ST. PETERSBURG, FL March 19, 2012 – Last week Direct Air passengers were left stranded at the height of Spring Break travel as the South Carolina-based airline suspended all flights. While future Direct Air passengers may have the urge to purchase travel insurance, online travel insurance comparison site, Squaremouth.com, warns it’s too late. Even for passengers whose travel plans aren’t until next month, once an airline announces it’s halting services, new travel insurance policies will not cover the flight cancellations.
According to the Associated Press, the cause of the suspension is a result of unpaid fuel bills. Direct Air has stated on its website that the airline is not assisting customers with alternate travel arrangements. They have advised customers to contact their credit card company for a refund.
“In today’s turbulent financial times, protection against financial default is a wise choice,” says iTravelInsured’s Executive Vice President Bill Dismore. “There have been countless tales of tour operators suddenly going out of business, cruise ships docking and leaving passengers stranded because of financial default and airlines ceasing operations for lack of funding.”
However, not all travel insurance policies include Financial Default coverage. For the policies that do include this benefit, travelers may have to wait 14 to 30 days after purchase before the benefit will go into effect. Travel insurance providers add this precaution to protect against fraud.
“If you’re purchasing a policy specifically for Financial Default, make sure you understand the waiting period to avoid buying a policy that won’t work for you,” warns Squaremouth CEO Chris Harvey.
Direct Air passengers currently traveling may be reimbursed for costs such as hotels, meals, telephone calls and local transportation during the travel delay. Travel insurance may also cover the additional cost of booking a new flight, even if the fare is higher. In some cases, travelers may be refunded the entire trip cost in the event an airline shuts down service and customers are unable to complete their travel.
“If the financial default occurs while on a covered trip, other benefits such as Trip Interruption, Travel Delay and Baggage delay may become applicable,” says Dismore. “Just as importantly, many travel insurance plans include 24/7 emergency travel assistance benefits. This provides a traveler with a resource that will assist them in making emergency accommodation and return home arrangements.”
Squaremouth is America’s fastest growing travel insurance comparison site, helping customers instantly quote, compare and buy policies from every major carrier. Squaremouth has web sites in the US and UK, and an extensive network of partner sites worldwide. The company is headquartered in St. Petersburg, FL., with offices in Fort Wayne, IN. Visit Squaremouth.com or Squaremouth.co.uk.
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