Recently I’ve written a couple of posts about Trip Assured, a Tennessee based firm that offers “travel coverage” and how they were issued orders by State Authorities in North Carolina and Texas to stop selling insurance. It now appears that we can add Michigan and their home state of Tennessee to the list. Yesterday, an article in Tennessean.com, “State orders travel firm to stop selling insurance”, tells of a cease and desist order that was issued yesterday by the State of Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance which stops Trip Assured from selling insurance within Tennessee.
At the heart of the issue is the apparent fact that Trip Assued, Inc. was operating as an insurance company without benefit being licensed or legally enabled by the State of Tennessee to sell insurance to residents of their state and they were not using a licensed insurance company to provide benefits. This is also the same reason used by the states of North Carolina, Texas, and Michigan. As you probably know, insurance (including travel insurance) is regulated by the various states and as a rule coverages can only be sold through insurance companies that have been licensed by the state after they have complied with strict requirements concerning their financial ability to provide the benefits that they wish to sell. As an example, if you look at the policies and coverages being offered by Travel Guard you will find that the insurance company that underwrites the risk is AIG, the largest insurance company in the USA. Trip Assued, Inc. didn’t have a company other than themselves guaranteeing their benefits but rather veiled their activities by saying that client’s were enrolling in a membership service and that it really wasn’t insurance. But, as the old saying goes, if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck than it probably is a duck.
So kudos to the regulators in Tennessee, North Carolina, Texas, and Michigan. We don’t need companies like this confusing the public and creating a bad name for the travel insurance industry.