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How to Handle Scary Travel Predicaments

  • Angela Borden
Feb 15, 2017

Would you know how to deal with a serious travel situation? 

If you are traveling away from home or planning to travel, and a situation develops that is out of the ordinary, what would you do? 2016 was a difficult year for travel, with a long list of events impacting the health and safety of people worldwide, and 2017 has started off on troubled footing as well.

So what can a traveler do?

You need to travel smart, research your trip ahead of time, and have a plan in case something goes awry. One of the quickest and easiest ways to do this is to buy a travel insurance plan. While travel insurance can't solve every adverse event, it can help you navigate a long list of trying circumstances and provide you with a team of travel specialists to walk you through your situation. It’s why they're there.

What is your biggest concern? Are you more worried about:

  1. Losing the money you spent on your trip if you have to cancel or interrupt your trip or
  2. Medical care, medical expenses, and special situations (political turmoil and natural disasters)?

Generally, if number one is your biggest concern, you need to choose a trip cancellation plan. If number two is your greatest worry, a travel medical plan is the better option.

Our trip cancellation plans include:  RoundTrip Economy, RoundTrip Choice, and RoundTrip Elite.
Our travel medical plans include:  Liaison International, Liaison Continent, and Liaison Majestic.  

Real-life Situations — What really happens?  
Take a look at the scenarios below from 2016 and 2017 to find out how travel insurance can help you in uncertain times. 

What happened in 2016?

Multiple terrorist events around the world — Brussels, Nice, Syria, and Orlando are just a few of the locations that experienced acts of terrorism.

CONCERN: “I want to cancel my trip if a terrorist event occurs at my destination.”
Solution: Many trip cancellation plans allow you to cancel if a terrorist incident occurs at your destination, provided it is within the time period specified in the plan document (for example, within 30 days of your departure) and also if that destination did not have another recent terrorist incident within a specified time frame (for example, 90 days). 

Special considerations:  

  • For coverage of the event, the U.S. Government must declare the incident an act of terrorism.
  • You must buy the plan before the terrorist event occurs.

A Second Solution:  CFAR allows you to cancel for literally any reason you want, provided you meet specific requirements. Below are the requirements for CFAR with the RoundTrip Elite plan, and these are common in the industry, although they all can vary by plan, so read the fine print

  • You must buy CFAR within 20 days of paying your trip deposit and within 15 days of payment for subsequent travel arrangements added to your trip.
  • You must buy coverage for 100% of your prepaid trip costs that are subject to cancellation penalties or restrictions.
  • You must cancel the trip 2 days or more before your scheduled departure date.
  • You will be reimbursed for 75% of your nonrefundable trip deposits, not 100%.
  • You must pay a 40% increase in price for this benefit.

CONCERN:Am I covered if I get hurt due to a terrorist event?” 
Solution:  Our travel medical and trip protection plans both provide coverage for this. There is a stated amount for coverage with our travel medical plans which varies from $50,000 to the chosen medical maximum.

Contact our inside sales team to learn more about coverage for terrorist events.

Zika — While mainly a concern for pregnant, could-be-pregnant, or planning-to-be pregnant women, the Zika virus continues to cause worry for individuals traveling to areas with infected mosquitoes. Additional means of transmission have been identified that increase the risk of exposure to pregnant women, and the disease is serious because it can cause birth defects in infants whose mothers contract the disease.      

CONCERN: “I am planning a trip to Cancun but I’m trying to get pregnant. What if I find out I’m pregnant and want to cancel my trip?”      
Solution: CFAR is your only option. Be certain to purchase your insurance plan within 20 days of your initial deposit for your trip and select the option for CFAR. Also, consider the additional requirements for CFAR listed above.  

Winter Storm Jonas — In January, this historic blizzard dumped three feet of snow on the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States, causing the cancellation of 13,000 flights.

CONCERN: “What if my flight is delayed or cancelled due to the blizzard? What if that causes me to miss my cruise? What if I am in a wreck on my way to the airport?” 
Solution:  Our RoundTrip Elite plan includes a long list of triggers for trip cancellation and interruption, including inclement weather (it must cause your airline to cancel services for a stated time period – it’s 48 hours for Elite) and a traffic accident while en route to your scheduled departure point. There are also separate benefits with listed triggers for trip delay and missed connection (what if you are late enough that the cruise ship leaves without you?).  

A Second Solution:  If you want to be certain you can cancel your trip for absolutely any reason, CFAR is the answer because it allows you to cancel trip for any reason you want. Again, read the fine print listing CFAR’s requirements.

Natural Disasters —In September, Hurricane Matthew caused destruction from the Caribbean to the Southeast U.S., and there were major earthquakes in Ecuador, Italy, Taiwan, and Indonesia.

CONCERN:What if I am on a trip and a natural disaster occurs?” 
Solution:  Many travel medical plans on the market include coverage for a natural disaster evacuation. Our Liaison Majestic plan has a $100,000 limit, and Liaison Continent has a $10,000 limit. With this benefit, we will arrange and pay to evacuate you to the nearest safe place, pay for up to 3 days of accommodations if you are delayed at the safe location, and arrange and pay for a one-way economy airfare home. This benefit can be used if: 

  • Your location is uninhabitable or
  • You need to leave your destination to prevent imminent bodily harm or
  • You are complying with your destination country’s orders to leave and if officials of that country or the U.S. Embassy have recommended you leave.

Political turmoil in Turkey — July of 2016 saw a failed coup in Turkey; people were killed and injured, and buildings and property were damaged.  

CONCERN:What if I a political or military event occurs at my destination and I need to leave?” 
Solution:  Two of our travel medical plans include political evacuation coverage (Liaison Majestic has a $100,000 limit, and Liaison Continent has a $10,000 limit.) If a formal recommendation from authorities is issued for you to leave your destination, we will arrange and pay to transport you to the nearest safe place or to your home country.      

What’s happening in 2017?
The main concern currently is the President’s executive order for immigration. Because this is a new situation, it’s created a great deal of confusion.   

CONCERN:  “I am currently residing in the United States on a green card and in the middle of planning a trip to London. What if I need to cancel my trip because I am worried I won’t be able to get back into the United States if I leave?” 
Solution:  RoundTrip Elite with CFAR can help by reimbursing 75% of your nonrefundable trip expenses if you cancel your trip due to this reason. However, it will not help if your trip is interrupted or delayed because you are detained on your return to the United States or prevented from entering the U.S. 

Important Note:  Remember that you must be located in the United States when you buy RoundTrip Elite. Our plans cover a long list of triggers for trip cancellation and interruption but because the executive order is not a listed trigger, it is not currently covered.      

Questions?      
If you have questions about any of the topics discussed above, please feel free to contact our inside sales team. They are experts at our plans and benefits and are here to help you.

The claim scenarios described here are hypothetical and are offered solely to illustrate the types of situations that may result in claims. These scenarios are not based on actual claims and should not be compared to an actual claim. The precise coverage afforded by any insurer is subject to the terms and conditions of the plans as issued. Whether or to what extent a particular loss is covered depends on the facts and circumstances of the loss, the terms and conditions of the plan as issued and applicable law. 

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