34.1 Million Travelers Taking Off for Labor Day

Labor Day is right around the corner, and according to AAA Travel, 34.1 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the upcoming holiday. This is a 4.2 percent increase from the 32.7 million people who traveled last year. Holiday air travel is expected to increase as well by nearly three percent to 2.61 million.

What is the cause of this increase in Labor Day travel? AAA predicts it’s due to higher consumer spending and the improving housing market. The Labor Day holiday travel period, defined as Thursday, Aug. 29 to Monday, Sept. 2, is a popular time for travelers to take off because of the long weekend and typically nice weather.

How much do travelers usually spend on their long-weekend vacations? AAA reports the average traveler is expected to spend $804 and travel a round-trip distance of 594 miles.

In fact, more than 2.61 million leisure travelers will arrive at their destination by air. If those passengers experience flight delays or cancellations, or their luggage is damaged, lost or stolen, travel insurance can provide coverage.

If you’re one of these travelers heading out for Labor Day, make sure you’re protected against the unexpected of travel. It is important add travel insurance to your travel package because it protects your travel investment, provides medical coverage and can make the difference between a disaster and a great vacation.

If you have questions about how travel insurance can protect you and your family on your next vacation, please call us at 888-885-7233 or leave a comment below. We’d be happy to answer your questions.

 

How to Avoid Making Popular Travel Mistakes

The most relaxing vacations can be ruined when common travel mistakes occur. Yes, we’ve all been there. One moment you’re dreaming about kicking back on the beach in the Bahamas and the next, you’re stressing because you forgot to order your passport.

If you follow the tips below, your next vacation will be stress-free and one to remember … for the right reasons.

  •  Make sure there is enough time between connecting flights. It is important to leave at least an hour and a half between connecting flights. This will decrease your changes of missing your flight, having your luggage lost and other travel mishaps. When in doubt, check with your travel agent. They are familiar with the airports and can provide a good estimate for you.
  • Apply for your passport early. Passport processing can take anywhere from four to six week. As soon as you start planning for your trip out of the country, you need to apply for a passport. Already have a passport? Make sure it hasn’t expired or isn’t close to expiring. Some countries require a minimum of six months’ validity remaining to enter.
  • Remember to relax. It is very tempting to fit in as much as you can when you’re traveling. However, it is important to give yourself enough time to see the sites and enjoy the city! Also make sure to factor in time for packing and traveling time. Besides, seeing the city by strolling around can lead to some of the best site seeing. Travel insurance can also help you relax. If you know you’re covered from the unexpected, you can enjoy the city without worry.
  • Do your research. Before taking off on vacation, take some time to research your destination – pick out restaurants, locations you’d like to visit, and accommodations that meet your needs. Although winging it can be fun, having an outline in mind, can ensure you have an enjoyable experience.
  • Protect your trip. Investing in travel insurance is important for any vacation. Travel insurance can protect you from flight delays, flight cancellations, bad weather, illness and more. With protection against the unexpected, you can kick back and relax.

Now it is your turn to tell us. What is one tip you wish you would have known before taking your last vacation? Leave a comment below with your answer. We look forward to hearing from you!
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New and Improved TravelSafe.com

We’re excited to announce that we’ve made enhancements to our website! The new improvements will enhance your experience on TravelSafe.com include a simplified enrollment process, enhanced editing capabilities and additional options for delivering quotes to your clients including via email.

In addition, you may notice changes to the Prestige plans. We will now offer two plans: Prestige and Prestige+. It is important to note that Zero Trip Cost is not allowed for the Prestige+ plans because the only difference between the Prestige and Prestige+ plans is the Cancel For Any Reason Benefit.

Another important change is there will no longer be coverage limitations for those travelers 80 or over. This means the Medical Expense/Medical Evacuation will no longer have reduced benefit limits and these travelers will be eligible for the Pre-Ex Waiver. In addition, Certificates will no longer reduce coverage based on age. Instead, it will only limit their Trip Cost and Trip Length eligibility, as it did previously. The maximum eligible trip cost remains at $15,000 and trip length is still 30 days for travelers 80 and over.

