If looming weather looks like it may disrupt your vacation plans, you’ll be grateful you thought to purchase travel insurance. But do you understand the type of insurance you purchased, what it covers, and any limitations?
“If you purchased a travel insurance plan with comprehensive trip cancellation coverage prior to a storm being named, your plan will most likely provide coverage for cancellations, delays or interruptions that could result directly from the hurricane,” says Stan Sandberg, co-founder of TravelInsurance.com. “This can include if your destination is severely affected before your departure, or if you are currently in an affected area and are required to evacuate early.”
Below are Sandberg’s tips for understanding your travel insurance.
Review your policy. Take the time to review the policy and note the covered reasons listed in the plan’s trip cancellation section. If it isn’t listed there, it likely isn’t covered. Write down your policy number and keep a list of important contact numbers provided in your plan, including for 24/7 global assistance, customer service and claims.
Make contact. Most travel insurance plans provide 24/7 global travel assistance; travelers should take advantage of it. Typically, the plans include a wide range of assistance services to help get through travel delays, rebookings, and even emergency medical evacuations. Many plans also include concierge services and business assistance services.
Keep relevant documents. Depending on the specific issue encountered, certain documents for verification purposes will be required. It is very important to insist on these papers and keep them safe, as it might slow down or impact the claims process without them. During a storm, official documents from the airline in the case of a delay or cancellation may be needed. If unsure of what documents will be needed, call customer service or review the claims procedures listed in your travel insurance documents. Create a folder to save all of your travel receipts including airline tickets, hotel bookings or cruise tickets. Also, make sure you document any loss. Having well documented travel receipts and proof of loss will save you time and hassle, which means you are more likely to have your claim paid quickly.
Submit claim. Filing a claim is mostly about paperwork, filling it out correctly and professionally. If you are unsure of anything, it’s best to ask questions directly before submitting. Most insurance providers require you to file a claim within a specific period of time from the event of loss. Some insurance providers may offer a period of a few weeks, while others may offer a period of one month to file a claim.