve wisely added travel insurance to their trip, they’ll be taken care of. “The value of travel insurance is that it’s there if you need it,” says Sloan.

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Bobbie A | 04/23/19 - 05:57 PM

The following points noted above I think are very misleading if you use them for recommending trip insurance for your clients.  If you use the examples #3 and #4 in talking with your clients,  you are misrepresenting the  Trip Insurance Coverage.  

For Point #3 - I think your suggestion that Trip Insurance will cover the cost of clothes related to Lost Luggage is very misleading.  There is a maximum  (usually very low) on these expenses and certainly would not cover the cost of dress clothes for a wedding.  

For Point #4 - Bad weather is not a covered reason for trip insurance.  Usually only hurricanes that are unnamed at the time of trip insurance purchase are covered and that  is only when the destination airport or hotel is not useable.  This does not cover the damage that may have occurred in other nearby islands or areas when the damage is not as extensive but still makes the area  much less tourist ready.  

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VAX VacationAccess | 04/24/19 - 08:03 AM

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Jennifer R | 04/22/19 - 06:09 PM

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Barbara | 04/22/19 - 02:07 PM

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