Washington D.C. Travel Agency Insurance Policy Information
Washington D.C. Travel Agency Insurance. Travel agents make arrangements for airline or railway transportation, cruises, lodging, vehicle rental, and tours for clients. The agency may limit services to individuals and their families, serve commercial and business clients, or specialize in "event" travel, such as destination weddings, family reunions, mission trips for church groups, or sporting events. Services may be combined into one comprehensive vacation package.
Travel agents may be compensated for their services by the individual or company requesting the travel arrangements, or the travel service provider, either on a commission or on a flat fee basis. The agency may offer a money exchange or sell travel insurance. In some states, travel agents are required to be licensed and bonded.
Everyone needs to get away from it all now and then. Problem is, organizing a relaxing time for your clients could mean a stressful time for you. Holidays are expensive and if things don't go according to plan, your clients won't hesitate to point the finger at you. While years of training and experience can take the travel professional far, some things, like the weather and airlines, are uncontrollable.
Similarly, no travel agent is immune to mistakes that can occur doing business with countless travelers. Scheduled airlines, hotels and tour operators can fail to meet the high expectations of clients who may have been planning their trips for months. The threat of global terrorism is part of everyday life and natural disasters can strike sporadically. For this reason, Washington D.C. travel agency insurance is a necessity.
Washington D.C. travel agency insurance protects your business from lawsuits with rates as low as $27/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do Travel Agents Need Business Insurance?
Following are some of the key exposures that Washington D.C. travel agency insurance covers:
- Carelessness in collection of payment for transportation and accommodations from customer.
- Failure to advise on visa or country entry requirements.
- Failure to book transportation and hotel reservations as agreed.
- Failure to examine carrier operating rules, employee qualification guidelines, or carrier training and testing programs for compliance with regulations or safety standards.
Types Of Coverage For Travel Agents
Uninsured catastrophic losses can threaten the very existence of the agency you have worked so hard to create. Although there are many types of insurance available, there are a number of Washington D.C. travel agency insurance coverages that every agency should purchase:
Professional Liability Insurance: Also know as errors and omissions insurance (E&O). As a travel agent, you could face malpractice lawsuits about the travel services you provide if doesn't meet the promised results. Your customers could also sue you over:
- A travel experience different than what you advertised.
- Mistakes you made with someone's travel.
- Wrong bookings.
- Accommodations that were unsatisfactory.
- Negligence in professional responsibilities.
This Washington D.C. travel agency insurance provides coverage for the costs of legal fees, judgments or settlements, and for lost wages. It is the surest way of protecting your good name.
General Liability Insurance: GLI for your travel agency is like liability insurance for your car. In case you have a wreck, vehicle liability insurance only pays for the other guy's damages but not for yours. Similarly, commercial general liability for your DC agency covers third party injuries and property damage - but not anything you suffered. GLI covers things like product liability or when someone slips and falls in your premises and sues you.
Business Auto Insurance: A DC commercial auto policy provides coverage for autos owned by your agency. The insurance pays any costs to third parties resulting from bodily injury or property damage for which your agency is legally liable, up to the policy limits. Depending on what kind of coverage you buy, the insurance will pay to replace or repair the vehicle because of damage resulting from accidents, theft, flooding or any other event.
Directors and Officers Liability Insurance: With the increasing emphasis on accountability in today's business world, company board members are under growing scrutiny from regulators, investors and shareholder groups to comply with regulatory and corporate governance standards. This Insurance provides your Executives with protection from financial loss and personal financial loss from wrongful acts conducted in their capacity as corporate officers.
Washington D.C. Travel Agencies' Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposures may be minimal if most operations are conducted on premises and most of the client contact is electronic or by mail. If clients visit the premises, they must be kept in customer waiting areas and designated conference areas. All areas must be well maintained with floor covering in good condition. Exits must be sufficient in number, be well marked, and have backup lighting in case of power failure.
Parking lots and sidewalks need to be in good repair with snow and ice removed, and generally level and free of exposure to slips and falls. Hazards are greatly increased if agents act as guides or conduct tours. They must be aware of travel restrictions and advisories. Taking a group of tourists into a climate of civil, social, political, or environmental unrest can have serious consequences.
Professional liability exposures may be high. If a time, dates, places, or airlines are booked incorrectly, customers could incur additional costs. Other potential problems include overbooking, customer dissatisfaction with a recommended facility or tour, or failure to warn of conditions at the point of destination. Agents are expected to assist travelers during times of crisis such as strikes, air carrier bankruptcies, severe weather conditions, and other situations where passengers may become stranded.
