I was bored the other day so I thought I would visit the sites of some of our newer competitors and was amazed at some of the misinformation that they published with the intent to bolster the claim of being a travel insurance expert. Let me correct them:
- James G. Batterson did create the first travel insurance company in the USA on April 1, 1864 for the purpose of insuring travelers for accidents, hence the name The Travelers Insurance Company. The Travelers is and always has been an insurance company not an insurance agency. Being an insurance company is a far cry from being an insurance agency. The former is the company that guarantees the benefits and with whom you have a legal contract for insurance and the later is usually an independent sales representative of the former.
- travel insurance was not a product “of the upper class and upper middle class”. Travel by railroad made travel available to the masses and travel insurance was mostly favored by travelers of modest means.
- the first policies did not insure for “theft and other unexpected circumstances”. The first travel insurance policies insured travelers for their death if caused by an accident while traveling. Several years later loss of income cause by a disabling accident was added (for men only). It wasn’t until the twentieth century that coverage was added for the theft of personal property.
It’s unfortunate that recently minted “experts” can’t even get the basics right. It makes me wonder what will happen with more complex travel insurance issues.