As Florida recovers from Hurricanes Charley and Frances and Hurricane Ivan moves toward landfall, many travelers are being forced to change or cancel vacation plans. Travelers who planned ahead and bought travel insurance early could be protected from losing the entire cost of a cruise or tour, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California.
“It’s important for vacationers to consider buying travel insurance when they make a deposit on a vacation,” Diana Meinhold, vice president of travel products and services for the Automobile Club of Southern California, said. “Once a hurricane has been forecast it’s considered a foreseeable event and losses related to it would not be covered.”
Travel insurance is sold by travel agents and can provide reimbursement, minus a deductible, for the cost of a cancelled trip. Conditions and exclusions exist, but many travel insurance policies protect against trip cancellation caused by natural disaster or bad weather, death or injury to the traveler, financial default of the travel provider, and labor strikes. Additional policies can cover medical needs while traveling, protection if one’s baggage is lost or delayed and damage to rental cars.
The cost of travel insurance depends on three main factors: the price of one’s trip, the length of stay and the age of the traveler.
“For a tiny portion of the cost of an expensive cruise or tour, vacationers can protect their investment from an unforeseen disaster, such as the hurricanes that have hit Florida,” Meinhold added. “The more money you have invested in your trip, the more sense it makes to buy travel insurance.”
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