Members & Travel Agents
2020 Vision: A Conversation with ExcursionInsurance.com By Ken Furlow, Global Development Officer, ExcursionInsurance.com
ntil March 13, 2020, most of us were very pleased when we found out that we had 20/20 vision, in other word, perfect vision. March of 2020 brought us to a new reality, and this was not a “perfect vision.” This was when 2020 was literally stamped into every person on Earth’s memory as “the worst disaster in modern history,” and this disaster disproportionately affected the cruise industry, our industry. Nothing has ever compared to the depth and breadth of this global pandemic, hitting developed and developing nations alike, the wealthy and impoverished with the same ruthless and reckless abandon – not one part of our wonderful Earth was left unaffected. And yet, with all the devastation, the grief, the personal and financial hardships, here we stand, poised to welcome a return to the cruise industry and a return to the normalcy of cruising. None of us can accurately predict the “when” of cruising’s return, but all of us can see the need for a return to cruising. The early bookings show a tremendous pent-up demand, and in our conversations with our tour operator clients, we know that when the ships return, they will be met with highest level of professionalism and safety protocols ever put into place by any industry…ever! The global pandemic has affected almost every part of our lives and businesses; the insurance industry was not spared. Prior to the pandemic, most insurers were in the process of evaluating their positions and product placements, or what we call “risk appetites” for all lines of business due to the recent storm, fires etc. The pandemic put this process into overdrive. Insurance companies have dropped entire lines of business, raised and hardened rates in most other lines of business, and now with 80% of the insurers’ staffs working remotely, they have slowed the processes and the amount of time needed to receive and bind quotes putting the 28 FIRST QUARTER 2021 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
“WE ARE READY, WILLING, AND ABLE TO SUCCESSFULLY RELAUNCH THE FCCA GLOBAL TOUR OPERATOR PROGRAM.” insured and the brokers responsible for them in a difficult position. Well, that is the bad news, but there is some very good news related to the FCCA insurance program. We have been able to negotiate the rates for our 2021 FCCA Global Tour Operator Program with 0% rate increase…yes, that is ZERO! The importance of the FCCA Global Tour Operator Program to the success of our return to “normalcy” in the cruise industry cannot be underestimated. With the recent changes in the insurance industry as a whole, knowing that the FCCA Global Tour Operator Program has come through this unchanged and without a rate increase is a tribute to the confidence the insurers have in the FCCA Tour Operators. Many of the cruise lines have reached out to ExcursionInsurance.com directly to make sure that during these uncertain times we would still be able to provide the required coverage for their tour operators, and of course, we stand ready to welcome everyone back into service. Working with the FCCA, the members and the cruise lines, ExcursionInsurance.com has a multipronged plan for the re-entry process when cruising begins. We have two programs that support the FCCA Global Tour Operator Program. Here are the programs and how we will handle the re-entry process for each:
AIG – if you were insured with our AIG program before the pandemic, we have proactively been reaching out to check your status and remind you that we will need a new application for the re-entry program because 2021 will not be a “normal” season of cruising. We need to provide the insurance company the best information available for your quote. We are asking that you give us a minimum of 3 weeks to bring you back into the re-entry program. Remember, we will be working with a large volume of tour operators that need to get their certificates to the cruise lines and get back in business. Lloyds – Most clients insured with the Lloyds program had their policies “suspended” and will be effective once it is known that you will have cruise ships coming to your destination. If you are an insured of the Lloyds program, we ask that you give us at least 2 weeks to get your policy activated and the proper certificates to the cruise lines so that your tour will be available for guests when they arrive.
This past year has been difficult for each of us, but it is time to look forward and not back. Rest assured, ExcursionInsurance.com has spent our time preparing for the re-entry program and honed our processes knowing that we will be challenged to bring back a large volume of our tour operators in a very short period. We are ready, willing, and able to successfully relaunch the FCCA Global Tour Operator Program. We look forward to the opportunity to work with each of you again in the very near future. If you have not heard from our team, please reach out to us. We are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to work with all our friends again soon. For more information, please reach Ken Furlow via mobile (786-351-3408) or e-mail (ken@ excursioninsurance.com).