Michelle Hara No Comments

Title: THIA Urges Insurance Cover for Hurricane Season

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – July 6, 2011) – With the 2011 hurricane
season heating up, the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada
(THIA) urges all vacationers heading to the southern and eastern United
States, or into the Caribbean region, to obtain trip-cancellation/interruption
insurance to protect against the possibility of storms wiping out their
travel investments.

David Hartman, president of THIA, says that trip cancellation/interruption
policies helped many thousands of travellers affected by volcanic ash
disruptions in Europe last year and more recently in Australia and
New Zealand. “Since then, trip cancellation insurance has become an
essential component of insurance coverage for experienced travellers
and could be just as effective for vacationers impacted by tropical
storms over the next several months,” he adds.

Traditionally, hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, with
the peak occurring during August and September, although major storms
have also caused considerable personal and property damage in July
and October in recent years.

Mr. Hartman emphasizes that trip cancellation/interruption policies
are specifically designed to reimburse travellers for monetary losses
due to trips, tours or services cancelled, delayed or interrupted because
of unforeseen natural events such as bad weather, volcanic eruptions,
earthquakes, wild fires, even man-made civil disturbances such as those
that occurred in Egypt earlier this year.

Trip cancellation/interruption insurance normally covers:
* The prepaid, non-refundable portions of airfares, tours, hotel or
resort fees, or other cancelled or interrupted trip events or services,
up to limits specified in each policy.

* Accommodation, meal, telephone, ground transportation and other out-of-pocket
costs for travellers stranded or delayed by missed flights or rerouting
of cruise ships due to weather or other unexpected contingencies.

* 24/7 emergency assistance to help insured travellers disrupted by
natural or man-made events get home safely and as quickly as possible.

* Baggage and other personal items lost to storms or other unforeseeable

Most travel insurers in Canada offer either stand-alone trip cancellation
policies or include such benefits in comprehensive travel health insurance
plans, says Mr. Hartman. But he cautions that plans differ, they have
limits on the amounts and the events they will cover, and travellers
need to understand their policies and discuss them with their travel
insurance advisors.

He also notes that trip cancellation/interruption plans need to be
bought concurrently with trip purchases or very shortly thereafter.
Once hurricane warnings are posted by the U.S. National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) or by Canada’s Department of Foreign
Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), new trip cancellation policies
will not cover losses in the affected areas.

About THIA. THIA is the national organization representing travel insurers,
brokers, underwriters, re-insurers, emergency assistance companies,
air ambulance companies and allied services in the travel insurance
field. Its website is http://www.thiaonline.com/