If you have any questions about these upgrades, you can leave a comment below, call us at 1-800-523-8020 or email us at info@travelsafe.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

15 Questions to Ask Your Travel Insurance Company


How long has it been since you reviewed your travel insurer’s benefits? Chances are their coverage has changed since the last time you reviewed their Benefits. To make sure your clients are getting the most for their investment, ask these 15 questions to any travel insurer you’re considering:

  • Do they have Flat rates for children under 18? The advantage here is kids do not have to be family or related. Max 2 flat rates per paying adult in each enrollment.
  • Do they have Hurricane Warning Coverage for Trip Cancellation?  TravelSafe provides this coverage.  We offer it if within 24 hours of your clients Scheduled Departure Date and time their Trip destination is under a hurricane warning issued by NOAA instead of waiting for flights to be stopped or the Hurricane to actually hit!
  • How about revocation of previously approved time off from work as a covered reason for Trip Cancellation? This is a covered non-medical reason for us.  No need to add a work cancellation option, it’s already in there with Classic & Prestige plans.
  • Do they have Non-Medical Emergency Evacuation?  Up to $25,000 due to a formal recommendation from the appropriate local authorities, or the U.S. State Department, for customers to leave a country.
  • What’s their Missed Connection coverage? Do they have $2,500.00 in benefit coverage? Probably not, most have only $250 to $500.  At TravelSafe, that amount is included in our Basic program.
  • Is Unemployment covered as a valid reason for Trip Cancellation?  We only require that your client have been with the same company for 1 year, not the 3 to 5 years others require.
  • Do they protect your Commissions?  TravelSafe automatically includes Commission Protection without commission reduction in all of our Programs! We even cover CFAR cancellations for Classic Plus.
  • Do they offer Unrestricted Benefits for Terrorism?  TravelSafe has no restrictive lists that exclude coverage based on countries visited, times of travel, or State Department Warnings.
  • Do they offer Unrestricted Benefits for Financial Insolvency?  Again, we have no restrictive lists of approved suppliers or non-covered suppliers. Just have your clients buy within 21 days of deposit.
  • Do they offer a 12-hour Baggage Delay?  Most plans require your clients’ bag to be delayed 24 hours.  TravelSafe’s benefits begin after a 12-hour delay.
  • What’s their definition of a Pre-Existing Condition?  What’s their “Look back period”.  The language varies slightly but essentially any illness, disease or other condition that undergoes a change during the look back period is considered Pre-existing.  Ours is 60 days while other plans look back 90 or even 180 days. That means something your client was treated for 6 months ago could be an issue!
  • Do they have Deductibles? NO deductible for Medical, Baggage or any other coverage … even in our Basic plan! Only our optional Extended Personal Property Pac benefit has a deductible.
  • Do they offer Non- Emergency Medical Evacuation home or to Hospital of Choice?  It’s automatically included at no additional cost in all of our TravelSafe Plans!
  • Do they have Coverage for Frequent Flyer Rebanking Fees?  We do, for up to $150 for the cost of airline-imposed fees to rebank frequent flyer miles.
  • Do they offer Concierge & Business Services? TravelSafe offers these services Free in all of our plans except for our Basic plan.

 

To learn more about TravelSafe’s amazing benefits for travel agents, click here or call us at 1-888-885-7233. We look forward to hearing from you!
Your friends at TravelSafe

Tips to Make the Most Out of Travel Insurance

A growing number of people are investing in travel insurance for their vacations. In fact, the travel industry reported the number of people who purchase travel insurance plans has increased by 20% in the last decade. People are becoming increasingly aware of the value and importance of the coverage that travel insurance provides.

If an unexpected event occurs on vacation, travel insurance provides peace of mind and important coverage.  Unforeseen things can – and do – happen on vacation, and travel insurance can help protect you and your loved ones while they are away from home.

Appreciating the need for travel insurance is a great thing, but it is also important to purchase your policy with knowledge about which plan fits your need. While the most inexpensive plan might be the most appealing, it may not provide the coverage you need. On the other hand, you may not need the most expensive plan either.

Our goal is to help you understand you have many options when purchasing travel insurance, and to pick the plan that provides you the coverage you need while still fitting into your travel budget. Here are the important items to pay attention to so you can make sure you’re getting the most from your travel insurance:

