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The U.S. Travel Insurance Association (UStiA), founded in 2004, is a non-profit association of businesses that sell, promote, develop, administer, and implement travel insurance.
The stated mission of the UStiA is to:
- ensure that travelers have affordable access to travel protection and travel assistance;
- educate consumers about travel insurance and related issues;
- promote fairness, integrity and a commitment to excellence in the travel insurance industry;
- foster ethical and professional standards of industry conduct;
- cultivate effective government relations on behalf of the travel insurance industry;
- inform and assist members with matters pertaining to the industry.
Member businesses (including TravelInsurance.com) agree to adhere to a Code of Ethical Conduct, which ensures quality, fairness, privacy, and professional behavior. Specifically, they agree to:
- Provide travel insurance products and services that represent value and high quality;
- Pay all valid claims fairly, promptly, accurately and courteously;
- Respect the privacy of individuals by using personal information only for the purposes authorized;
- Engage in fair, professional and ethical competition;
- Make no misrepresentations, false or malicious statements about the products, services, staff, financial condition or business practices of other Members;
- Uphold the reputation of the Association, its Members and the travel insurance industry.
In addition, members agree to adhere to a Truth in Advertising pledge, ensuring that published costs, coverage, benefits, conditions, and exclusions are clearly presented, factually accurate, and not misleading or exaggerated. Specifically, they agree to:
- Present their products, benefits, conditions, exclusions and prices clearly and accurately.
- Not issue statements or advertisements which make false, misleading, or exaggerated claims.
- Ensure that its advertisements, sales materials and presentations, and public announcements are honest, factually accurate, and not misleading.
Why Do Travel Insurance-Related Businesses Join the UStiA?
There are several reasons that travel insurance-related businesses might join the UStiA, including opportunities for professional development, networking, licensing, governmental advocacy, and access to marketing data.
The UStiA lists 10 benefits of being a member:
- Networking Opportunities with insurance companies, third party administrators, managing general agents, assistance companies, air ambulance companies, travel suppliers, software providers, and more!
- Access to the Detailed Results of the USTIA Annual Survey, outlining trends in the travel insurance industry.
- Participate in the ongoing work of USTIA, where your help, opinions, comments, suggestions and questions are welcomed.
- Establish a Public Image to represent the entire travel insurance industry.
- Create and Maintain Effective Government Relations at both the federal and state levels.
- Gain Access to Licensing Manuals and Other Regulatory Information to maintain compliance with industry standards.
- Learn to Effectively Market travel insurance products and services.
- Attend Annual Conferences in locations such as sunny Florida.
- Become a Leader and Shape the Future of the travel insurance industry. Influence the work we do and the direction we take.
- Panel Discussions and Forums provide ideas to help you take your business to the next level.
The most important reason to a traveler, however, is knowing that if you buy travel insurance through a UStiA member, you can have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that this business has pledged to adhere to the UStiA’s Codes of Ethical Conduct and Truth in Advertising and thus is well-versed in industry standards and best practices, and has pledged to treat their customers well. Essentially, it is an assurance of quality, fairness, and transparency.
Some Statistics Regarding Travel Insurance and the UStiA:
- The UStiA has 77 members.
- In 2018, over 65 million travelers were covered by travel insurance provided by a UStiA member.
- The UStiA represents the largest travel insurance corporations in the United States.
- UStiA members provided $3.8 billion of travel coverage in 2018.
What Are the Goals of the UStiA?
The UStiA serves both its members and the traveling public. By promoting ethical business practices, industry-standard best practices, and fair and transparent pricing, everyone benefits.
In addition, the UStiA has the following goals:
- Create uniform and fair regulations for the industry;
- Develop consistent licensing standards for agents who market travel insurance and assistance services;
- Combat insurance fraud and unjust class action lawsuits that adversely impact the cost of travel insurance for consumers;
- Serve as an advocate for the travel insurance industry.
These “big picture” goals demonstrate that the UStiA promotes responsible stewardship of their industry so that its members, travelers, and the public at large will benefit.
Answering Travelers’ Questions
The UStiA is not only committed to supporting their members and promoting the industry, but also to educating travelers on the importance of travel insurance and what to look for when buying travel insurance.
Their Frequently Asked Questions page answers many important questions, including:
- Is travel insurance right for you?
- What is travel insurance?
- Why buy travel insurance?
- What to look for/questions to ask?
- What type of insurance will you need?
- and many more…
trip: Travel Responsibly, Informed & Protected
The UStiA provides an informational site specifically for travelers, trip: Travel Responsibly, Informed & Protected (http://trip.ustia.org/). This goal of this site is summarized by its motto: Empowering you to Travel Safely. This site includes many articles and tips on the subjects of Travel Health, Travel Safety, and Travel Security. Recent features on this site have included topics such as: Arranging Safe Airport Transportation, Protecting your Devices while Traveling, and Traveling Smart:how to Prepare a Personal Medical Portfolio.
The Bottom Line: How Does UStiA Benefit You, the Traveler?
As a traveler, you must concern yourself not only with planning a wonderful trip, but you must also consider everything that might go wrong. Ensuring that you and your traveling companions will be taken care of if an emergency arises is crucial, not only for your safety, but also for your peace of mind.
Travel insurance can a powerful tool to help secure your both your safety and your peace of mind.
Choosing an insurance provider that is a member of the United States Travel Insurance Association — such as TravelInsurance.com — is a great way to be sure that your insurance provider has pledged to fulfill the UStiA Code of Ethical Conduct and, as such, that you will be taken care of, if and when an emergency arises.
TravelInsurance.com is a proud member of the UStiA. Click here to quote, compare and buy travel insurance for your trip at the guaranteed lowest price.