Travel Misery Insurance - 2020 Review
We love to travel. Unfortunately, travel misery often seems to be an unwelcome companion. Travel Insurance benefits have been developed to help compensate when weather, the airline, and the airport all seem to conspire against us. There are several benefits included in travel insurance policies that may sound similar and can cause confusion when reviewing the policy coverage documents. These benefits include the following:
In this article we will explain the Missed Connection travel insurance benefit and show the difference between Missed Connection, Travel Delay and Travel Interruption.
Travel Delay Insurance
Travel Delay insurance is a benefit that will reimburse the traveler up to the limit listed on the policy for reasonable meals and accommodation if the common carrier is delayed for the specified period of time listed in the policy.
Travel Delay insurance would be used if a traveler was flying from their home in North Carolina to Detroit, MI to catch another flight to Alaska. While in Detroit, inclement weather caused a delay in the traveler’s scheduled flight. The travelers were delayed longer than the amount of hours listed in the policy so, they would be reimbursed for their meals, and a hotel room if they were delayed overnight, up to the limit listed on their policy.
Trip Interruption Insurance
Trip Interruption insurance is a benefit that will reimburse the traveler up to the limit on the policy for the unused portion of the trip if your trip is interrupted for a covered reason and the traveler must get home prior to the end of the vacation. This benefit is nearly identical to trip cancellation insurance except, it can only be used post departure. Trip cancellation insurance is used pre departure.
Trip Interruption insurance would be used if halfway through a travelers vacation, there was a death in the family and they had to get home. They would be reimbursed for the unused portion of the trip and for the added expense of getting home up to the limit listed on the travel insurance policy.
But we are here to talk about Missed Connection insurance. This benefit is for a more specific travel nuisance.
Missed Connection Insurance
Missed Connection insurance is used in the event you miss your cruise or tour departure due to covered reasons such as:
- Any documented delay of a common carrier
- A documented weather condition that prevents you from getting to the point of departure
- Quarantine, strike, natural disaster, hijacking, terrorism or riot
In addition, the delay must be for a specified amount of time prior to the benefit to trigger and typically will be between 3 and 6 hours.
Delay of common carrier – many of us have worried about missing a cruise departure because of an airline delay. For example: a couple has arrived at the airport to board an airplane heading to a cruise departure. The travelers left plenty of time in between the time they land for the cruise and the actual boarding and departure time of the cruise. However, once in the boarding area at the airport, they are told that their plane has not arrived yet and will be delayed at least 3 hours due to a thunderstorm. The traveler is relieved because they planned for this and have a 6 hour window between the original flight arrival and cruise departure. Their flight arrives, and everyone boards the plane but, the passengers are told that because of the 3 and a half hours delay they now have to land at a different airport and that puts the travelers 1 hour late for their cruise departure. In this case, the missed connection travel insurance would reimburse, up to the limit on the policy, the additional travel costs to get the travelers caught up to their cruise, meals or accommodations while delayed, and reimbursement for unused portions of the trip that the delay caused you to lose.
A documented weather condition that prevents you from getting to the point of departure - in this case a family is going on a cruise and decided to drive from South Carolina to Miami where they will board the cruise ship. The night before the travelers had planned to leave their home a horrible snow storm hits. As they get up in the morning all roads are closed, and they are unable to leave to get to Miami until the next day and once they do make it to Miami, the cruise has departed. Missed connection coverage would pay to get the travelers caught up to the cruise.
Quarantine, strike, natural disaster, hijacking, terrorism or riot – no one wants any of these things to happen, but we have seen the news about illness that spreads and before you know it, the airplane is quarantined until further notice. Strikes can happen anywhere and at any time, especially with airlines. We cannot stop these things from occurring, but we can offer some peace of mind with the right insurance coverage.
Not all travel insurance plans offer Missed Connection insurance and the policies that do offer it, don’t always reimburse for all three reasons discussed:
- Additional travel costs to catch up to the cruise or tour
- Meals or accommodations while delayed
- Unused portion of the trip
In addition, reimbursement is up to the limit listed in the policy, typically between $250 to $1,500, per person insured.
Please refer to the List of Providers and Missed Connection Benefits and Limits available through AARDY later in this article.
