Travel insurance can be purchased many different ways. Coverage can be purchased from a limited lines agent, a travel retailer, an insurance company’s third-party administrator, or directly from an insurance company’s website.
A person selling travel insurance is required to have a limited license which allows them to write only policies and certificates of travel insurance.
If a policy is delivered by postal mail the policyholder may cancel the policy for a full refund of the protection plan price; if the request is made within 15 days of the delivery date; and no claim has been filed.
If the policy is delivered by means other than postal mail, the policyholder has 10 days from the date of policy delivery to request cancellation if no claim has been filed.
Travel insurance coverage is purchased to provide the traveler with a piece of mind should their trip be interrupted; their luggage be lost; should damages to accommodations or rental vehicles occur; sickness, accident, disability or death occur during the trip; emergency evacuations; and return of remains should death occur.
A policy is to be delivered to the consumer as soon as practicable after the purchase of the plan.
Any other contractual obligations to indemnify or pay a specified amount to the traveler upon determinable contingencies related to travel.
Blanket Travel Insurance: A policy issued to an eligible group providing coverage to all members without a separate charge to each individual member of the group. An eligible group would be two or more people traveling together.
Designated Responsible Producer: The limited lines travel insurance producer employee designated as the licensed insurance producer responsible for compliance with the travel insurance laws and regulations applicable to the limited lines travel insurance producer and its registrants. The individual in this position must hold a General lines or Personal lines license.
Travel Insurance Producer: An individual or business entity that will be selling travel insurance. These limited lines travel insurance agents would be able to sell, solicit, or negotiate travel insurance through a licensed insurer. The Travel Insurance Producer is responsible for the acts of the travel retailer.
Travel Retailer: May offer and disseminate travel insurance under a limited lines travel insurance producer business entity license under prescribed conditions.
If an insurance company is marketing directly to consumers via their website, certain disclosure requirements must be met. The website must provide an accurate summary or short description of the coverage being provided. The consumer must have full access to the policy provisions through the website. The consumer must not be forced to use a negative or opt-out option that requires them to take action to deselect coverage; such as unchecking a box on an electronic form when the trip is purchased.
While a travel protection plan can be offered for a single price, the plan must offer the following:
Noninsurance related services provided to the consumer. Includes but is not limited to:
Research complaints involving the insurance company through the Division of Consumer Services at www.MyFloridaCFO.com or by calling 850-413-3089 or 877-693-5236.
Visit the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ website to verify licensure of any Florida based travel agency. They can be reached at https://www.fdacs.gov/Business-Services/Sellers-of-Travel. You can review complaint history or file a complaint for travel agencies by going to https://www.fdacs.gov/Contact-Us/File-a-Complaint.
Be sure you understand your responsibilities as a party to the policy.
If an insurance company is marketing directly to consumers via their website, certain disclosure requirements must be met. The website must provide an accurate summary or short description of the coverage being provided. A recent change in law under Section, 647.05 (2), Florida Statutes states “that a negative or opt-out option that would require a consumer to take an affirmative action to deselect coverage” is not allowed.
Be aware of the deductibles and cancellation penalties.
Be aware of the terms and conditions of the travel insurance policy, including how far in advance of their trip they have to make a claim.
Be aware of and understand any Pre-existing Medical Conditions Clause or policy wording that relates to pre-existing medical conditions that may be present in the policy being considered for purchase.
Be clear about what disasters or weather conditions are covered by the policy. For example, hurricanes: some policies exclude hurricanes which are normally predicted days in advance and the policy may not cover cancellation if their home is the location affected by the hurricane rather than their destination.
Keep all documents related to your trip (policy, receipts etc.) together in one location. This documentation may be needed at a future date.
Visit the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consumer Affairs website to track and review travel advisories. They can be reached via the internet at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/.
Should you need additional information, you may speak with an insurance examiner between the hours of 8am–5:00pm at one of the telephone numbers listed below:
Out of State Callers: (850) 413-3089