  1. Read the certificate of coverage. We know, we know – it’s not the most exciting read, but it is important to know the details of your policy. Read it as soon as you purchase the plan and be sure to read it carefully. It’s also a good idea to highlight portions that you feel are the most important to you. That way, if you do have to file a claim you can reference your certificate of coverage quickly.
  2. See if your travel insurance policy has a pre-existing condition waiver. This is something that is usually over-looked, however it can be extremely important if you need to file a claim. Some travel insurance policies are more inexpensive because they don’t include a pre-existing condition. On most of our policies, including the TravelSafe Classic and TravelSafe Classic Plus, if you purchase the plan within 21 days of your initial trip deposit, the plan exclusion for Pre-Existing Conditions will be waived. If you have an illness or issue that you feel may cause you to file a claim, make sure your travel insurance policy includes a pre-existing condition waiver.
  3. If your trip plans change, update your policy. Trip dates can change and that can bring charges for extra nights at hotels or increased flight costs. These adjustments mean your overall trip cost has changed, and that information needs to be passed along to your travel insurance company. If you don’t update for the non-refundable parts of your trip, the insurance company can actually deny any claim you might make. This is the case because in order to be covered, you must insure 100% of the non-refundable trip penalties. On the other hand, if the cost of your non-refundable expenses decrease, you should also contact us so that we can adjust your policy and refund you for any differences in your coverage.

 

Still have questions? Want to learn more about which travel insurance policy is correct for your next vacation? You can reach us by phone at 1-888-885-7233, by email at  info@travelsafe.com. You can also post your question on our Facebook page or Tweet us. We look forward to hearing from you and making sure your travel insurance helps you with your travel needs.

Furloughs cause flight delays and cancellations

Air travelers are experiencing delays the government warned us about a few months ago. The delays are reportedly caused by forced federal spending cuts. On Monday, New York City-area airports reported delays for all incoming flights because air traffic controllers were forced to take unpaid time off.

Overall, furloughs kicked in on Sunday for 47,000 Federal Aviation Administration workers, including 15,000 air traffic controllers.

“Throughout today, the FAA has put in place a series of traffic management initiatives around the country to manage both reduced staffing as a result of employee furloughs and weather related issues,” Department of Transportation Press Secretary Justin Nisly said in a statement.

The FAA said there were 400 furlough-related flight delays on Sunday alone. Examples of the flight delays occurred on two Alaska Airlines flights destined for Los Angeles International Airport. The flights were diverted 60 miles away to Ontario International Airport Sunday night due to furloughs and bad weather. Due to the delay, the airline had to bus passengers to LAX. However, the airline waived rebooking fees through Tuesday, citing furloughs.

These delays are the only beginning. FAA workers are required to take a total of 11 days off by the month of September. The workers must take off at least one day every two weeks which means 1,500 controllers could be off the job per day.

“The best indicator of what this is going to be like is (that) we ran delays on Sunday — not one of the busiest days of the week — … on a perfect weather day,” said Stephen Abraham, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association representative in JFK.

In addition to delays, there were another 400 flights canceled Monday and 50 flights canceled Tuesday cancelled as of 5 am ET.

So what is your best bet for dealing with the delays? Be sure to check your flight status before heading to the airport. Be sure to purchase travel insurance to make sure your travel investment is protected against delays, cancellations and many other unforeseeable events.

We’d like to hear your thoughts about the recent flight delays and cancellations. Leave a comment below, write on our Facebook page or Tweet us. We look forward to hearing from you!

Travel Insurance Available for Canadian Residents


We are excited to announce that beginning April 10, 2013, US travel agents may now protect Canadian residents and citizens with the most popular TravelSafe travel insurance protection plans – Basic, Classic and Classic Plus (Quebec excluded).

Each plan offers distinct advantages depending on your customers’ needs. For coverage highlights, see the chart below.

Coverage Highlights for Canadians Basic Classic Classic Plus
Max Trip Cost/Days $10,000/30D $100,000/30D $100,000/30D
Max Age 79 80* 80*

*For passengers age 80, max eligible Trip Cost is $15,000.

In addition, when purchasing Canadian plans for your customers, a final purchasing stage will require you to complete an enrollment with the assistance of Northbridge Insurance Co., our Canadian underwriter.  Since US travel professionals are not licensed in Canada, we are required by Canadian Provincial regulations to complete enrollments in the following manner.

After entering and submitting the customer’s information, you will receive the following notice:

“To complete this enrollment, your client, or you and your client, must call the following number for verification purposes: 1-877-851-4523.”

Please have your client’s Enrollment ID available when you call.

For additional information, please see the Canadian TravelSafe Travel Agent Guide. If you have any further questions, leave a comment below or call us 1-800-523-8020. We’d be happy to speak with you.

Thank you for your continued support!

TravelSafe team

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TravelSafe Vacation Plan Named Number One for Second Consecutive Year

We are proud to announce that the TravelSafe Vacation Plan has been ranked the number 1 travel insurance plan for the 2nd consecutive year by Top Ten Reviews!

