Why trip planning should start with purchasing travelers’ insurance for uncertainties like wild weather and unpredictable disruptions
Traveling can be chaotic, whether you’re road-tripping, riding the rails or flying the skies. Flight cancellations and unforeseen delays seem to be the norm with more intense weather affecting daily air traffic schedules. Now, more so than ever, travelers’ insurance is an important consideration in trip planning, especially for groups.
People are constantly on the move, traveling for work, pleasure and every reason in between. At the same time, airlines are dealing with major staff shortages, including pilots. So what options do travelers, including groups, have? Take steps to have a backup plan in place and consider purchasing travelers’ insurance for future adventures.
Is Travelers’ Insurance Necessary When Trip Planning?
In the past, people might have considered purchasing travelers’ insurance only when heading to a hurricane-prone location during storm season. Today, though, there are more reasons to invest in such a policy. Not only are flights always facing delays and cancellations, but lost luggage issues add to travel nightmares.
What happens when your flight gets delayed and then you miss your connecting flight? Then, you’re rebooked to fly the following day? You get stranded at the airport and might have to find a place to stay (at your own cost) because the airline hasn’t provided any assistance.
This is where travelers’ insurance is a requisite.
A Pandemic that Changed the Travelers’ Insurance Picture
After COVID-19 reared its ugly head, purchasing travel insurance became even more important because of the uncertainty factors. For example, what might happen if the traveler became ill while on his or her trip and needed emergency medical or transportation coverage? Or if the traveler had to make a last-minute cancellation or interrupt the trip due to the virus?
Policy changes remain intact today
In March 2020, travel insurance companies like Allianz Partners put into place some temporary accommodations to assist travelers who had been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Then in March 2021, Allianz Partners added some epidemic enhancements for their per-trip travel product. And then in August 2021, Allianz Partners added coverage for epidemic-related cancellations, interruptions, delays and medical emergencies to some of their annual products. These are annual products that people can purchase to cover multiple trips taken annually which are still available today.
Flight Cancellations and Delays Persist
Thousands of flights being cancelled, along with unexpected delays due to airline staffing shortages, prove frustrating. Likewise, it’s extremely confusing what airlines may or may not provide to impacted travelers.
Daniel Durazo, director of external communications, Allianz Partners, said, “For a routine flight cancellation in the United States, you generally have two basic contractual rights: either 1) a seat on your original airline’s next available flight or 2) a refund of the unused portion of your ticket. Some airlines do say in their contracts that if your flight is canceled or delayed due to a reason within their control—such as a crew shortage—they may give passengers meal vouchers or hotel accommodations. But these policies vary by airline and situation and don’t offer the same coverage as travel delay insurance.”
Durazo added, “For travel expenses besides flights, a travel insurance policy protects your total trip investment by providing refunds for pre-paid, non-refundable expenses like excursions and accommodations when the trip is cancelled for a reason covered by the policy.”
As far as dealing with a flight cancellation or delay, he said, “A flight delay or cancellation may be the first domino to fall when things start to go wrong on a vacation. Up your game and be prepared for the unexpected with a travel insurance policy that provides benefits for travel delay, trip interruption or cancellation, emergency medical coverage and more.”
A Bit More About Allianz Partners’ Travelers’ Insurance
Allianz Partners’ portfolio includes a number of diverse products. Accordingly, they offer travelers’ insurance through most major U.S. airlines, travel agencies, tour operators, hotel companies and cruise lines. Plans can be purchased directly through Allianz Partners. Popular plans include:
- Annual Travel Insurance
- Cruise Insurance
- Domestic Travel Insurance
- International Travel Insurance
In addition, Allianz Partners has a Travel Delay Insurance policy as well as a Trip Interruption Insurance policy. When it comes to the benefits, coverage and maximum limits, these vary by plan, so it’s important to choose a policy that fits your travel plans and budget.
Allianz Partners’ Annual Travel Insurance Plan
Durazo said, “For those who are planning three or more trips in the next 12-month span, an annual plan can protect all those trips and also save money as it’s often cheaper than insuring each trip separately. Big vacations, weekend getaways, road trips, business trips—they all can be covered for one affordable price. Frequent travelers, and those with a big family or young kids, may want to carefully consider the benefits that an annual plan can provide.”
He explained, “Annual plans offer a full year’s worth of protection for health, property and trip costs. All of Allianz’s AllTrips annual policies feature the Epidemic Coverage Endorsement and may include benefits for baggage coverage, travel delays, covered emergency medical care, emergency medical transportation, and rental car damage and theft coverage. Benefits apply to each insured person per trip.”
Allianz’s AllTrips annual policies:
- AllTrips Premier features up to $75,000 in emergency medical benefits and up to $1,000,000 in emergency medical transportation benefits. Multiple benefit levels are offered for trip cancellation and interruption coverage.
- AllTrips Executive provides up to $50,000 in emergency medical benefits and up to $250,000 in emergency medical transportation benefits. Multiple benefit levels are offered for trip cancellation and interruption coverage. Designed for the business traveler, office equipment loss and rental coverage is included, but personal travel/vacations also are included on this policy.
- AllTrips Prime has up to $20,000 in emergency medical benefits and up to $100,000 in emergency medical transportation benefits plus coverage for trip cancellation and interruption up to $3,000 per insured per year.
- AllTrips Basic also offers up to $20,000 in emergency medical benefits and up to $100,000 in emergency medical transportation benefits. However, this option does not include trip cancellation/interruption coverage.
When making a decision, Durazo said, “choosing the ‘best’ policy depends on the traveler’s desire to include trip cancellation or trip interruption coverage and can depend upon their ideal coverage level of benefits. Additionally, medical evacuation charges vary based on the destination, so travel plans also may be a factor in selecting an appropriate level of coverage and related policy.”
Peace of Mind with Travelers’ Insurance
The world has always been an unpredictable place where just about anything can and does happen. There’s no telling what might effect your next vacation or work trip. Therefore, make sure your group members purchase travelers’ insurance when trip planning the next adventure. Using professional resources like Allianz Partners can help quell any uneasiness brought on by unpredictable trip interruption possibilities.
Find more useful travel resources by subscribing to the current issue of Leisure Group Travel today.
—By Cindy Bertram