Stevens Point, WI and Toronto, ON -- (August 24, 2011) – As Hurricane Irene continues on its path through the Atlantic, Travel Guard North America® (www.travelguard.com, www.travelguard.ca), a leader in travel insurance and assistance plans, announced today that it will provide emergency travel and medical assistance services free to all U.S. and Canadian travellers and their families affected by the storm. Travel Guard’s free services offers travellers emergency travel assistance such as flight rebooking, hotel booking, emergency cash coordination and message relay, as well as emergency medical assistance including referrals, access to air ambulance and medical providers and more.
Travellers and their families seeking Travel Guard’s assistance services can reach the company directly by calling (866) 644-6811. Travel Guard has experienced a 30 percent spike in call volume over the past several days and has already assisted a number of its customers with rescheduling flights and other travel arrangements in the Caribbean.
Though Hurricane Irene is the first Atlantic hurricane of the season, it may not be the last. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) hurricane outlook for 2011 indicates an above-normal Atlantic season, which runs through November 30. For those planning to travel during this time, a travel insurance plan can provide helpful assistance in the event of a travel disruption or emergency, as well as reimbursement for losses due to covered reasons. Travellers should keep in mind that, even if their final destination is not affected by a hurricane, they may still experience trip disruptions due to hurricane-related airline delays and cancellations.
For hurricane related losses to be covered, travel insurance must be purchased before a hurricane is named, said Carol Mueller, vice president at Travel Guard. Once a warning is issued, losses resulting from a named hurricane on, before or fewer than 14 days after the effective date of coverage are excluded.
Travel Guard’s travel insurance plans can cover vacation investments if severe weather directly affects arrangements or accommodations. For example, if a traveller is forced to cancel a trip due to a named hurricane, a travel insurance plan with trip cancellation coverage can reimburse pre-paid nonrefundable expenses, up to the limit of coverage purchased. If a covered severe weather condition forces the evacuation of the traveller’s hotel or resort, travel insurance can provide reimbursement for nonrefundable expenses and additional travel expenses.
“We’ve had a few calm hurricane seasons, which can lead to complacency when it comes to travel planning,” said Mueller. “Hurricane Irene is a good reminder that major travel disruptions can arise quickly during hurricanes and other severe weather situations, so it’s important to be prepared. A travel insurance plan is one of the best ways for travellers to maintain confidence about their travel plans.”
Travel Guard’s assistance service centres have access to the most current information regarding airline flight schedules, can act as emergency travel counselors and are prepared to help travellers with alternative travel solutions. Travel Guard North America’s core insurance plans include coverage for trip cancellation, interruption and delay in the event of a natural disaster or inclement weather. All coverage is subject to policy terms, conditions and limitations.
For more information about Travel Guard’s selection of travel insurance and assistance service plans, travellers can talk to their travel agent, visit www.travelguard.com, www.travelguard.ca or call Travel Guard’s World Service Center at 1.800.826.1300.