|As a past travel professional, I heard many, and I stress many
horror stories about travellers that didn't take travel
insurance to protect their well-being and vacation investment!
Nothing was worse than getting that phone call from our travel
tour operator telling me that our clients had an unfortunate
accident, or suddenly became ill, and they did not have travel
medical, and not enough money to cover their medical bills at
destination, or enough credit on their card to purchase a
one-way flight home.
All these incidences were avoidable if they just took the time
to understand how extremely important having an emergency
medical policy, or trip cancellation coverage while on their
I know many individuals comment that they never get ill, or
injured on past vacations, and my feedback to them is that they
have been very fortunate. I myself have never been severely
injured, or ill during my vacations, but I don't take any
Just like home insurance, or car insurance, you never expect
your house to burn to the ground, and you certainly do not
anticipate ever getting into a car collision. However, we all
buy protection for the un-known for these two incidences,
The problem with vacation travel is that many people feel that
their holiday is short-term, and the odds of something serious
happening are less likely to occur. But if something were to
happen where you end up in a foreign hospital, I don't think you
want to find out later that your medical bills have exceeded the
value of your house, or your savings account!
Unknown Emergency And Accident Means Just That! You Never
Know If And When Something Will Happen
It's hard to put something in perspective if you have never had
an emergency situation with your health, or have had a serious
accident. So to help you I will tell you two stories that I have
come across with my experience of being a travel agent.
One occurrence was a mother and child was booking a flight to
travel home to Jamaica to attend a family wedding. Her travel
agent booked their flight, and recommended to her insurance
medical and travel cancellation coverage. The women declined,
and the agent didn't express the serious nature of not taking
the policy, so in the end the woman had left her office without
any medical coverage.
Months later, I had our local travel insurance representative
come visit my office, and he told me this story, and the
unfortunate result was her young boy had come down with an ear
infection prior to their flight to Jamaica, and even though she
was consulted by the boys doctor not to take the flight until
his condition healed, she ignored the requests!
The mother didn't have the money to purchase two more flight
tickets for another date, and proceeded to take her original
flight. The end result was her child ended up losing his hearing
due to his eardrum becoming damaged during the flight, a sad
story, but an avoidable one if she would have taken cancellation
coverage, and re-booked her flight for another day when her son
My next story really touches my heart, because it was a client
of mine for many years. My past client god rest his soul, was a
typical stubborn man that grew up in a farm community, and had a
true understanding of comprehensive coverage for accidents,
because he operated many heavy machinery.
When he first came into my office, he was travelling with a
group of people including his wife, and when he booked his first
vacation package with me, he haggled me to the point where I
gave in, and offered him and his guests a substantial discounted
price. His group was saving at least $150.00 per person for
their vacation package. But when it came to offering him and his
travel guest's insurance policies, he was not budging. For
people that know me, I don't take no for an answer when it comes
to your overall wellbeing.
In the end, I won the battle, and he and his wife purchased the
travel insurance, and they talked all their guests in getting it
as well. This small group travelled to a hot destination every
year after, and it seemed that their group started to grow
larger every time they came to see me, and all the time they
would joke about wasting money on this insurance I always
provided to them.
My client after dealing with me for several years now came in
once again with the largest group ever, and they all agreed to
take a vacation in Cancun. Most have never been to the Mayan
Riviera, and they were extremely excited to go there! The
problem this time is that with a really large group with many
different personalities and characters, my client was less
jokingly, and said that he was talking to one of his guests
going on this trip with them, and he expressed his opinion that
insurance is nothing but a scam, and us travel agents only sell
it for the commissions.
As these comments really insulted me, my client's guest was
right! We do make commission off selling travel insurance, but
by no means do we offer or sell it for the main purpose of
making money. My client was truly influenced by what this other
person had commented, and we ended up having a lengthy debate,
to the point it was getting a little heated. With over 15 plus
couples traveling together this time, was I willing to lose a
client and such a large group because of insurance? Oh yeah!
Believe it or not, I would drop that business in a heartbeat if
I knew they were traveling un-protected, and I told him that
directly as he and his wife sat across from me.
In the end, I had won the battle again, my client made many
phone calls and also convinced the others to take the coverage,
and even though his trip was fully booked with me, he did leave
my office feeling a little battered and slightly upset.
The Phone Call A Travel Agent Never Wants To Ever Receive!
When we send our clients off to their next vacation destination,
all we want to hear when they get back is how much they ate,
drank, and how their trip was another experience that will give
them many incredible memories. You want them to talk about it
for months, and have the big post picture party where they all
exchange vacation photos and talk about how Henry fell into the
pool with a handful of Margaritas!
In this situation, it wasn't like that, and several days after
my client had left for his holiday, I received a phone call from
one of our tour operators that I had booked their package with,
and they had expressed to me with the deepest sorrow and apology
that my favourite client had passed away. His wife out of
respect had asked the tour company to notify me of what happened.
With extreme disbelief and shock, I was told that he went into
the water when there was an extremely powerful undertow, and he
drowned. The fact that you have over 30 people at destination
for only one reason, and that's to relax and have fun, it just
didn't register that all these people on this trip had suddenly
had a serious un-expected tragedy on their hands, and now they
all were cutting the vacation short to come home.
This story always brings tears to my eyes, and a feeling of
emptiness to this day!
Whether this story tugs on your heartstrings or not, I just want
to express a few things to everybody taking the time to read
this. As a travel professional offering travel insurance, as
well as many of the online travel companies that sell travel
protection to their clients, want you to know that our sincere
and true intentions are to make sure that each and everyone of
you are covered and have the peace-of-mind! We don't want to see
you being left stranded anywhere without help, or become
financially burdened by any un-expected medical incident or
accident while away from your home.
I lost one of my favourite clients, and even though I call him a
client, he and his wife were more like friends to me. One thing
that really stuck with me when this tragedy came to a final
conclusion, is that not only did the tour company that called
thank me for offering medical/cancellation insurance, but my
entertaining and grumpy friend's wife, from that small farm
town, expressed her deepest gratitude to me for being extremely
stubborn with them, and not taking no for an answer when it came
to protecting their best interests.
The next time you decide to travel, I highly recommend that you
consider looking at your insurance options, and make sure you
have sufficient travel protection. Be sure to check the policies
offered and make sure it's adequate for your travel situation.
I will be writing another article that will express the common
pitfalls, and some of the incorrect information that you may be
getting from your current work plans, or the credit card offers.
Also I will explain some of the detailed terminology that is
very important to understand, because what's in the fine print
may determine the outcome of your future claims while on
vacation. Please remember to be nice to your travel agent when
they offer you a travel insurance plan, and ask them tons of
questions to get the best options. If you're purchasing a policy
online, don't hesitate to contact the customer service
department, they are there to help you and explain anything that
may be unclear to you.
About the author:
About the author:
William Lezubski (Accredited Cruise Counsellor
(ACC), and Certified Travel Counsellor(CTC) - William is a
professional in the Travel Industry and is the owner and author
of "Discount Caribbean Vacations Web Site" available at www.discount-caribbean-vacations.com.
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