Yesterday, we thought Winter Storm Stella was going to strike hard. Today, we know it’s going to. When this storm passes, all of the Northeast will be under several inches, if not feet, of wet heavy snow. Much of the region is under a Blizzard warning, as well.
Early March travelers are being tested with this late winter storm that is affecting air travel across the country – not just in the Northeast. Even though most airlines are providing vouchers for canceled flights and offering changes without fees, some travelers may be spending unexpected money, accidentally increasing their budget. A travel insurance plan could help travelers to recoup these expenses if purchased prior to Stella being named.
What if you can’t get home?
Every travel insurance plan has a minimum number of hours before the travel delay coverage activates. Typically, that minimum is three to six hours, so most travelers will hit this while waiting for a new flight due to Winter Storm Stella. Travel delay coverage will help travelers pay for the needed things like meals, cab fees to and from the airport, hotel fees. Remember, unless otherwise listed, the coverage benefit listed on your plan is per traveler, not per trip.
In other words, if your coverage benefit is $250 per day, but your spouse and two children are also listed on the plan, you could have $1,000 per day as a family for the travel delay due to Stella.
What if you can’t leave for your trip?
Travel delay coverage typically only provides coverage for travelers who are already on their trip. If you haven’t left yet, you are looking at a totally different situation. The airline may have provided you with fee-free options to change your travel plans, but did your hotel accommodations or scheduled tours or rentals?
Whether you have to delay your trip or cancel it all together, you’ll want to check your comprehensive travel insurance plan for coverage. If you purchased your plan prior to Winter Storm Stella being named, you may qualify for coverage for either of these situations. Every plan is different and so is every traveler situation.
So, what do you do next?
First, call your travel suppliers (the airline, hotel accommodations and any tour or rentals you’ve pre-paid for). Figure out what they offer you for travel changes or cancellations.
After this, if you are paying out of pocket for cancellations, unused travel expenses or necessary items because you’re delayed away from home – call your travel insurance company. They can look at the plan you purchased and tell you exactly what coverage you qualify for and how to start a claim.
Pro Tip: save your receipts, you’ll need it when filing a claim.
Even if you didn’t buy your plan from InsureMyTrip, you can find contact information for 28 of the best travel insurance companies on our site. We even provide international phone numbers if you are overseas!