Tim Anderson a RoamRight Blog Author

Winter Storms & Travel Delays: How Travel Insurance Can Help

As the holidays approach, that means two things in the travel world: an increase in travel and an increase in weather-related travel delays. While it’s only November, we are already seeing the havoc that winter storms can cause on travel as snowfall forced Chicago O’Hare and Midway International to cancel over a thousand flights last week

As a traveler, there isn’t much you can do to prevent snow from disrupting your travel plans, but there are steps you can take to make the experience a little more tolerable if it does happen.

Coverages to look for

Trip Delay

Perhaps the most common travel insurance benefit that comes into play during winter weather is Trip Delay. Trip Delay is a benefit that can provide coverage for non-refundable trip payments if the start of a trip must be delayed.

Expenses such as non-refundable lodging or prepaid activities can be eligible for reimbursement if you experience a Trip Delay for a covered reason that meets your policy’s time trigger. You also may be eligible for reimbursement for food purchased while waiting at the airport during your delay.

It is important to note that Trip Delay is a benefit that has a time trigger, so you must be delayed for a specified time before coverage goes into effect. This may range from as few as 3 hours to as long as 24 hours. The time triggers for Trip Delay and other time-sensitive benefits can be found in your policy, which you should always review prior to purchasing.

Missed Connection

If you experience a trip delay that causes you to miss a connecting flight or a departing cruise, you may be eligible for reimbursement under the Missed Connection benefit.

Missed Connection can reimburse you for additional transportation costs to rejoin a departed trip, and reimburse for prepaid expenses for unused land or water travel arrangements in the event that you miss a trip departure due to a delay of a common carrier.

Emergency Medical

Aside from travel delays related to winter weather, you might want to consider travel insurance coverage for the time you are in your destination. Ski trips have inherent risks to bodily injury, and even a traveler on a relaxing beach vacation may experience a medical emergency. You therefore might want to consider emergency medical coverage.

Senior travelers also can be at risk when traveling. With many American seniors on Medicare or Medicaid plans, they may be lacking medical insurance coverage when traveling. Additionally, pre-existing conditions can not only make travel difficult, but also make finding the proper coverage a challenge. Seniors traveling during the holiday season should consider a travel insurance plan with medical benefits and a Pre-Existing Conditions Exclusion waiver in the policy.

Many travelers assume their domestic health insurance plan covers them when they travel overseas. However, that is not always true for many Americans.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that before traveling, you should contact your domestic health insurance provider for information regarding your coverage abroad, specifically about your coverage in the country or countries you plan to visit and if there are any exclusions – such as for pre-existing conditions or adventure activities.

You can read more about the questions to ask your healthcare provider in our blog, “Will Your Health Insurance Cover You Abroad?

Finding the right provider

Customer Reviews

One of the most accurate ways to get a sense of a company is to read reviews about them. There are a number of third party review sites that have thousands of reviews for travel insurance providers. Some of the best review sites include Google Reviews, TrustPilot, and ReSeller Ratings.

The best part about Google Reviews and TrustPilot is that they are third-party sites that do not include affiliate links or accept any other compensation in return for positive reviews.

Financial and Trust Ratings

It is also recommended that you research the financial stability of the travel insurance plan’s underwriter. You can typically find who underwrites the provider’s travel insurance policy on their website. Once you find the underwriter, you should go to websites such as A.M. Best to check their credit rating. You can also go to the Better Business Bureau’s website to see how they are rated when it comes to trustworthiness.

Technology and Other Services

Are you someone who appreciates the ability to do something entirely online, or utilize technology to make a complicated process simple?

Make sure your travel insurance provider offers technology solutions for things such as claim services. When a provider says they offer online claims filing, does that mean you have to print out a PDF, fill it out by hand, then scan and email it to them? Or do they have a dedicated website where you can type in all of your claim details?

Other technology you may want to consider is if they have a mobile app that can store travel documents such as your policy and ID card. Will they alert you if there are travel disruptions in your area? A company that uses technology to the benefit of the travelers is one that likely has your best interest in mind all the time.

As you start shopping for a travel insurance policy, get a quote online from RoamRight.com. If you aren’t ready to purchase a policy yet, you can email your quote to yourself to save it. Get started by visiting www.roamright.com.

Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.

About the Author

Tim Anderson

Tim Anderson, a RoamRight Blog Author

Tim is a Marketing Communications Specialist for Arch RoamRight. An avid baseball fan, he enjoys visiting ballparks and experiencing the local culture. You can contact Tim at tianderson@archinsurance.com

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