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In Economic Uncertainty, Check Travel Insurance “AM Best Ratings” Squaremouth Warns

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ST. PETE BEACH, FL Nov 25th 2008 — In the midst of a global economic downturn, the last thing vacationers should worry about is whether their travel insurance company will still be there when it comes time to make a claim. But there’s an easy way to measure an insurer’s financial health: check its AM Best rating.

AM Best is an independent agency that evaluates underwriters’ financial outlook, both ‘current’ and ‘long term,’ and awards scores of up to A++.

Squaremouth, America’s fastest growing comparison web site for travel insurance, today announced web site upgrades that make it easy to compare AM Best ratings whenever you request an insurance quote:

  • On the front page at, under the heading “Safe with Squaremouth – AM Best Ratings,” click to get a summary of AM Best scores for every underwriter on the web site.
  • And while comparing insurance quotes, click on “Plan Details” of any policy to see its underwriter’s current and long term AM Best ratings. Then click on the rating itself to be redirected to the Am Best web site for even more detailed information.

“AM Best acts as the insurance industry’s watchdog,” said CEO Chris Harvey. “If an underwriter has been severely downgraded, you may not want to buy from them in case they have trouble weathering the financial storm.”

But there’s a potential snafu with AM Best scores; to understand what it is, it helps to know more about how the insurance business works.

Underwriters, also known as ‘carriers,’ create insurance products. But they delegate packaging, marketing and selling of their policies to other firms, called “administration companies.” It means policies sold by Travelex, for example, actually originate from the underwriter Old Republic Insurance Company.

Since AM Best only rates underwriters, not administration companies, it can be confusing for consumers to track down the ratings they want, explained Harvey.

“You could search all day for Travelex’s AM Best rating and never find anything because it doesn’t exist,” he said. “You’d have to know to look for Old Republic’s rating instead.”

Squaremouth eliminates the confusion two ways:

  • Clicking for more information about an administration company automatically redirects you to its underwriter’s AM Best score. Squaremouth is the only travel insurance comparison web site to offer this unique feature.
  • More importantly, our unique Zero Complaint Guarantee affords protection far beyond the AM Best system. We assign our own scores to both underwriters and administration companies, taking into account AM Best along with factors such as quality of service and follow-up care. Squaremouth has the industry’s first and only performance indicator for administration companies. If any one of our clients has a complaint against an insurance provider that cannot be fairly resolved to our satisfaction, we will remove the carrier from our site until the complaint is satisfactorily completed.

About Squaremouth
Squaremouth is America’s fastest growing travel insurance comparison site, helping customers instantly quote, compare and buy policies from every major carrier. Squaremouth has web sites in the US and UK, and an extensive network of partner sites worldwide. The company is headquartered in St Pete Beach, FL., with offices in Fort Wayne, IN. Visit or

About our “Zero Complaint Guarantee”
The cornerstone of our commitment to customers is Squaremouth’s guarantee to remove any company from our website if there is a customer complaint that cannot be resolved to our satisfaction. Squaremouth offers the broadest selection of insurance with an emphasis on quality and follow-up care in companies featured. We also factor in independent evaluation from the insurance industry watchdog AM Best.

Chris Harvey
Toll-free (800) 240-0369
Direct (727) 490-5802
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