ST PETERSBURG FL December 15, 2016 — Travel insurance can help ease holiday travel headaches, but it may not cover every concern. According to leading travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth, these are four times travel insurance won’t help during the holidays.
Reason 1: A winter storm is forecasted to affect your trip
If you know a winter storm is going to affect your trip, it’s probably too late to get coverage for that storm. The cutoff for travel insurance coverage is when a winter storm is named by The Weather Channel. After this time, travelers can still buy a policy, but they will not be covered for delays, cancellations or other losses related to that storm.
This means travelers who are primarily concerned about Winter Storm Decima affecting their holiday trip should not buy travel insurance now. Policies purchased on or after December 13, will not cover any delays or cancellations related to Decima.
Reason 2: You’re worried the roads might be bad for your drive
Travel insurance benefits are limited for those driving to their destination. Travelers are not covered to cancel their trip because they don’t want to drive in poor conditions, and only a few policies include benefits if a traveler cannot reach their destination because roads are closed due to the weather. However, those driving to catch a flight may have coverage if road closures prevent them from reaching the airport.
Reason 3: You’re concerned about long lines at the airport
Travel insurance will not cover a missed flight because of security delays or heavy traffic. While most policies include benefits for travelers who miss a flight, the reason must be covered by the policy. Common covered reasons include a traffic accident, lost or stolen passports, weather conditions and road closures that prevent you from getting to the airport, or airline delays due to mechanical failure or inclement weather.
Reason 4: You’re traveling with expensive presents
Travel insurance coverage for lost or damaged baggage is limited, and expensive items and electronics are often not covered at all. It is usually a better option for those traveling with a checked bag full of gifts to schedule those items on their renters or homeowners insurance policy.
What to do if you bought a policy for the wrong reasons
If travelers decide their travel insurance doesn’t meet their needs, there may be some recourse.
“Travelers who change their mind about their policy may be able to get their money back,” said Squaremouth spokesperson Rachael Taft. “Many policies have a ‘free look’ period, during which you can cancel for a full refund.”
This “free look” or Money Back Guarantee period is usually 10-14 days. After that period, some travel insurance providers offer a prorated refund, while others allow you to use your purchase as credit towards coverage on a future trip.
Visit Squaremouth’s Travel Insurance Information Center for Holiday Travel to find out more about coverage for trips during the winter holiday season.