|Waters rising at New York's JFK Airport
Photo by: @PANYNJ/Twitter
Yesterday, we talked about what to do about your travel as the landfall of Hurricane Sandy was imminent. And as you can see, the storm was not something to take lightly. Our thoughts go out to all of those who are affected by this storm in some way: millions are without power, and damages will be valued in the tens of millions when everything is assessed.
At this juncture, there will be a lot of people who will be grateful that they have some sort of insurance protecting their cars, homes, and valuables that have been irrevocably damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Just as grateful will be those who purchased travel insurance to protect their journeys, and will not have to face extraneous expense as a result of trying to get where they are going. But in this situation, what do you need to know about travel insurance to make the most of your purchase?
First, always know what's going on where you are coming from, where you are going, and for everything else inbetween. In the situation of Hurricane Sandy, it became a known event on October 24, 2012. In order for your travel insurance to provide coverage, you would have needed to purchase your insurance on October 23 (or sooner).
Second, know what your travel insurance covers. Our Travel Insurance Select product covers trip cancellation, trip delay, and travel interruption - but not all products do. Make sure you are clear about what they do and do not cover when you buy.
And make sure you have a copy of your travel insurance policy with you in your travels. This way, you will always have a clear understanding of what you can and can't have coverage for when you go.
With all of that said, there is still a limited number of circumstances to be aware of when planning on making a travel insurance claim:
- In the event of a covered hurricane or other unforeseen severe weather (and your travel insurance is purchased 24 hours before they name the storm), most travel insurance provides coverage under the Trip Cancellation and Interruption benefit. If your trip is cancelled for a covered reason, your travel insurance may provide you with a refund of the pre-paid, non-refundable trip costs trip up to the limit of coverage.
- If you pre-paid for a resort stay, and the resort is damaged and cannot accommodate you or provide comparable accommodations, your nonrefundable costs may be reimbursable by your travel insurance plan.
- If a storm or hurricane directly affects your travel arrangements or accommodations, you may be entitled to Trip Cancellation or Trip Interruption benefits. For instance, in the situation that an airport is closed due to the high winds, you are forced to evacuate your hotel, the road you are traveling is impassable due to high water, or your originating or destination airport is closed due to a hurricane, you may be able to make claim on your benefits.
Should you choose to cancel your trip based on your best information, always contact your travel provider first. And if your travel dates change, your travel insurance can change just as easily - simply call or email us, and we can make that change for you.
Does this help you understand how travel insurance plays into your plans? Can we answer any additional questions for you? Let us know how we can help during this time in the comments below.
(Ed. Note: The writer's thanks go to Linda in our customer service department - for helping to compile this travel insurance blog.)