Participant Protection Plans

Mark Ceslowitz

Program operators prepare 365 days a year for their programs. Convincing participants to enroll early becomes increasingly difficult in the fast paced world we live in. Meanwhile last minute cancellations and interruptions can be a financial nightmare to your organization which has significant fixed and prepaid operating expenses.

Various industries have traditionally offered protection plans to participants including cruise lines, tour operators and airlines. Today, summer camps, conference and convention organizers, sports programs, and education providers are also making these plans available to their participants. Participant Protection plans protect your revenue and provide a valuable service to participants.

How do program operators take advantage of Participant Protection Plans to?

  • Increase participation
  • Encourage earlier enrollments
  • Improve Cash Flow • Reduce Refund Cost and Administration
  • Differentiate your program offering
  • Earn New Income
  • Protect Participants Investment and Experience

How does your program currently handle?

  • One week before your session start date a participant “changes their mind” or has a “scheduling conflict”?
  • Natural Disasters (not at your location) preventing participants from attending?
  • Participants Physical or Psychological Problems Preventing Their Program Participation?
  • Job Loss of the Participant or Parent of Minor Aged Participant?
  • Medical Expenses and Evacuation of Participant During the Program
  • Baggage and Person Effects Loss During Program including Laptops and Cell Phones
  • 24/7 Concierge Assistance Services for your Program Participant or Family Member.

Participant Protection Plans provide coverage for:

  • Program Cancellation • Program Interruption
  • Medical Expenses
  • Emergency Evacuation
  • Travel Delay
  • Baggage and Personal Effects

There are a number of things you should look into before availing a Participant Protection Plan to your participants.

Strategies and Tips for Implementing a Participant Protection Plan

Eligibility – Certain Plans are designed for U.S. Residents only (will not cover Non U.S. Residents). Certain Plans are designed only for Non U.S. Resident (will not cover U.S. resident). Certain Plans will cover both U.S. and Non U.S. Residents.

Exclusions- every plan design has different exclusion. Many plans have amateur sports exclusions (the younger and more active your participants are this can be an issue). Psychological exclusions will exclude anxiety (homesickness), bulimia, anorexia, etc. Certain plans also have pandemic exclusions.

Pre-existing condition waiver – as many insurance plans allow coverage to be purchased up until the day before the program start date, insurance companies build in a protection for a participant who at the last minute has a medical condition and then attempts to buy coverage after the fact. Make sure the plan you select waives pr-existing conditions and confirm how long does the participant have from deposit to obtain the pre – ex waiver.

Cancel For Any Reason- this coverage covers any reason for cancellation (usually 2 days or more before departure) not otherwise covered by the plan and usually covers approximately 75% of non refundable program costs. A usual stipulation is that that 100% of program costs (including transportation) is covered. Make sure you select a plan that provides ample time from initial deposit to obtain this coverage.

Ways To Avail Participant Protection Plans to Your Participants

Retail Plans – you can use website links and banner ads on your website or on communications to advertise to your participants the availability of a participant protection plan. Participants enroll directly online or contact customer service representatives if they questions or need assistance enrolling.

Group Plans – are useful to obtain significantly lower rates based on participation of at least 10 participants per session. An online group enrollment system is available for program operators to sign up participants, remit premium and print confirmations all from your desktop.

Wholesale/Customized Plans – for programs who meet minimum participation levels, customized plans allow program to tailor benefits and automate the plan into their enrollment process for maximum participation.

Selecting the right Participant Protection Plan can help program operators to obtain earlier and increased enrollments. In addition, improved cash flow, reduced refund cost and administration, differentiating your program and earning new income are also advantages. Finally, protecting your participants and your bottom line is a win win!

Travmark.com, Inc. affiliated with Global Coverage, Inc. have been the trusted insurance advisors to varied program operators for decades. The plans offered provide tailored benefits and are underwritten by major international insurance companies. Tens of thousands of participants have been insured and millions of dollars in claims have been paid to date. For more information, please contact Mark Ceslowitz at tel: 800 358 0779x221 or mark@travmark.com.

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