The internet is rapidly becoming the preferred shopping choice for a growing segment of the traveling public when buying travel insurance. As more and more of us rely on the internet to shop for travel insurance what are some of the things we should look for to make sure we’re dealing with a site and company that we can trust?
Here is a basic list of things that you should look for:
1. Better Business Bureau: Are they a member of the Better Business Bureau and have they subscribed to their Online Reliability program?
2. Do they add value or are they just a redirection site? Can you do a quote on their site and view policy provisions or do they just link to the insurance company’s site where you have to get quote and your order?
3. Are they licensed? Where are they licensed? Are they licensed in your State? Are they licensed for more than just travel insurance? In most states an individual can be licensed for travel insurance without having to study insurance or sit for an examination or have any experience in insurance. Broader licenses indicate a better understanding of insurance.
4. Professional designations: There are several professional designations in the insurance industry that show an increased level of competency; CLU, ChFC, or CPCU are just some of them. All indicate a better understanding of financial planning and the role of insurance.
5. Site Security: Are you on a secured site when you start to input your personal information? Do they use a third party, like Thawte or Verisign, to verify they’re use of SSL technology so your personal information remains private?
6. Depth of Choice: Does the site offer a variety of companies and plans? Package travel insurance plans – the type used for most tours and cruises – vary widely in price and benefits. The cost difference can be greater than 400%. With depth of choice you have a greater likelihood that you will find the plan that is right for you. Also look for the ability to sort through your eligible plans and to review plan provisions. Being able to compare plan provisions on a side-by-side basis is also a big plus.
7. Experience: You should look for those that have a background in insurance and that specializes in travel insurance. More experience the better. With all the choices out there you may need some help in selecting the right one for your trip.
Keeping some or all of these points in mind will help you safely and securely find the right travel insurance plan for your next trip.
Updated June 12, 2014