Extreme weather disruptions in the west have sent ripples across the country, wreaking havoc on holiday travel plans and leaving many scrambling to address the aftermath. As the new year unfolds, experts at Insure My Trip anticipate a surge in travel insurance claims, particularly centered around trip cancellations and delays. Here’s a practical guide to navigating travel insurance in the aftermath of weather-related travel woes:
1. Anticipate a Surge in Claims
With flight cancellations and delays causing mayhem for holiday travelers, a flood of travel insurance claims is expected in January. Most claims are likely to revolve around trip cancellations and delays, highlighting the importance of having comprehensive coverage.
2. Know Your Rights Regarding Reimbursements
Airlines are obligated to reimburse passengers for lost luggage and cancellations. However, delays may not fall under this obligation. Travel insurance becomes crucial in such scenarios. Insurance agent Kathy Kimmel advises coverage for delays exceeding six hours, with potential reimbursements ranging from $150 to $500 per day for expenses like accommodations, meals, telephone calls, and local travel.
3. Tailor Your Coverage to Your Needs
Not every trip requires a one-size-fits-all insurance policy. Evaluate your needs and customize your coverage accordingly. Consider options like cancellation for any reason or medical coverage for unforeseen health issues during the trip.
4. Consider the Cost
The cost of travel insurance varies based on the coverage needed. On average, expect to pay between five to 10% of the total trip cost. For instance, a $2,000 vacation could translate to $100 to $200 for coverage. It’s essential to strike a balance between adequate coverage and reasonable costs.
5. Assess Existing Protections
Before purchasing extensive travel insurance, assess existing protections. Check with your healthcare provider as they may offer coverage outside the country. Additionally, certain credit cards provide travel-related benefits, potentially reducing the need for duplicative coverage.
6. Consider Refundable Bookings
If your airfare and hotel bookings are refundable, you might not need extensive insurance coverage. Refundable options inherently provide a level of flexibility and financial protection.
7. Research and Read Reviews
Not all travel insurers are created equal. Before committing, invest time in researching and reading customer reviews. Understand the claim process and check if other travelers have faced challenges or had positive experiences with a particular insurer.
In navigating the aftermath of weather-related travel disruptions, a pragmatic approach to travel insurance is crucial. Anticipate potential challenges, tailor your coverage to your specific needs, and carefully evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the insurance plan. With the right strategy, you can embark on your travels with confidence, knowing you have the necessary safeguards in place.