When Natural Disasters Affect Your Travel Plans

When Natural Disasters Affect Your Travel Plans

Many of our favorite warm-weather travel destinations are especially vulnerable to serious weather events. For example, hurricanes are a common occurrence in Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Islands. Not only do they make air travel and cruises impossible, but they leave the area in disarray or even uninhabitable afterwards. As a result, millions of travelers may have their travel plans derailed due to severe storms.

What are the financial consequences?

Luckily for many travelers, airlines and hotels often offer full refunds when the destination is affected by a natural disaster and they can’t render the services that were purchased. But, as you know, some airfares and hotel reservations are non-refundable. And what if you're already in the middle of your trip when the storms roll in or it's past the deadline to cancel for a full refund? If you've purchased travel insurance, the following benefits can help you recover some expenses when nature makes travel impossible:

Trip Cancellation

This benefit can reimburse you for any non-refundable, pre-paid trip payments or deposits, up to the amount insured, if you must cancel before your scheduled departure because of certain circumstances covered by the plan.

Trip Interruption

This benefit can reimburse non-refundable, pre-paid and unused trip payments if your trip is interrupted after departure because of covered reasons. Coverage may also include reimbursement for additional transportation expenses to re-join the trip if you've missed a connection, or if you must return home instead.

Travel Delay

If your trip is delayed for a covered reason, for longer than a specified minimum time, you can be reimbursed for reasonable expenses like meals or supplies, up to a certain amount.

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

First and foremost, buying travel insurance as soon as you make your first trip deposit makes sense because the trip cancellation benefit can be effective right away.

Buying early is also important because travel insurance does not cover losses from an event that you know is likely to happen, like a hurricane that has been forecasted (or named!). This is known as a "foreseeable event." Buy coverage before the storms start brewing!

And, although it is not weather-related, some travel insurance plans also include benefits for medical coverage that can be enhanced by buying within a certain timeframe – like waiver for pre-existing conditions, for example.

The Bottom Line

Having travel insurance can help protect you from losing much of your financial investment. Mother Nature is unpredictable, but you can be prepared for the times she makes travel unfeasible. Consider protecting your next trip with travel insurance.

For more information about the Travel Insurance Select plan, offered by USI Affinity Travel Insurance Services, click here.

When Natural Disasters Affect Your Travel Plans
The Alumni Insurance Program is administered by:

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The Indiana Wesleyan University Alumni Association receives financial benefits from the administrator that provides this program. These benefits fund alumni programs and activities.