TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 6, 2011) - With the 2011 hurricane season heating up, the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada (THIA) urges all vacationers heading to the southern and eastern United States, or into the Caribbean region, to obtain trip-cancellation/interruption insurance to protect against the possibility of storms wiping out their travel investments.
David Hartman, president of THIA, says that trip cancellation/interruption policies helped many thousands of travellers affected by volcanic ash disruptions in Europe last year and more recently in Australia and New Zealand. "Since then, trip cancellation insurance has become an essential component of insurance coverage for experienced travellers and could be just as effective for vacationers impacted by tropical storms over the next several months," he adds.
Traditionally, hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, with the peak occurring during August and September, although major storms have also caused considerable personal and property damage in July and October in recent years.
Mr. Hartman emphasizes that trip cancellation/interruption policies are specifically designed to reimburse travellers for monetary losses due to trips, tours or services cancelled, delayed or interrupted because of unforeseen natural events such as bad weather, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, wild fires, even man-made civil disturbances such as those that occurred in Egypt earlier this year.
Trip cancellation/interruption insurance normally covers:
- The prepaid, non-refundable portions of airfares, tours, hotel or resort fees, or other cancelled or interrupted trip events or services, up to limits specified in each policy.
- Accommodation, meal, telephone, ground transportation and other out-of-pocket costs for travellers stranded or delayed by missed flights or rerouting of cruise ships due to weather or other unexpected contingencies.
- 24/7 emergency assistance to help insured travellers disrupted by natural or man-made events get home safely and as quickly as possible.
- Baggage and other personal items lost to storms or other unforeseeable disruptions.
Most travel insurers in Canada offer either stand-alone trip cancellation policies or include such benefits in comprehensive travel health insurance plans, says Mr. Hartman. But he cautions that plans differ, they have limits on the amounts and the events they will cover, and travellers need to understand their policies and discuss them with their travel insurance advisors.
He also notes that trip cancellation/interruption plans need to be bought concurrently with trip purchases or very shortly thereafter. Once hurricane warnings are posted by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) or by Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), new trip cancellation policies will not cover losses in the affected areas.
About THIA. THIA is the national organization representing travel insurers, brokers, underwriters, re-insurers, emergency assistance companies, air ambulance companies and allied services in the travel insurance field. Its website is http://www.thiaonline.com/