ASSIST-CARD—a worldwide insurance and assistance product company that has been providing help to travelers in Europe for 40 years—is now being offered in the U.S., primarily through travel agents.
The company, which has its U.S. headquarters in Miami, FL, has been promoting locally since last year and has just re-launched its website to now target the national travel agent market. “Our products and services are unrivalled, with unique benefits and agent-tailored website automation allowing policies to be purchased and quoted in less than a minute with commissions paid automatically,” says Jason Schreier, the company’s director of sales.
In fact, this can be a particularly lucrative commissionable product for agents because the breadth of coverage with this program makes it an almost must-do for clients who are planning expensive vacations. A $10,000 vacation can be spoiled very quickly with flight delays, cancellations or terrorist threats. At the same time, clients in the older demographics really need this relatively inexpensive product to protect them should illness or serious accidents occur while they’re vacationing, a not uncommon event for people in that age range.
ASSIST-CARD offers travelers both assistance and insurance services that cover a number of possible trip complications. The company’s insurance benefits, for instance, provide travelers with monetary compensation for a number of trip inconveniences. Your clients can be reimbursed the total amount of their trip should it be cancelled, as well as receive coverage for trip delays (up to $1,500), missed connections ($750), baggage delay ($500), emergency medical (up to $250,000) and emergency evacuation (up to $1,000,000). You should note, too, that ASSIST-CARD coverage is primary coverage, meaning the coverage kicks in first regardless of whether the client has other insurance policies. Generally, other travel insurance policies offer secondary insurance.
What makes ASSIST-CARD unique, the company stresses, is that it—unlike other travel insurance programs on the market—also offers an extensive array of cashless benefits, which means that clients can obtain services immediately without incurring their own expenditures and then having to go through the process of filling out forms and waiting for reimbursement.
Indeed, its Instant Assistant Services-Cashless Benefits includes medical services in case of illness or an accident; medicines; medical transfers and evacuations; dental services; lost luggage; legal assistance in case of arrest; transfer of a traveler’s relative in the event that a solo traveler must be hospitalized; early return due to a disaster at traveler’s home, as well as assistance in case of lost or stolen travel documents. Your clients will also be happy to know—and this is a great benefit to you, as well—that these Instant Assistant Services-Cashless Benefits include concierge services, with a 24/7 help desk to assist travelers with health advisories, immunization recommendations, translations, restaurant or travel reservations, tee times, local events or any other need when they are abroad. The program also includes reimbursement for meals, accommodations and other expenses should your clients miss a cruise or trip departure due to a flight delay or cancellation.
“For the first time,” says Keith St. Clair, the company’s managing director, “clients can enjoy a cashless product that means never having to deal with claim forms.”
And multilingual assistance is provided 24 hours a day throughout 49 worldwide alarm centers and 100 local centers. In fact, another factor that makes them unique, St. Clair says, is that, “We have operation centers in 100 countries. We are totally client-driven”—the company served seven million clients worldwide in 2009—“and a 98 percent customer satisfaction ranking epitomizes the care we provide our clients,” continues St. Clair. “And with policies as low as $15, it is inexpensive and easy to use the assist process.”
Rates for insurance and Instant Assistance Services-Cashless Benefits vary by traveler’s age and cost of trip. For instance, if the cost of the trip is between $3,001 and $3,500 and your client is between the ages of 35 to 59, the rate is $173 for the ASSIST-CARD Classic Plus and $226 for the ASSIST-CARD Premier—the difference between the two is the amount of coverage offered for the various services and benefits. Additionally, the company offers an ASSIST-Card Premier Annual plan (priced at $325), as well as an ASSIST-CARD Multitrip Classic plan (priced at $284).
Agents should also note that some states require agents to obtain a license in order to sell insurance. ASSIST-CARD also provides assistance to agents in getting licensed.