As travel agents, we’re pretty good a coping with change (Remember OAGs and paper tickets?). Usually, change is for the good. However there’s a revolution looming in the industry we should all keep very close tabs on.
I’m talking about travel insurance. Provincial and territorial regulators – and it varies where you are in the country – are lobbying for change.
Firstly, they all want us to write insurance exams. This is not unreasonable (all of us in Ontario must write TICO exams). But other changes could be much more draconian.
For example, the insurance companies’ lobby groups are pounding the drum for changes in Saskatchewan, where in future, you may not be able to sell insurance unless you are physically working in a bricks-and-mortar agency, as either a staffer or independent agent.
In Alberta, it could be even worse: you won’t be able to sell insurance unless you are in a bricks-and-mortar agency and are on staff.
This could have huge ramifications for all of us in the home-based travel industry. Not only will we be prevented from serving our clients correctly (how many of them will bother to get insurance despite our strong counselling to do so?) but we will be losing a significant source of revenue.
What can you do about it? Keep close tabs on ACTA, who should be strongly lobbying against these changes. Make sure you abide by the rules: it is your responsibility to know what you can and cannot sell. Pay particular attention when selling to a client outside your home province or territory. Make sure your host office keeps you in the loop. Above all, pay attention: this could be huge.