During hurricane season, severe weather is common and frequently impacts the plans of travelers. Weather-related flight delays can lead to missed air connections and cruise departures or even result in travelers being stranded. One of the best ways to be prepared for potential severe weather is with a comprehensive travel insurance plan that includes comprehensive trip cancellation, interruption and travel delay, as well as 24-hour assistance and emergency travel services.
Should an insured be forced to cancel a trip due to a covered reason such as a named hurricane, travel insurance with trip cancellation coverage can reimburse those insured for pre-paid nonrefundable expenses, up to the limit of coverage purchased.
Keep in mind that travel insurance must be purchased before the hurricane is named.
Travel insurance can be purchased through a number of companies. I like Travelguard because they have been easy to get in touch with when questions come up, prices are reasonable and they pay quickly when a properly documented claim is submitted in a timely manner. Travel Guard can also help when severe weather conditions force the evacuation of an insured’s hotel or resort. Fortified trip costs and additional travel expenses can be reimbursed.
All of Travel Guard’s most popular plans also include 24-hour, 7-day assistance for emergency medical needs or referrals, assistance with cash transfers, replacement of lost travel documents, pre-trip health and safety advisories and e-mail and phone messaging to family and friends. This can come in really handy if stranded in an airport when flights are canceled for weather-related reasons.
It’s important to know what is and what is not covered before buying . Many who buy travel insurance find out the hard way that it does not cover cancellation because an insured is scared to sail, does not like the modified itinerary due to weather/ safety concerns or just changed their minds. You would be surprised how many calls I get on this.
I found out the hard way that travel insurance does not cover everything one might think it does. It was on a cruise I had planned for our family and one of our daughters wanted to bring a boyfriend. The cruise was a few months off and I doubted this guy’s ability to capture our daughters attention for that length of time so I played it safe and bought travel insurance on him.
If he fell off the ship and broke his neck, picked up an exotic disease in Jamaica or needed assistance with his delayed flight or lost luggage, we would have been covered. Being dumped: no coverage for that. It was a great lesson to learn that travel insurance is good stuff to have if we understand it. Way too many people buy it thinking it covers everything including hurricanes. It does but sort of indirectly.
Delayed flights, evacuations and other expenses, as noted, can be reimbursed. They’re there to help in case of emergency with 24-hour assistance available which might not sound like much of a benefit sitting there all cozy and warm at home right now. Wait until you’re knee-deep in canceled flights, delayed travel plans or other covered events. All of the sudden that assistance is worth its weight in gold.
Flickr photo by Ani Carrington
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