The month of March has brought a weather nightmare for the northeastern United States. In the span of two weeks, three nor’easters dumped dozens of inches of snow and heavy winds all along the East Coast, bringing down power lines, causing hundreds of accidents, and stranding travelers at airports and train stations. Modern technology allows us to forecast these oncoming storms but many people hedge their bets and hope that it won’t be as bad as the weatherman says, or that their flight will get out in time. Some do get lucky, but many more do not.
Recent Northeast Snowstorms Highlight Importance of Trip Protection
We all know that many factors can disrupt your travel plans, but this recent triple-whammy of bad weather shows just how important trip protection can be. Many people think, “No, I don’t need travel insurance. My itinerary is flexible, and if I have to wait a few hours for a delayed flight, it’s better than buying travel insurance that I might not need.” That could be the case, of course, but just how flexible is your travel itinerary? Are you prepared to fork over the money for meals and an overnight hotel stay? Are you prepared to lose all of your nn-refundable trip costs if your trip gets cancelled due to bad weather? Most airlines will not cover these costs that occur due to bad weather. The airlines do want to keep their customers happy but don’t count on a free night’s hotel stay if you get snowed in. There are no legal requirements for US domestic airline companies to recompense their customers in the event of bad weather. You might get reimbursed for your ticket costs (in the form of an airline credit) if the flight is cancelled, but anything else is up to the airline.
So how can you protect yourself? The obvious answer is travel insurance. The costs are usually quite low, and if you are traveling during a time of heightened weather risk, it makes complete sense to have this protection. How many of the thousands of stranded travelers during the recent snowstorms had trip protection? Judging from the pictures of weary and hungry travelers languishing in the airport lobbies, the answer is not many. Travel insurance is not a magic wand that makes all travel problems go away, but in the event of unforeseen emergencies, it can be a tremendous blessing. Food, lodging, transportation, and any other costs incurred by travel disruptions are covered, and if you are traveling with children or seniors, trip protection can be a lifesaver. Also, if you have a plan with trip cancellation coverage (that covers inclement weather), you can cancel your trip and be refunded your pre-paid and non-refundable trip costs if you have to cancel due to inclement weather.
So many things can go wrong while traveling, and the benefits of travel insurance far outweigh the costs. Give yourself peace of mind and choose trip protection when you go on your next travel adventure.