‘What To Do When Not Just Any Travel Insurance Will Do’
“Travel insurance is diversifying,” writes Christopher Elliott in Forbes. “While standard travel insurance can cover most normal vacation trips, there are outliers including luxury vacations, corporate travel, and adventure vacations that demand special coverage.”
Elliott spoke with Cavalry’s Tom Bochnowski and Butterfield & Robinson‘s Simon Elliott about how Cavalry provides a tailored solution for luxury travelers and tour operators:
To celebrate her 60th birthday, Andrea Shelly booked a trip to Tanzania and Rwanda through Butterfield & Robinson, a luxury tour operator. She planned to bring her adult children on the two-week adventure. But with a $130,000 price tag, Shelly knew that ordinary travel insurance wouldn’t do — and she was right.
A few months before her planned departure, one of Shelly’s sons got a promotion and the family decided to postpone their African safari.
“It didn’t feel like it was appropriate to take so much time off as a newly-minted associate,” explains Shelly, a real estate investor from Irvine, Calif.
Had Shelly bought a garden-variety travel insurance policy with named perils, she’d be out of luck. A work promotion isn’t covered by most travel insurance policies. She’d be on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars in nonrefundable charges.
Fortunately, she’d purchased insurance through a specialty provider called Cavalry Elite Travel Insurance. It’s cancel-for-any-reason trip protection that pays 75 percent of your trip, no questions asked. Cavalry quickly cut Shelly a check for $19,000, the portion of her deposit and nonrefundable airfare due under the policy.
Travel insurance is diversifying. While standard travel insurance can cover most normal vacation trips, there are outliers including luxury vacations, corporate travel, and adventure vacations that demand special coverage. These newer types of policies match the unique nature of the trips to the coverage, building on a portfolio of niche insurance products that already exist. All told, they offer travelers more choices when they’re looking for insurance.
Travel insurance isn’t a one-size-fits-all product
“We believe travel insurance is not a one-size-fits-all product,” says Tom Bochnowski, a vice president for Redpoint Resolutions, which provides evacuation, travel assistance, and non-insurance services, and which owns Cavalry Elite Travel Insurance. “What you need for a family trip to Disney World is a lot different than what you need for climbing Everest. And what you need for climbing Everest is much different than what you need for a luxury tour of Europe.”
Tour operators feel that way, too. Simon Elliott, director of industry partners at Butterfield & Robinson, says his customers needed more than regular trip protection because of the specialized nature of their tours.
“We’re looking for a change from the standard wholesale insurance product we had been offering for many years,” he says. “It really was one-size-fits-all with everyone paying the same rate irrespective of their age and it was not flexible in the ways we needed it to be to reflect our evolving business.”