So what does this mean for you? TravelSafe plans provide unmatched coverage which allows travelers to see the world with peace of mind. Awarded a 9.5 overall rating, the Vacation Plan offers up to 150% of the trip cost if your trip is interrupted and up to $25,000 for non-medical emergency evacuation. The policy also provides a $100,000 emergency accident and sickness benefit.

According to Top Ten Reviews, “if you are most concerned about travel insurance benefits for missed connections or lost baggage, this policy beats all of the competition.”However, we know that one plan doesn’t fit all – so we offer several options so you can find the plan that works best for you. Choices include Basic, Classic, Classic Plus, Protect-a-Group and more.

To find out more about the right coverage for you, visit TravelSafe.com or call us at 1-888-885-7233. We look forward to hearing about your next travel adventure!

Safe travels,
Your Friends at TravelSafe

 

Your Coverage During Winter Storm Nemo

As the most recent winter storm approach, travel plans for persons traveling through airports along the northeastern seaboard (i.e. New York, Philadelphia, Boston, etc.) may be disrupted for a few days beginning Thursday, February 7th, 2013.  While many travel suppliers and airlines are trying to reroute and/or reprotect travelers on alternate flights, some delays and/or cancellations are inevitable.
We receive many questions regarding what may or may not be covered in weather-related situations.  Following are some general guidelines – subject to the provisions and limits specific to your plan – regarding the various coverages available:

Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption or Missed Connection – Generally, if your flight is delayed or canceled due to inclement weather, and there is a complete cessation of services for the number of hours specified in your plan, you can take a an alternate flight when travel is possible and be reimbursed for the unused land or water arrangements and any of the specified additional transportation expenses, up to the plan limit, or, If this is not feasible, you can cancel your trip.  There is no coverage if you cancel your trip based upon the possibility of a storm striking your home or trip destination, but coverage is available if your home is made uninhabitable by the storm.  Call us at 1-888-885-7233 and we will be happy to review your benefits and plan provisions with you.

Trip/Travel Delay – If your plan includes travel delay benefits, additional meal and accommodation expenses may be reimbursed up to the amount provided by the plan if you have left home and travel is delayed for the number of hours specified in your plan due to flight delays or cancellations.

Again, if you have any questions, you can reach us at 1-888-885-7233.

Safe travels,
Your Friends at TravelSafe

Where to Travel in 2013

Today marks the last day of 2012, and that means it’s time for New Year’s Resolutions. Instead of eating healthier, hitting the gym or passing on the extra cookie, we recommend getting out there and traveling!

To help with your travel plans, we’ve searched the net, asked our Facebook friends, read the reviews and compiled a list of the top destinations for each type of traveler in 2013. Do you like to have an adventure when you travel? How about some R&R? Or just some great sightseeing? We’ve got a destination for everyone:

Papua New Guinea is one of the most culturally diverse countries. According to recent data, 841 different languages are listed for the country.

The Outdoors-men: Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea is filled with endless outdoor activities. This little known, Western destination boasts all kinds of adventure sports. Whether it be diving, snorkeling or year-round surfing, this destination is great for a traveler who wants an adventure.

The Bookworm: Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is a great destination for travelers who want to learn more about the native culture, study it’s history and immerse themselves in the rich wildlife. From the 2004 Civil War to the national parks filled with exotic animals, Sri Lanka has something for the traveler looking to soak up knowledge while soaking up the sun.

The Foodie: San Juan Islands, Washington
The San Juan Islands are the perfect place to escape and eat to your heart’s content. You’ll be able to choose from fresh seafood – oysters, clams, salmon and locally-grown vegetables at farmers’ markets. If you want to exercise after indulging, you’re in luck. The islands boast 250 days of sunshine per year and have bikes available to explore the nearby beaches.

The Penny Pincher: Florida
The state of Florida has a lot to offer including beaches, natural beauty, amusement parks and Key Lime Pie that can’t be beat. According to VisitFlorida.com, Florida beaches are ranked among the best in the country for beauty, accessibility and facilities. Families, couples and active singles enjoy year-round sunshine, soft sand and clear Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean waters. It’s easy on the pocketbook because you can find great flight deals and spend your vacation on one of the many beaches in the Sunshine State. But if you chose Miami, be sure to plan for plenty of time as the airport is known for delays.
After reading the list, tell us – which destination are you going to add to your must-see list for 2013? Leave a comment below, post on our Facebook wall or Tweet us. We look forward to hearing where you’re headed in the upcoming year!

And wherever you go, don’t forget to protect your investment with travel insurance. It can help save your trip from the unexpected.

Safe travels,

Your friends at TravelSafe