The Advocacy Advantage

Letter to the Editor

R: Editorial, December 2009

I have just finished reading your article about your trip to Egypt. It was very interesting, particularly since I have been telling clients for the last 10 years that they should deal with an insurance broker for their travel insurance.

As an insurance broker working in a General Insurance Office in Brockville, Ont., I deal with four different travel insurance companies for my clients. Each company has a [similar] policy: if they are not notified of hospitalization, the payment will be reduced by 20% to 25%. In your case it looks like you didn’t get to a real hospital until you got to Cairo–which is when your 24 hours would start.

I have run across several clients who have applied online for coverage. While talking to the telephone representative, they are told that they are covered–which is not always true. For example, one client I insured for several trips called once to say he had found cheaper coverage online. I asked him what company, went to their website, checked out the policy and then read back to him the exclusions. He only then realized that he was NOT covered.

My clients realize that dealing with me is much better than dealing with a company via the Internet or through a bank.

I ensure that clients know all about their exclusions prior to leaving the country, and they know that if they are having trouble they can always get in touch with me and I can help them when dealing with the company directly.

This is really the value-add a broker offers in the insurance transaction–bringing clarity to a complex product and advocacy during a claim.

Larry Holmes
J. B. Kelly Insurance Co.

© Copyright 2010 Rogers Publishing Ltd. This article first appeared in the February 2010 edition of Canadian Insurance magazine.

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