Unlicensed Travel Agents at Work

A standardized law that basically allows agents to sell travel insurance without having the need to flash a license has just been adopted by 31 states in the U.S., after five years of effort by the United States Travel Insurance Association (USTIA) and American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) to simplify all state laws and regulations about the sale of travel insurance. This so-called standardized law is a model law adopted by the entire NAIC or National Association of Insurance Commissioners that aims to give unlicensed agents the right to do basic sale of travl insurance plans.

The most recent state to adopt the said law is Delaware. It was able to adopt the brand new law last summer, which was officially used on January 2015. The said law allows travel agents to offer insurance to eager travelers who desire to have a reliable travel insurance plan before they leave the country or their hometown.

In large part, through the said law, travel agents are given the opportunity, despite their lack of license, to provide generational information, collect premiums, and process applications filed by clients who want to purchase a reliable insurance plan. This tactic is entirely different from what the law states regarding the role of licensed insurance agents who get to do the following activities: sell, solicit, and negotiate.

In summary, the model law specifies that agents can sell travel insurance to their customers for as long as travel insurance company administrators commit to doing their jobs by ensuring that all of the unlicensed travel agents under its wing are trained to a certain extent. More importantly, administrators are also practically obliged to keep a list of their official agents that are allowed to sell insurance plans in an attempt to disseminate valuable information about travel insurances.

The Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Allianz Global Assistance, Jack Zemp, had once confirmed that travel agents’ job do not, at all, entail any professional acts that can only be performed by a real insurance agent. Instead, it is a profession primarily focused on organizing quality trips and highlighting the role of travel insurance as an element of any type of trip worthy of purchase. ASTA’s senior, John Pittman, believes that even though unlicensed agents can enjoy a lot of time on their own, they still have to wait for the participation of the insurance provider whenever specific questions about the coverage of the travel insurance has been asked by a customer.

As of now, there are still nineteen states that are not yet adopting the model act of granting unlicensed travel agents the freedom to sell travel insurance plans. Because of this, the aforementioned model act shall not be applicable to any other locations outside the thirty one states any time soon. Thus, an agent has to have a license and retain that same license as he stays on a state where unlicensed travel agents are not allowed to sell anything. According to USTIA’s committee, all those who have purchased travel insurance from unlicensed agents basically have the same benefits as those who have acquired one through the help of licensed travel agents.

In countries such as Denmark car insurances (bilforsikringer), are mandatory. But trave insurances are not. This means that every year people who are not insured get to pay large amounts for treatment if they get injurued on their holiday.

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Travel Weekly