Can travel insurance help when winter travel becomes snarled due to bad weather? Yes, but as our weather comparison chart shows not all travel insurance plans have been created equally and they vary widely on what may be covered for adverse weather.
The coverages that deal with trip, tour, and cruise investments are trip cancellation, trip interruption, missed connections and travel delay. These are the ones most apt to respond to cancellations, interruptions, or delays caused by adverse weather. All of these coverages are “named peril” which means that only those perils named in the policy can be the triggering event for a covered loss. In many plans, cancellations or interruptions must result adverse weather causing complete cessation of service of the traveler’s common carrier for 24 consecutive hours. In one plan it is 48 hours of complete cessation. Some plans don’t specify an hourly requirement just requiring a cessation of service by the common carrier.
Travel delays and missed connections are separate coverages dealing with additional expenses caused by delays. They usually require a minimum delay of 5 to 12 hours(specific requirement depends on the plan) to qualify for benefits.
Don’t wait until the last minute to buy coverage. Why? Because insurance companies only cover the “named perils” that are “unforeseeable” when you buy the insurance. If the storm has been named or if it’s on the weather maps then it will be deemed to no longer be “unforeseeable” and therefore to late to be covered.
Our best advice is to shop early and buy from a travel insurance professional who can help you find the plan that is best for your needs.