Weatherproofing your trip is easy

January 26th, 2015

 “Understanding how travel insurance responds to adverse weather and natural disasters, such as blizzards, can be a daunting task,” said QuoteWright President, John Cook. “Because policies differ on the type and amount of coverage that they offer, it can be confusing to the traveler when adverse weather impacts their plans.”

Cook cited horror stories that arise each year, depicting travelers stuck in airports when extreme weather conditions cause flights to be canceled. He said his firm receives a huge volume of calls from travelers, asking which plan is best when faced with the potential of bad weather.

“Winter snow storms cause flight delays and cancellations.  With the impending blizzard about to hit the Northeast, over 2,000 flights have already been cancelled or delayed.  Travelers are asking which coverage is best for them and to assist them QuoteWright has developed a simple-to-understand coverage chart showing how major travel insurance companies handle adverse weather conditions,” said Cook, adding “Not all plans handle weather conditions in the same way, so we’ve come up with an easy and effective way to find a plan that comes closest to providing coverage for a traveler’s needs.”

Travelers who are concerned about weather affecting their vacations may review our weather coverage chart  or our new 2015 Buyers Guide.

Cook said that “by comparing plans and finding that which best fits the traveler’s needs, travelers can protect their trip investment.” He said an additional value-added benefit is for the traveler to purchase their flight insurance early, before storms are forecast or named.

“This practice provides the traveler with the greatest value for their money by helping to ensure that the risk is unforeseeable,” said Cook. “This is a standard policy provision.”

Do I really need travel insurance?

January 12th, 2015

It’s no surprise that this question is the 10th most frequently asked among those who engaged in a Google search during 2014. And surprisingly, the answer is “you may or may not need travel insurance, depending on a couple factors.”

Depending on your level of financial risk tolerance and your destination, travel insurance isn’t for everyone. Instead, insurance has always been about sharing your risk of financial loss with others who share the same risk.

However, one’s level of financial risk tolerance, or monetary loss, depends on the individual and their travel destination. An in-country trip to New Orleans, for example, varies greatly from a European trip. Distance, one’s current medical coverage, the trip cost and the costs associated with return transportation for non-emergency or emergency returns are all part of the equation when asking the question “do I really need travel insurance?”

Consider the vast difference between a $500 expenditure for a week in Florida, for example, versus a $7,000 European cruise. In truth, the domestic trip involves a $500 loss if your trip is canceled. And one’s personal health insurance will most likely cover medical emergencies, despite the fact that the traveler is out of network.

However, the difference in loss becomes major if you’re uninsured and must cancel a $7,000 out-of-country trip, or you’re out of the country and experience a medical emergency, particularly if you’re primary medical coverage is restricted to Medicare. There’s little financial difference between caring for a fractured hip and/or treating a heart attack while abroad than treating the same maladies within the U.S. Without travel insurance, your losses may be astronomical.

So the question of whether travel insurance is a worthwhile investment can best be answered in either of two ways: (1) by those who’ve taken the precautions of insuring their trips, only to find it was a wise investment in the end, and (2) by speaking with your travel insurance professional before deciding.

Flu is reaching epidemic levels! How does that effect travel insurance?

January 5th, 2015

It’s being reported that the flu has reached epidemic proportions in some areas of the United States. How does this effect travel insurance?

The answer might surprise you. Normally cancellations or medical expenses caused by the flu are covered events under most travel insurance plans as long as the policy was purchased prior to contracting the disease. However, some travel insurance plans have introduced an exclusion in their policies that eliminates coverage for losses caused by epidemics.

QuoteWright recommends that travelers examine travel insurance plans closely before buying to make sure their plan covers the possibility of getting the flu even if it’s considered an epidemic. John Cook, President of QuoteWright and a leading travel insurance expert, recommends “that travelers review the covered reasons found in trip cancellation and policy exclusions to make sure coverage would apply”.   Cook says “these are the two areas in travel policies where restrictions caused by epidemics might be lurking. During the flu season it makes sense to find a plan that covers epidemics”.

Recommendations on how to protect your home when traveling from QuoteWright.com

December 30th, 2014

Every year we offer an update to our recommendations to safeguard your home while traveling.  There are several things that you can do to minimize being the victim of a home burglary while traveling.  Empty homes are a prime targets for home burglaries.  Experts agree that there are some common sense things that you can do to protect your home while away.  Having security devices like an alarm and motion detection lights installed can help but here are some more things you can do to minimize your exposure:

  • Make arrangements with a trusted friend, neighbor, or relative to pickup mail and newspapers on a daily basis.  Yes, you can notify the post office and local newspaper that stop service because you’ll be on vacation however; there was a story about a burglary ring that was using a vacation stop list from a large, urban newspaper as a directory of homes that were unoccupied.
  • Notify your local police that you’ll be gone.  Some police departments will occasionally check to see if everything is ok.  Make sure they are aware of any friend, neighbor, or relative that you’ve asked to help.
  • Put some lights in your home on timers that go on and off during expected periods.  Timers are very inexpensive and can be picked up most hardware or home improvement stores.  Also place a radio on a timer and have it tuned to a talk radio show with the volume at a normal level.
  • Outward appearances are important too.  If it is in the summer time than have plans for your lawn to be mowed or if it is winter than make plans for snow while you’re gone.
  • Be careful on social networks.  Announcing your plans on Facebook or Twitter   might be just what the local burglar to find empty houses.
  • If you have weekly rubbish removal than arrange to have your bins placed on curbside and returned while you’re gone.

Remember the fewer people that know that you’re going away the better.  It’s always best to have you home looked occupied.  Use common sense and you’ll have an enjoyable trip.

St. Louis International Airport Restrictions Lifted

November 25th, 2014

Last night the FAA restricted flight into and out of Lambert-St. Louis International Airport because of reports of gunshots being fired in the sky in nearby Ferguson.    It was reported that 10 inbound and 6 outbound were affected by these restrictions and that the restrictions have now been lifted.

How does this effect travel insurance?  Normally, when a flight is cancelled or redirected to another airport there are a couple of coverages that might apply to help replace the financial losses that could be incurred.   However, many  travel insurance plans  might not provide any coverage because of either an exclusion that eliminates coverage for financial losses caused by civil unrest or because civil unrest isn’t one of the perils listed in the policy.

Travelers should read their policies carefully.  We provide a guide on how to read a travel insurance policy at http://www.quotewright.com/travel-insurance-buyers-guide/reading-travel-insurance-policy.