Ed. Update: As of 5/19/2011, NOAA has released its predictions for the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season. With an “above-normal” season predicted, we thought it might be helpful to re-run some hurricane season advice from years past so travelers can be sure of understanding exactly what travel insurance coverage might be most useful during the next several months. As always, if you have specific questions, please don’t hesitate to call our Customer Care Center at 800-487-4722, or connect with us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John, Product Underwriting Manager
InsureMyTrip call center reps have heard it all, from vacation high points to travel disasters, but there is one type of call we’ll never get used to: the one from a distraught traveler who says “You mean if I had bought travel insurance, this would have been covered?” Too frequently, hurricanes and other natural disasters shut down airports and cause people to miss out on their vacation plans. Besides the disappointment and inconvenience of having to cancel a trip you’ve looked forward to, we know that there is a financial aspect involved as well. After saving up for a big vacation, no one wants to lose that investment to circumstances they can’t control.
If this has happened to you, you’ll probably be thinking about travel insurance the next time you book a trip. What you’ll want to be looking for in the future is a plan that includes coverage for trip cancellation and delay. All of the package policies listed on our website offer at least this threshold of protection. In addition, package policies can offer you coverage for medical insurance, baggage loss and delay, and a wide variety of other potential services, depending on what your areas of concern might be.
During hurricane season, you may find that airports or other transportation carriers will be forced to shut down due to bad weather or related concerns. In this scenario, trip cancellation and delay coverage are as important to your travel experience as sunscreen and a good camera. In most cases, you can file a claim for trip delay if your travel plans are postponed for 6 hours or more. Trip delay coverage will pay for food, lodgings (if necessary), and other incidental expenses that you incur as a direct result of the delay. If the shutdown persists for more than 24-48 hours (this time frame varies by policy), you could cancel your trip and be covered for all of the pre-paid, non-refundable costs associated with your plans.
While nothing could ever really make up for the special vacation memories you had hoped to make, having trip delay and cancellation coverage can at least make the experience a little less upsetting and offer you more options. Having your initial investment protected could give you the freedom to cancel your plans and book a new trip, so you may still have the chance to see those ruins, relax on that beach, or enjoy that famous local cuisine. We hope that the next time you make travel plans, you’ll consider giving us a call at 800-487-4722 so that we can assist you in choosing the right coverage to give you a little peace of mind.