Additional travel costs to catch up to the cruise or tour
Additional travel costs to catch up to the cruise or tour – what this means is if a traveler has missed the departure of their cruise or tour, the missed connection insurance will reimburse, up to the limit on the policy, for airfare, bus fare, or any other common carrier fare to take the traveler to the place where they will be reunited with the cruise or tour. In the case of a cruise, the traveler would most likely be taken to the next port of call to board the ship. For a tour, the traveler would most likely be taken to the next stop on the tour. For example, a 5-day tour of the California wine vineyards would stop each evening at a hotel. The traveler would be brought to that hotel via the most economical way. All travel insurance policies that include missed connection insurance will pay for these additional travel costs up to the limit on the policy.
Meals and accommodations while delayed
Meals and accommodations while delayed – if this benefit is listed under the missed connection trip insurance benefit and the delay is during meal times or even overnight, there may be reimbursement for meals or a hotel room in addition to the travel expenses. The company would pay for reasonable meals and accommodations, which means a traveler will be reimbursed for a meal or hotel room if needed while waiting. The meals can not be extravagant and if a hotel is needed, it should not be the fanciest one in town. Remember, reimbursement is only up to the limit listed on the policy.
Reimbursement for the unused portion of your trip
Reimbursement for the unused portion of your trip – if this benefit is listed under missed connection travel insurance a traveler could be reimbursed for the unused portion of the trip lost due to the delay. For example, a traveler misses one night on the cruise because travel was delayed for the specified amount of time. He also missed the Masquerade Ball that he paid extra for. The traveler can be reimbursed, up to the limit on the policy, for the portions of the trip that he was unable to use.
So, Missed Connection insurance can be thought of as missed cruise insurance or missed tour insurance. This benefit is used if the traveler has been delayed a specified number of hours and misses a cruise or tour departure. Whereas travel delay insurance makes you comfortable while being delayed, and trip interruption gets you home, or interrupts your trip, for covered reasons listed in the policy.
It is important to note that the policies reviewed by AARDY all state in some form “up to the limit listed on the policy”. As you can see from our table, each company and plan have their own stated number of hours and limits. Even though the policy may cover reimbursement for additional travel expenses to catch you up to the cruise or tour, and reimbursement for meals and/or accommodations, and reimbursement for pre-paid and unused trip costs, all of this is covered up to the limit listed on the policy. If the limit on the policy is $250, it may not cover all your expenses if you need all three coverages.
List of Providers and Missed Connection Benefits and Limits
* Benefit #1 – reimbursement for additional travel expense to get caught up to the cruise or tour
** Benefit #2 – reimbursement for meals and/or accommodations
*** Benefit #3 – reimbursement for any pre-paid and unused trip costs
As we have stated, missed connection trip insurance is much different from trip delay insurance and trip interruption insurance. However, they all provide some protection for the traveler in the event of an interruption in scheduled travel. AARDY has created the table below as a reference for determining the best combination of these benefits to suit the traveler’s needs.
As always, we recommend reviewing policy documents prior to purchasing travel insurance to be sure all of the travel insurance needs are met. Travel Insurance policy language is not always easy to read or understand, so feel free to call, email or chat with us. We are always happy to help.
In addition to reviewing the travel insurance documents, AARDY also recommends having at least $100k of Emergency Medical coverage and $250k of Emergency Medical Evacuation coverage if traveling outside the US.
Travel insurance should be bought early to be eligible for time sensitive benefits. Time sensitive benefits are benefits only available if the travel insurance is purchase within 10-21 days (depending on the policy chosen).
These time sensitive benefits include the pre-existing medical conditions waiver, which is another recommendation. Having a pre-existing medical conditions waiver included in the travel insurance policy prevents a claim from being denied for a condition the traveler has had treatment, testing or medications changes for in the 60-180 days (depending on the policy chosen) prior to purchasing travel insurance.
The best thing to do is speak with someone who knows. Call, email or chat with us here at AARDY. We can help make choosing travel insurance a little less complicated.
Does it cost more to buy through an agent at AARDY?
No. There is no extra cost for the expert advice and great customer service. We can guarantee that you will not find a lower price on any of the travel insurance plans offered on AARDY.
Have questions? Let’s chat, or send an Send Mail to our team. Alternatively, call us at (650) 492-6298.
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