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Travel Insurance! Your Health And Peace-Of-Mind Is Worth Protecting, And We Mean It

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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 vacation.

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 chances.

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, correct?

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 was better.

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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