Workers compensation exposure is generally limited to that of an office. Potential injuries include eyestrain, neck strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and similar cumulative trauma injuries that can be addressed through ergonomically designed workstations. If clients are transported, the loss potential increases as drivers may be in unfamiliar areas and could be injured in accidents.
If the insured's employees act as tour guides overseas, the potential for injury can be very high as the agency has little control over other premises. Overseas exposures will require special foreign coverage. If an employee is injured in another country, the cost of returning home could be extremely high. Repatriation coverage, including air ambulance services, should be considered.
Property exposures are generally limited to that of an office. There may be some incidental storage or an area for meetings. Ignition sources include electrical wiring, heating, and air conditioning systems. Computers and other electronic equipment may be targets for theft. Business interruption losses can be high if the loss of use of equipment should occur during peak travel season.
Crime exposures include employee dishonesty, and money and securities. Hazards increase without proper background checks, monitoring procedures, and securing of all records to prevent unauthorized access. Employees may take unauthorized trips or work with a third party to defraud the agency through improper discounts or similar theft techniques.
All job duties, such as ordering, billing and disbursing should be separate and reconciled on a regular basis. Audits should be performed at least annually. Money and securities risks increase without frequent deposits. While travel tickets are highly negotiable instruments, the increased usage of electronic tickets (e-tickets) has greatly reduced the potential for theft.
Inland marine exposures can consist of accounts receivable if the agency offers credit, bailees customers (for tickets that have been purchased but not yet picked up), computers, and valuable papers and records for customers' and suppliers' information. Causes of loss include lightning, power surge, wiring and overheating. Duplicates should be made and kept in an off-site backup facility for easy reproduction following a loss.
Commercial auto exposure is often limited to hired and non-owned, but may include the use of rental cars. If the agency transports clients, the exposure increases. If the insured conducts tours in the U.S., the contractual arrangement should prevent bus company exposures from transferring to the agency.
Company vehicles are supplied to employees, there should be written procedures regarding personal use by employees and their family members. All drivers must have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVRs. Vehicles must be maintained, and records kept in a central location.
DC Travel Agency Insurance
Romance. Relaxation. Adventure. As a travel agent, you're in the business of selling all this and more. But what happens when travel turn into misadventure? Perhaps an incorrect departure date. The wrong itinerary. A forgotten passport... It only takes a client who believes you have erred to file a case against you, whether or not the facts actually support their allegations. Washington D.C. travel agency insurance provides valuable coverage in the event of any claims.
Made In Washington D.C. Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance
Whether you have a great idea for a business and you're considering your first startup company or you are already operating a business and you're looking to expand, the location of your operations is one of the most important factors you'll need to consider. In order for a business to achieve success, it must be situated in an area that offers a healthy economy and a market that your products and/or services will appeal to.
The unemployment rate of a region paints a picture of the area's economy. A lower unemployment rate indicates that the area has a healthy business climate that can sustain the residents of the region. In addition, it's important for prospective proprietors to find out which industries are thriving in the area they're considering for their operations.
Furthermore, business owners must take into consideration what type of commercial insurance policies they will need to carry in order to protect themselves, those who interact with them, and to ensure that they are compliant with the law.
If you're considering Washington, D.C. for your business, below, we provide an overview of the above-mentioned information so you can determine if the nation's capital offers favorable conditions for success.
Economic Trends For Business Owners In Washington D.C.
In December of 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate in Washington, D.C. was 5.3%. While that rate is considerably higher than what the national average of 3.5% at the same time, the rate had fallen throughout the course of the year.
For example, in July of 2019, the unemployment rate was 5.6%, in August it was 5.5%, and in October, it was 5.4%. This steady decline indicates that more employment opportunities as a result of a healthy business climate have become and are becoming available in D.C.
Washington, D.C. is divided into four specific quadrants, including NE, NW, SE, and SW. While all regions are considered suitable for businesses, those that are situated in commercial areas - Northwest, Southwest, and Southeast - as opposed to Northeast, which is primarily residential, are likely to offer the best opportunities for prospective business owners.
There are several industries that are experiencing growth in D.C. Not surprisingly, government-related sectors and businesses that provide services for the government are seeing the most growth. Additionally, leisure, hospitality, and tourism are also prime industries in the nation's capital, as the region attracts millions of tourists from around the globe. Construction, education, and health round out the top industries in the region.
Commercial Insurance Requirements In Washington D.C.
The Washington D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking regulates insurance in DC. Washington D.C. mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.
