The travel industry is in an incredible amount of turmoil as the coronavirus epidemic sweeps across the globe. Airlines have been hard hit as passengers cancel their tickets or reschedule dates. Carriers have also been forced to shut down routes to countries and cities that have high rates of infections. All this has caused air traffic to drop significantly both internationally and domestically. As expected, this drastic drop in paying customers has hit the bottom line of airlines. They have scrambled to preserve cash and keep their doors open.
The risks of unannounced travel restrictions or canceled flights are also a major issue for travelers who have planned trips in advance and have made financial investments in tickets and other travel arrangements. Smart travelers have invested in travel insurance, but many have not and are left to reply on the airlines refund and exchange policies.
In the US, the government is looking at aid packages to keep airlines from buckling under the losses. The airlines themselves have taken drastic measures like furloughing employees and grounding older planes to replace them with newer, more efficient aircraft. Even these deep cuts do not seem to be enough to stem losses. One tactic that airlines have started to utilize is issuing vouchers for people whose flights have been canceled due to the Coronavirus. What this means is that instead of giving the passenger a refund of the ticket amount, they give them a voucher that can be used for a future flight. This practice is coming into favor because it helps the airline keep cash in their business and ensures that the passenger will fly with them in the future and not a competitor.
This practice may seem like a good idea to keep the financial outlook of the airlines positive, but it is against the rules. It has gotten so out of hand that the DOT has issued statements letting customers know they are due refunds. The EU has also made sure similar rules are in place to protect consumers. With governments stepping in to make sure refunds are issued, airline industry organizations are pushing back and want these rules to be relaxed or completely removed from the books. Industry advocates argue that airlines just cannot afford to offer everyone a refund at this time and need to issue vouchers instead.
With so much uncertainty on the horizon, passengers who are currently traveling or have plans to travel soon are stuck in a predicament. They cannot rely on the airlines to issue refunds. The only way to protect their investment in tickets and other travel costs is to purchase travel insurance that covers all the risks associated with the current travel situations. A good plan that offers insurance for trip cancellations and medical expenses for infectious disease are great policies that will give you pieces of mind that you will not be left in the cold. Some travel insurance companies are also issuing vouchers much like the airlines. It’s better than nothing but in these difficult times, most people need their liquidity. Our carriers, Nationwide and Gbg, are offering full cash refunds up until two days before your departure date should your plans have changed for any reason. This makes it a great choice for people considering coverage for their travel plans in these times of coronavirus.
If you would like to learn more about your options, please speak to an expert customer support agent here.
at 15 Apr 2020
Why You Should Buy Cruise Insurance from a Travel Insurance Provider
The cruise industry has evolved vastly over the last decade and now caters to a wide variety of passengers and demographics. Gone are the days of cruise ships full of retirees making their way into warm tropical islands. Today you can book a cruise that can take you from the North pole to the south with a wide range of people from all age groups. Activities onboard ships can be almost overwhelming and include bars, swimming pools, dining and so much more. Passengers have had to face cancellations or rescheduling because of mechanical issues with ships, bad weather, or, as we see in the news today, disease and epidemics. Most travelers understand the risks and make the prudent decision of purchasing cruise insurance to protect their investment. Cruise operators have seized on the behavior of the passengers have started to offer trip coverage. Cruise operators have made the process of buying insurance convenient and easy when you buy a ticket. This is the path of least resistance for most people but is it the best choice?
What Travel Insurance Providers Offer
When buying travel insurance from a cruise company, you have one choice of plan to purchase. This means that the passenger has no choice but what the cruise operator is offering if they buy through their website. However, with an independent travel insurance provider, you have an incredible number of choices and plans to select from. You can check providers' reputations, the benefits they provide and obtain a customized travel insurance plan that suits your needs.
Trip cancellation travel insurance offers reimbursements if you cancel your trip for a set of predefined reasons. For example, if someone gets sick or death occurs, your trip cancellation insurance will provide reimbursement. Insurance offered by the Cruise operator will, in most cases, have fewer reasons when compared to travel insurance provided by a travel insurance provider. This means that travel insurance purchased from a travel insurance provider will offer you more protection when compared to cruise insurance policies.
Trip insurance bought through a cruise line will, in many cases, only cover the tickets and travel arrangements purchased through the cruise operator. If you have airline tickets you bought to arrive at the cruise departure point, that will not be covered. Travel insurance from a travel insurance provider allows you to cover all travel associated with your trip in one policy. Once again, this gives you better coverage against exposure to risks.
Higher Compensation & Lower Costs
Cruise lines are experts at running their businesses. Travel insurance is not their main focus and is most often being offered through a third party. It may be convenient to purchase them with just one click, but the associated expense may be higher. Travel insurance providers can offer better deals and rates when compared to cruise insurance. They can also provide higher compensation and benefits. This means if you would like more coverage for your luggage, you can get it instead of cruise lines that will have lower limits.
Travel insurance plans are under the State Department of Insurance and must abide by the rules and regulations in place for that state. This gives an added layer of security for people purchasing from a travel insurance provider. The rights of the consumer and the insurance company are protected through these regulations making transactions and reimbursements easier and fair.
It boils down to that it may be slightly more convenient to purchase insurance from a Cruise operator, but if you spend a little more time buying a plan from a travel insurance provider, you can get a lot more. This includes better pricing, better coverage, more options, and the knowledge that you are buying insurance from experts in travel coverage.
Looking for the right type of cruise insurance?
at 4 Apr 2020