• Joe

Travel agency insurance: Do you need it?

When I say "travel agency insurance" what I mean are the most common insurances that independent travel planning businesses might consider. Insurance is all about mitigating risk, and there is nothing requiring you to purchase any of these. As a small, at home, agency you might feel like you don't need this stuff, and I won't make a definitive statement either way. But in case you want to learn more, here's a primer.

General Liability Insurance

Most every business uses this form of relatively cheap insurance. The basic scenario is the office slip and fall by a client. This may be low probability for you, or even non-existent. However, there is an interesting feature of general liability insurance that is pertinent to travel planners, behold,

General liability coverage also provides personal and advertising injury coverage that will protect you from any misunderstandings. Examples could be a client booking the wrong trip based on your advertising or inaccurate pricing causing them unplanned expenses. <Source>

Protections include:

  • Damage to someone else's property

  • Damage to rented properties (e.g. a fire)

  • Injury to a third party including related medical expenses

  • Actions of your staff, including temporary employees

  • Claims of personal injury including libel and slander

Prices for general liability insurance for small, personal travel advisors like yourself will come in around $30/month.

Professional Insurance - Errors & Omissions (E&O)

E&O insurance can be particularly pertinant to the travel advisory business, because it's a form of insurance that protects "advice" from a service provider, or more accurately, lack of advice. This insurance is protection in case something you said or didn't say causes your client financial hardship.

Click the video below for a good summary.

If you have made an error while planning for your client’s vacation or business trip, it may cause the client emotional or financial harm and then could sue your business for the damages.  Professional liability insurance protects your travel agency from such claims. <Source>

Protections include:

  • Claims against you for negligence, even if you haven't made a mistake

  • Awarded damages and defense costs up to your policy limit

  • Services delivered by all staff, including temporary employees

  • Unknown claims arising from previous work (back to an agreed-upon date)

  • Work completed worldwide as long as the suit is bought in the US or Canada

  • Claims for libel and slander arising from your services

  • Punitive damages covered up to $250,000 where allowed by law

Prices for professional liability insurance for custom travel planners will come in around $43/month.