A new travel insurance firm,
Safe Travel Care, based
in La Jolla, Calif., is targeting a market currently short on
choices for coverage: incentive programs, along with corporate
meetings and events. Policies tailored to this market will be
unveiled this month.
Why enter the fray at an inauspicious time for many insurers?
Robert L. Schultz (right), Safe Travel Care’s CEO, feels he’s
offering the right product at the right time. “After 9/11, business
travel and incentive programs dried up; companies indicated they
did not want to expose their people [to danger],” he said.
But Schultz, who started out his professional life with the
now-defunct E.F. MacDonald, one of the country’s first incentive
firms, and then worked for Prudential, sensed firms wanted to
reward their top performers with travel again, as long as they were
properly insured against exposure to liability losses.
“Even if a firm’s events and employees are covered by the
corporate insurance policy,” said Schultz, “their guests are not,”
nor are incentive program participants such as dealers,
distributors and independent sales representatives.
“No one else I know of is offering this kind of product for
this niche,” Schultz added. (Insurance firms that offer incentive
coverage, such as Rockville, Md.-based Novick Group Inc. and the
U.K.-based Insurex Expo-sure, focus primarily on other type of
events, association meetings and exhibitions, respectively, rather
Safe Travel Care is targeting Fortune
500 firms with
groups of 75-plus, as well as major incentive companies.
Fees, Schultz said, typically will be 2 to 3 percent of the
total cost of the event. Offerings include a basic program that
includes medical care, emergency care and lost luggage, but for
additional fees, firms can add on extra coverage for terrorism,
acts of God, war, etc.
“It’s about time something like this became available,” said
Bruce Tepper, an incentive consultant based in Sonora, Calif.,
noting that most travel insurance firms are geared more toward
travelers, rather than sponsoring companies.