ST. PETERSBURG, FL December 11, 2017 — Last winter, 22 storms hit the U.S., causing travel delays and canceled trips around the country. Following Winter Storm Benji, travel insurance comparison site, Squaremouth, breaks down travel insurance tips for the upcoming winter season based on the lessons we learned from last year’s storms.
Once a Storm Is Common Knowledge, It’s Most Likely Too Late to Buy Travel Insurance Protection for That Storm
Travel insurance can cover travelers whose trips are impacted by a winter storm, as long as the policy is purchased before the storm was named. The Weather Channel officially names winter storms, therefore once a storm is publicized in the media as a named storm, it’s often too late to buy coverage for that storm.
Squaremouth Tip: For those with trips planned during the winter holidays, Squaremouth recommends purchasing travel insurance shortly after booking a trip to give travelers the best chance of coverage.
Travel Insurance Can Make Imminent Travel Delays More Comfortable
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics, roughly one-third of all delayed arrivals last year were due to weather. These weather-delayed arrivals totaled to over 22 million minutes, which is the equivalent of almost 42 years of weather delays.
Travel Delay coverage can refund travelers for meals and hotels during their delay. Some policies can even refund travelers for the cost of catching up to their trip.
Squaremouth Tip: Travelers are encouraged to call the 24-Hour Emergency Assistance phone number given by their provider in the event of a delay. By calling, they can get help understanding their coverage and the next steps in order to start their claims process.
Travel Insurance Doesn’t Cover Everything Associated With Bad Weather
Travel insurance may cover a traveler whose flight is delayed because of inclement weather, but it doesn’t necessarily cover all inconveniences caused by bad weather. Traffic jams as a result of snow typically aren’t covered in policies unless a traveler is involved in an accident or delayed by one that prevents them from getting to the airport.
Squaremouth Tip: If weather delays are a top concern, look for a travel insurance policy with the shortest delay time required. Most policies state a traveler must be delayed for 3 to 12 hours in order to be covered.
Squaremouth will be monitoring winter storms throughout the season and will be adding coverage information to our Winter Storm Center as they impact travelers this winter.