We get a lot of questions about travel insurance each year – should I purchase this with my trips? How do I know what level of insurance is right for me? Is it a waste of money? While it’s very much a matter of personal preference, if you are not trusting all of these details to your travel advisor, it is probably a good idea to seriously consider purchasing some level of travel insurance.
Join us for an Inside look at travel insurance with Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection. Thank you to Carol Mueller, VP of Strategic Marketing, for taking the time to further explore the specific options available from Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection, and chatting with us about the future of travel insurance. Backed by Warren Buffet, Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection (BHTP) is making waves through the travel insurance industry by offering innovative, affordable travel protection with real-time trip interruption reimbursement and support.
Interview with Carol Mueller, VP of Strategic Marketing for Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection…
LuxeGetaways: What separates BHTP from other travel insurance providers?
Carol Mueller: What Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection (BHTP) covers and how fast it pays is what sets us apart. First, we combine both traditional travel insurance and travel inconvenience payouts in one plan. While most other travel insurance plans offer the traditional protection for your losses incurred due to things like trip cancellation, emergency medical expenses, replacement items while bags are lost or delayed, BHTP offers those common coverages, plus payouts for common, annoying travel inconveniences. For example: bags delayed? Most plans will pay up to a certain limit of costs you incurred in terms of replacement items. BHTP’s ExactCare Extra plan pays a covered baggage delay at a fixed benefit of $150. If all you needed was a toothbrush and toothpaste until your bags showed up, no problem. BHTP pays the fixed rate of $150 for your inconvenience. Missed a connection and you must wait three more hours for the next flight? ExactCare Extra provides you a fixed amount of $100 for the hassle or your inconvenience.
And while the traditional travel insurance providers still pay claims with a check through postal mail, BHTP puts money in the traveler’s pocket faster by offering payment methods via debit card, PayPal, EFT bank transfer – all of these options allow impacted travelers to be paid while still traveling, not weeks or months after the trip concludes.
LG: Why opt for travel insurance?
CM: You cannot predict what might happen when traveling. The purpose of taking a vacation is to obtain the ultimate experience, but what if something goes wrong, like a medical emergency, your bags never show up, a storm trips up your flights and now you’ve missed your connections? Travel insurance allows you to travel worry free knowing should something go wrong, or should you need to cancel for a covered reason, you have protection for your covered losses.
LG: What are some misconceptions of travel insurance?
CM: Travel insurance is something consumers are still trying to understand in the United States. There are a lot of misunderstandings about what is covered (and what is not covered). One common misconception is an insured traveler needs to incur a financial loss or an emergency out-of-pocket expense to benefit from their travel insurance. At BHTP, we take travel protection one-step further: we also pay travelers for common travel hassles.
LG: Where is travel insurance headed in the coming years?
CM: Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection’s annual State of Travel Insurance report gauges consumer travel insurance preference and purchase intent, and benchmarks shifting trends in the marketplace. There is a noticeable shift in purchase intent by demographic, and the younger traveler is expecting travel insurance coverage that is specific to their type of trip – and through technology they are accustomed to using during their travel experience. Travel insurance plans are moving to being dynamically built and priced for more specific travel segments at the time of purchase, giving consumers a narrowed set of coverages and limits tailored to their type of trip.
LG: What’s next for BHTP?
CM: Look for new products from Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection soon. We are launching a cruise travel plan for those who choose to cruise; w are launching new benefits to our innovative AirCare flight fixed benefits plan; and we will roll out a plan specific for adventure travelers in 2019.
What separates the travel insurance platform from competitors?
Reimbursement can be issued in seconds, depending on financial institution. Expedited reimbursement directly to debit or PayPal via BHTP Burst, powered by MasterCard Send technology: no filling out and mailing forms, no waiting for months for a claim refund.
24/7 global concierge service: Lose a passport? Concierge will handle all the necessary details with the closest embassy.
Accessibility and flexibility: BHTP has a mobile app (available on Apple/Android), which offers all of the above access – contact with concierge, submitting claims, reimbursement, etc.
Winter storms have caused thousands of delays and cancelled flights, throwing a curveball in travel plans. Purchase travel insurance before a storm is named to be covered for potential departure or tarmac delays, missed connections, and cancellations. BHTP is the only travel insurance provider to offer fixed benefits for these common mishaps through instant claims reimbursement via BHTP Burst.
BHTP’s fixed benefits through its AirCare product:
- Tarmac delay: $1,000 (2 hours or more)
- Baggage delay: $500 (12 hours or more)
- Baggage loss: $500 domestic, $1,000 international
- Missed connection: $100 domestic
- Flight cancellation: $150 domestic, $250 international
- Flight delay: $50 (2 hours or more)
ExactCare: ExactCare is comprehensive coverage that’s customizable and very affordable. It can help evacuate travelers in an emergency, fix an interrupted cruise, protect their investment when their tour operator goes bankrupt, or pay their medical bills when they get sick or are injured on their trip. It features “pic and a click” filing for many claims in addition to:
- Up to $25,000 emergency medical and dental coverage
- Pre-existing conditions covered if coverage is bought within 15 days of booking
- Coverage for trip cancellation and delay, baggage delay and loss, medical evacuation, AD&D, and more
- Optional Cancel For Any Reason coverage
- 24/7/365 emergency assistance from any device through any channel