When Natural Disasters Affect Your Travel Plans
Take a moment to consider: once busy streets, alive with passersby enjoying the seemingly endless sunshine, now rivers of murky water and debris. Within the last few weeks, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Jose have devastated Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Islands. Millions of people have been displaced and millions of travelers have had their travel plans derailed or even canceled.
So, what did we learn amid the chaos?
As a result of the recent hurricanes, travel insurance companies have experienced a sudden influx of travel-related claims from many of their policy holders. Luckily for many travelers, airlines and lodging facilities often offer full refunds for trips to areas affected by natural disasters when they can’t render the services that were purchased. As such, insurance companies do not see as much of a jump in Trip Cancellation insurance claims in these circumstances. However, Trip Interruption and Travel Delay claims typically spike during disasters like the ones experienced in the last few weeks.
- Trip Cancellation
Your insurance will generally reimburse you for any non-refundable, pre-paid trip payments or deposits, up to the amount insured, if cancellation occurs before scheduled departure because of unforeseen circumstances covered by the plan.
- Trip Interruption
Your insurance reimburses non-refundable, pre-paid and unused trip payments if your trip is interrupted after departure because of covered circumstances. And here’s the best part – coverage includes reimbursement for additional transportation expenses to re-join the trip or return back home.
- Travel Delay
If your trip is delayed beyond the minimum time specified in the plan and for a covered reason, you will be reimbursed up to the plan limits for reasonable expenses.
The Early Bird Gets the Worm
Many travel insurance policies do cover natural disasters, such as hurricanes, that may impact a traveler’s plans. However, this particular coverage often comes with the stipulation that the policy must have been purchased before the storm was named. So, those who are proactive with their travel insurance purchase tend to fare better with receiving Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, and Travel Delay benefits than those who wait to purchase insurance.
It is reasonable to assume that the advent of these disasters will continue to affect the travel insurance industry as travelers become more conscious of how forces out of their control can derail any well laid travel plan. And it’s not just natural disasters – anything from terrible weather to a family medical emergency can ruin careful planning and bring your trip to an end before it even begins.
Having a travel insurance policy in place with Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption and Travel Delay clauses can help protect you from losing your financial investment in your trip regardless of the situation. USI Affinity Travel Insurance Services offers plan options to fit your individual needs as a traveler. For example, with the Travel Insurance Select plan, travelers receive the following benefits and non-insurance services:
- Coverage for Trip Cancellation - Be reimbursed up to 100% of the money you invested in your trip.
- Coverage for Trip Interruption - Recover up to 150% of your trip costs, depending on the plan you choose.
- Coverage and services on Emergency Medical Evacuation, Missed Connections, and more
- 24-hour access to Emergency Assistance Services – No matter where you are, you have help when you need it.
Life is unpredictable no matter how well you plan, but you can be prepared. Consider protecting your next trip with travel insurance.
For more information about the options offered by USI Affinity Travel Insurance Services to protect your next trip, click here.