Before the age of the Internet, travelers had only their travel agents in brick-and-mortar establishments to turn to for pre-trip planning and travel emergencies. These days, travel insurance plans, especially package plans, include concierge services.
Much like the well-connected and industrious hotel concierge of old, these concierge services help travelers solve a wide range of problems such as finding cars for hire, scoring exclusive reservations or tickets, setting up tee times, making emergency travel arrangements, and procuring items.
If you’ve always wondered how those travel insurance concierge services might be useful to your on your trip, here are a few reasons to tap into them.
1. They have the power of language on their side
What if you need to make a reservation, find transportation, or reserve a guide in a foreign country, or even somewhere very remote? Concierge services have multilingual staff who can coordinate what you need and communicate it back to you in your own language.
2. Unlike your hotel concierge, you are not obligated to tip
There are no additional charges for the services delivered by your travel insurance plan provider. Essentially, you’ve already paid for the service with your travel insurance plan cost and there’s no obligation to tip.
3. Delegate those research tasks you don’t have time to do
Most people these days are busy with work, family, and social obligations and don’t have the time or the tools it takes to spend finding the right hotel, the perfect yoga class, an overseas babysitter, or transportation to and from the airport. A good concierge service saves their customers precious time.
4. They have access to local experts on the ground
Sure, we’ve all got access to the search engines, but why search blindly on the Internet when you can ask for a personal recommendation from a local expert? Just like the hotel concierges of old, your concierge service will be able to remove the unknown element and give you trusted information.
5. Some have extras like roadside assistance and identity theft protection
Some travel insurance concierge services include extras like help resolving identity theft crises and roadside assistance (usually with a deductible). These benefits can help a traveler facing a critical emergency while on a vacation or business trip. See our review of travel insurance concierge services with a list of policies that offer it.
6. They are available 24/7 using a toll-free hotline
Not all hotel concierges are available 24/7 and certainly not by phone. A travel insurance concierge service is available by calling a toll-free number from anywhere in the world.
Important notes about concierge services
A concierge service may not be for every traveler. Some travelers prefer to do the research on their own and some feel they don’t need external help, but for those situations where even the most confident traveler would like some help, it might be handy to tap into your concierge service.
Here are some important items to note about travel insurance concierge services:
- Some travel insurance companies have their own travel assistance services staff and others farm those responsibilities out to an independent company.
- You are always responsible for the charges related to the actual cost of merchandise or charges for services arranged by your concierge services.
- You have access to these services as soon as you purchase your travel insurance plan, so they are available for pre-trip planning as well as travel emergencies.
It’s also important to note that your concierge service staff can’t do everything. For example, they can’t plan your destination wedding, but they can get you in touch with a wedding planner.
We’ve also read that the services clients with high-end credit cards – those that charge in the hundreds of dollars in annual fees – have better concierge service. So, some travelers may want to tap into their credit card benefits to see what’s available as well.
Be careful with trusting your credit card benefits too much, however, because those services can’t help you with emergency medical evacuations, finding local medical care, and other travel emergencies that are covered by your typical travel insurance plan.