By Rosanne Coloccia
Preferred Travel Services
“What’s in a name?” - William Shakespeare
“A lot, if you happen to be a hurricane” - Travel Insurance Industry
As the fallout continues from Harvey, and Florida braces for Irma, our agency has been fielding calls and e-mails from clients wondering about their upcoming trips. Thankfully, for the most part, the news has been good. Either their particular destination hasn’t been, or won’t be, affected, or, they have trip cancellation and interruption insurance.
But, as important as having a trip cancellation policy can be - and it is - a travel insurance industry expert points out there’s a critical timing element to making your trip insurance pay for your delayed or interrupted vacation.
Which brings us back to Shakespeare.
Once a storm is officially named by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the insurance industry deems it a “foreseeable event,” meaning if you don’t already have insurance coverage, you will not be covered if the storm disrupts your travel plans.
According to InsureMyTrip’s hurricane travel insurance expert, Lynne Peters, “If your client purchased the insurance before the storm was named, they’re covered. Anyone purchasing today, for a destination in Irma’s path, isn’t.”
Good to know, Ms. Peters. Good. To. Know.
Most folks who purchase insurance do so at or around the time of booking their trip, or within a few days of their deposit. Doing so sets the ground rules, so to speak, of the whys and what fors of the various policies, along with their benefits. Is your destination under a hurricane warning 24-36 hours before you’re supposed to jump on the plane? For most insurance policies, you’re covered if you decide to cancel your pre-paid, non-refundable vacation.
Something else to keep in mind - many hotels, resorts, and tour operators may not reimburse your vacation expenses unless the storm makes it impossible for them to provide their services - if the airport closes, say, or there’s wind or water damage to their property. If you’ve got trip cancellation coverage, you can work with the insurance company to reimburse what the others won’t.
Finally, if you haven’t considered trip insurance as part of the overall cost of your next vacation, please reconsider, regardless of the season. Between covering you medically when you’re out of the country (most health insurance policies won’t cover you outside the US), or cancellation protection when facing down a storm, it’s a small price to pay for your peace of mind.
You may remember Rosanne Coloccia as "the travel lady" on KTVK's top-rated Good Morning Arizona, where she brought you travel tips and destination information for more than 14 years. She is delighted to once again be part of the travel industry that she loves, and Preferred Travel Services is more than delighted to have her on our team.