Grounding of 737 MAX’s – Travel Delays and Missed Flights

March 15th, 2019

Recently the FAA has issued an order temporarily grounding the Boeing 737 MAX planes from flying in the US skies.  This follows similar orders from many other countries which has basically grounded these planes from flying anywhere in the world.  How does this impact travel insurance?

The answer to that question depends on how it impacts the specific traveler. 

If the traveler is already on their trip and they are directly delayed by the grounding of these planes than they might have coverage under the Travel Delay benefit found in most policies.  This coverage usually includes a specific covered reason(peril) the provides coverage for “common carrier caused delays” of more than a specific number of hours.

However, if the grounding causes the traveler to cancel or interrupt their trip than there is a strong possibility that they won’t have coverage.  Trip cancellation and interruption coverage is a named “peril” coverage that requires the reason that causes the cancellation or interruption to be specifically listed in the policy.  Only a few policies have wording that includes the “mechanical breakdown of a common carrier”.  Even those few policies that have the “mechanical breakdown” peril might not apply if the travel policy was purchased at the wrong time.  

Protect your home while traveling.

March 11th, 2019

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

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 target 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 common-sense things you can do to minimize your exposure:

  • Make arrangements with a trusted friend, neighbor, or relative to pick up mail and newspapers on a daily basis.  Yes, you can notify the post office and local newspaper to stop service because you’ll be on vacation however; there was a story a couple of years ago 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 summer than have plans for your lawn to be mowed or if it is winter than make plans for snow removal while you’re gone.
  • Be careful on social networks.  Announcing your travel plans to your friends on Facebook or Twitter might be just what the local burglar to find empty houses.  Or posting pictures to your account while you’re on the trip might be fun but it also lets others know that you are not home.
  • 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 a more enjoyable trip and probably less of a surprise when you get home.

Government Shut Down – Travel Delays and Missed Flights

January 15th, 2019

At QuoteWright.com, one of the most popular questions that travelers are currently asking is “What coverage do I have if I’m delayed by long TSA lines caused by the Government shut down that results in not getting through the lines in time to get to my flight?”

The bottom line is that travel insurance probably won’t provide much help for missed flights or delays  due to long TSA lines.  Why?  Because coverages that are designed to insure the value of your trip, such as trip cancellation/interruption, travel delays and missed connections, are named “peril coverages,” and long lines are not considered perilous.

“Named peril” is an insurance term which means that only those specific reasons listed in the policy for are covered. Most plans will cover delays or missed connections due to “inclement weather,” causing common carrier delays, or, in some plans, “mechanical breakdown or strike.” However, none of the plans covers delays or missed connections due to TSA delays.

At QuoteWright.com we believe that an informed traveler is an empowered consumer. It is essential the traveler be told of not only what is covered by his/her policy, but especially what is not covered as well.

           

Travel 101 – read this before you buy trip insurance

September 18th, 2017

Last week, Budget Travel, published an article listing some critical things to consider before buying travel insurance.  The article was written by Daniel Bortz and contains some very helpful information to consider before purchasing travel insurance.  I recommend reading it at https://www.budgettravel.com/article/travel-101-read-this-before-you-buy-trip-insurance .

War and Travel Insurance – What a traveler needs to know.

April 19th, 2017

Sabers are being rattled on the Korean peninsula and travelers are calling about coverage in case they have to cancel due to a war or an act or threat of war.   Does travel insurance provide coverage.  Probably not unless the traveler buys “cancel for any reason” coverage(CFAR).

Why doesn’t traditional travel insurance provide coverage?  The main reason is that most travel insurance policies have a general exclusion that eliminates coverage if cause by war or any act of war or civil commotion.   Because of this exclusion, basic travel insurance won’t provide coverage however, those plans with CFAR coverage at least provide partial coverage for cancellations.  Simply put, CFAR coverage provides benefits if you have to cancel a trip for a reason that is not otherwise covered either because it isn’t a covered reason or because it’s specifically excluded – such as cancellations caused by war.

“Cancel for any reason” coverage is found on some plans either built into the basic plans or available as an option that can be added to a basic policy.    As a general rule, in order to be eligible for CFAR coverage you must purchase the coverage within a short period of time following your first payment date and you must insure you trip to value.  Plans usually have a 25% copay and a black out period of 48 hours prior to departure where cancellation caused by a non-covered reason will not be covered.

CFAR isn’t for everyone but if a traveler is concerned about the potential for war than it is their only alternative.