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Events in 2010 Highlight the Value of Travel Insurance

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Many travelers are aware of travel insurance but don’t see the need for a policy until their travel plans have been affected.  The various disasters and events impacting travel in 2010 have served as examples of how useful travel insurance can be.  A recent New York Times article reviews travel in 2010 and travel insurance.

Consider some of the disruptions that knocked travelers off course in the last 12 months. Earthquakes and floods. Ash clouds spewing from a volcano in Iceland last spring that caused the greatest travel disruption in Europe since World War II. Blizzards and ice storms in the United States that have led to tens of thousands of flight cancellations already this winter. Civil disturbances, including the one in Egypt that led thousands of business travelers, tourists and expatriates to flee the country.

“2010 certainly raised people’s awareness of the value of travel insurance,” said Dean Sivley, chief executive of the travel insurance company Travel Guard. “Yes, more people are booking travel insurance. But yes, we also paid out more claims in 2010 than would be typical. Hopefully, we won’t have a lot more years like 2010.”

Last year brought many travel disaster scenarios to the surface, prompting the need for clarification on how travel insurance coverage can apply.

The volcanic ash through Europe created significant problems for air travel.  Travel insurance carriers labeled the event either a natural disaster or inclement weather.  How the event was classified determined what coverage was available, from travel delay to trip cancellation.  More detail about how the volcanic ash was covered is available in the press release It’s Too Late to Buy Travel Insurance for the Volcanic Ash Cancellations, Squaremouth Warns.

This winter has been particularly difficult for travel because of the numerous snowstorms across the country.  When weather wreaks havoc on travel itineraries, multiple travel insurance benefits can apply.  This can include:  travel delay, missed connection, trip cancellation and trip interruption.  Learn more in the press release Snow Ruined Holiday Plans? Here is How Travel Insurance Helps.

Most recently, the civil unrest in Egypt has many travelers asking how travel insurance can help.  Probably most important in this situation is non-medical emergency evacuation coverage, transporting travelers from a place of danger to a place of safety.  Other coverage can also be available, as many policies offer travel delay and missed connection coverage if there is civil unrest.  However, rioting and civil unrest is not a covered reason for trip cancellation and trip interruption.  Read more in the press release Travel Insurance During the Current Crisis in Egypt – What’s Not Covered, Advises Squaremouth.

It is important to keep in mind that a travel insurance policy will not cover something that is considered foreseeable.  This means, at the time a policy is purchased, anything that could be reasonably expected to interfere with the trip will not be covered.  With current events, travel insurance carriers normally issue a position statement to identify when an event was considered foreseeable and what coverage is available.  When this is the case, Squaremouth posts these statements in the blog so travelers can educate themselves in order to make an informed purchase.

Source:  After a Year of Disruptions, Seeing Value in Travel Insurance.