ST. PETERSBURG FL January 6, 2017 — On Friday, January 6th, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport shut down after a shooter opened fire, stopping all departures and arrivals. As the impact of the airport closure spreads to travelers throughout the country, travel insurance comparison site, Squaremouth, offers advice to those with travel insurance.
Contact your provider’s 24 Hour Emergency Assistance
Travelers with a travel insurance policy purchased before the shooting may have some coverage, specifically, Travel Delay and Missed Connection benefits. Squaremouth recommends contacting your provider’s Emergency Assistance department as soon as possible to understand which benefits you are eligible for.
Keep all receipts during the delay
Some policies with the Travel Delay benefit will cover any delay of a common carrier. This benefit reimburses the costs of meals, hotels and local transportation after a delay of at least 3-12 hours. In order for travelers to be reimbursed, receipts are required during the claims process.
Travelers with connecting flights out of Fort Lauderdale may also be eligible for the Missed Connection benefit. Policies that cover any delay of the common carrier can provider reimbursement for the additional transportation expenses to complete their trip.
Contact your airline for a new flight
Due to the unique circumstances of this event, airlines may not charge travelers for expenses associated with changing flights. While travel insurance policies may not cover flight cancellations or change fees due to this event, airlines may waive additional costs incurred due to the airport closure.
Squaremouth recommends contacting your airline and hotel as soon as possible to understand their reimbursement or rebooking credit options.
Don’t buy a new policy for the shooting
As of 1:00 p.m. EST on January 6, 2017, the airport shooting is no longer considered an unforeseen event. Any new travel insurance policies purchased after that point will not provide any coverage related to the event.
*Note, coverage is subject to change as events unfold. If the shooting is deemed an act of terrorism by the U.S. Department of State, Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption benefits may become available for insured travelers who purchased a policy prior to January 6, 2017.