Washington D.C. requires you to have worker's compensation insurance if you hire even one employee on a regular basis. This includes part-time employees, family members, minors, and immigrant employees. It is not required for independent contractors or domestic employees, though you should check to make sure any contractors you have are true contractors, and not employees.
Washington D.C. also requires all business-owned vehicles to be covered by commercial auto insurance. Other types of business insurance that business owners should carry depend on the specific industry.
Additional Resources For Retail Insurance
Read valuable small business retail insurance policy information. In a retail business, you need to have the right type of commercial insurance coverage so that your store, employees, and inventory are protected.
- Adult Novelty
- Antique Dealers
- Appliance & Electronics Store
- Army Navy Surplus Stores
- Art Dealers
- Art Gallery
- Arts & Crafts Supply Stores
- Bicycle Shop
- Boat Dealers
- Book Store
- Bridal Shop
- Candy Confectionery Store
- Carpet Store
- Cell Phone Stores
- Clothing Store
- Collectibles Memorabilia Store
- Consignment Stores
- Convenience Store
- Cosmetics Store
- Costume Stores
- Dry Cleaning
- Embroidery Services
- Equipment Rental
- Fabric Stores
- Fish Markets
- Flea Markets
- Funeral Home
- Furniture Store
- Gift Store
- Greeting Card Stores
- Hardware Store
- Harness & Saddle Shops
- Home Improvement Store
- Infant, Baby & Children's Clothing Stores
- Jewelry Store
- Lamp Stores
- Lingerie Store
- Luggage Store
- Meat Market & Butcher Shop
- Men's Clothing Stores
- Music Store
- Office Supply Store
- Paint & Wallpaper Store
- Pawn Shop
- Pet Store
- Pharmacy Liability
- Plumbing Supplies Fixtures Store
- Poultry Dealers
- Rent To Own Stores
- Scrap Metal Dealers
- Sewing Store
- Shoe Store
- Sporting Goods Store
- Stationary Store
- Thrift Store
- Ticket Agency
- Tire Store
- Tobacco Store
- Toy Store
- Travel Agency
- Trophy Stores
- Tuxedo And Formal Wear Rental Store
- Vending Machine Operators
- Wig Store
- Women's Clothing Stores
Retail stores are susceptible to premises liability claims because of customer traffic, but large department and specialty stores are more susceptible than most.
All retail stores have significant property exposures. The on-hand stock represents a considerable investment, but the amount on hand fluctuates seasonally. For this reason, physical damage insurance on this property must be arranged carefully. When the insured occupies a non-owned building, insurance coverage must be arranged for the insured's interest in extensive improvements and betterments made to the premises.
Crime insurance, in the form of employee theft and money and securities coverage, is also very important.
The businessowners policy was designed with retail exposures and operations in mind. For this reason alone, it should always be the first type of package coverage to consider. However, for those risks not eligible for the business owners policy program, the commercial package policy (CPP) is a practical and convenient way to combine a number of coverages into one policy.
Retail businesses generate income through interaction with customers. This interaction is also how a customer can sustain an injury and then sue the retailer for damages. Hazards, exposures and operations both on premises and off are important and must be covered, but liability the retailer may incur because of the merchandise sold must also be considered and insurance protection arranged.
Inventory or stock is the major property exposure for most retail operations. Because stock values tend to fluctuate or have significant peaks at certain times of the year, value reporting or peak season valuation options should be considered. Business income coverage, including business income from dependent properties coverage, may mean the difference between a retail operation staying in business or being forced into bankruptcy following a loss.
When the insured occupies a non-owned building, insurance coverage must be arranged for the insured’s interest in extensive improvements and betterments made to the premises.
Most retail businesses offer endless opportunities for a variety of criminal activities. For this reason, the coverages needed must be carefully evaluated. Holdup and robbery losses may be the most obvious concerns but employee theft, fraud and counterfeit money losses are also serious issues that cannot be dismissed.
Retail businesses are gaining greater exposure to international issues because of the growth in sales via the internet. As these sales increase, the added exposures faced by these retailers must be evaluated. While their operating horizons are expanding so are their potential loss exposures.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Equipment Breakdown, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits, Umbrella, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Earthquake, Flood, Leasehold Interest, Real Property Legal Liability, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Bailees Customers, Goods in Transit, Jewelers Block, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage and Stop Gap Liability.
Also find DC local small businesses by General Liability Class Code and learn about Washington D.C. small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including District of Columbia business insurance costs. Call us (202) 800-5202.