“Offering trip insurance protects your guests, safeguards your homeowners, and increases your bottom line.”
Vacation rental property managers who offer trip cancellation insurance to their guests understand its value in more ways than one. Most have become keenly aware that insurance sales can also be a meaningful source of income. Some companies offset operating expenses, pay employee bonuses, and fund other costs with income generated by the sale of trip insurance.
Everyone in the vacation rental industry takes revenue increases seriously. It pays to increase the percentage of reservations that include the purchase of trip insurance. Pay close attention to the often overlooked detail of selling insurance. If your business does not yet provide this significant product, consider adding it to your total package. Number one, it affords protection for your guests when cancellation cannot be avoided due to unforeseen events. In addition, it generates added income. We can all use some of that!
Consider the following scenarios: You have guests scheduled to stay in one of your properties; their reservation is paid in full. Two days before check-in, they call to cancel. A family member has been hospitalized, or there’s been a death. The bread-winner just lost his/her job. The children’s school year has been extended. Inclement weather caused a flight cancellation and your guests are unable to re-book at this late date. All are life events that vacation rental managers hear about on a regular basis. When events like these occur during a high-rental time of year, the manager may have no trouble re-booking the property. But consider the result when a last-minute cancellation comes at a slow-rental time. The chance of re-booking drastically decreases and the likelihood of your satisfying property owners, guests, and your own company goes downhill quickly. During peak season or off-season, you do not need this problem.
Trip cancellation insurance not only protects you and your valued guests, it safeguards your homeowners by providing further assurance their investment is secure. Those homeowners look to you to provide income and to keep their homes rented. When a last-minute cancellation occurs they still look to you to bring in the money. An added bonus: When a guest purchases trip insurance for a small percentage of the reservation fee, the insurance company works directly with the renter, further minimizing time you and your staff work to satisfy both guests and homeowners.
Insurance not only protects everyone’s monetary investments when a guest cannot avoid a last-minute cancellation, it becomes paramount when unforeseen events interrupt a long-awaited vacation after it is underway.
Your guests have checked in; everyone in the family is happy and enjoying a great week. Suddenly, Dad cuts his foot on a piece of glass while playing with the kids on the beach, or he twists his ankle showing off on the slopes after a fifteen-year hiatus from skiing. The family has health insurance through Dad’s employer, but it carries a $3000 deductible with a non-payment penalty of being dropped from the health plan network. Bad news for everyone!
Dad now has an injured foot and spends the rest of an expensive vacation day at the local emergency care center. Mom and the kids forfeit a perfect beach or snow day to stay with him. Both parents are worried about how they will pay the unexpected medical expenses. After all, they just spent their savings on this vacation.
In most cases, if the guests are covered by trip cancellation insurance, they are covered for this type of emergency. An added plus: Paperwork is handled by the insurance provider, not the property manager.
Trip insurance can also cover more serious medical conditions, as well as dangers associated with natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes. It can help in the case of delayed flights and lost or stolen items. It provides peace of mind for everyone involved. Vacation rental managers who explain the key benefits of coverage at the time a guest is considering a reservation can help turn a less-than-great situation into an acceptable one for all involved.
Today the vacation rental market is experiencing a boost in several ways. The interest level of travelers seeking vacation rentals is on the rise. There is unprecedented growth in the industry itself, and companies are committed to serving both the guest and the homeowner. It’s thrilling to watch this growth occur and to be a part of the excitement.
At the same time, success breeds imitation. More and more large companies want a piece of the pie. Many property managers are beginning to feel a strain on their profits. Since most managers keep only a small portion of the rental reservation amount, it becomes more important to look for additional ways to increase profit. Trip insurance can provide a welcome answer. It becomes part of the revenue your company keeps, revenue that is not shared with a distribution site, another property manager, or the homeowner.
As our industry becomes increasingly global and attracts more and more international guests, it is a fact that everyone in the industry has an opportunity to profit by providing vacation rental homes. In turn, U.S.-based companies that manage global inventory are seeing more and more U.S. citizens traveling abroad.
If travel insurance, along with close attention being paid to the value insurance brings your guests, is not already a vital part of your vacation rental business, then it should become an important element in your revenue growth plans for the future.
By Carie Leyden