SOURCE: US Travel Insurance Association

May 24, 2006 05:05 ET

US Travel Insurance Association: Travelers Be Prepared for Weather Events

May 21 - 27 Is National Hurricane Preparedness Week

WASHINGTON, DC -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 24, 2006 -- On May 22 the U.S. Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced a very active hurricane season looming for 2006, and encouraged individuals to make preparations.

In conjunction with National Hurricane Preparedness Week (May 21 - 27) and the coming hurricane season, the US Travel Insurance Association advises that anyone planning a vacation to a hurricane-prone area or people living in such an area can protect their vacation investment by purchasing travel insurance at the time they book their trip.

In the face of a hurricane travelers can be confronted with situations such as trip cancellation, travel delays or interruption because of closed airports, illness or injury, and the need to advise friends and family back home of your whereabouts or situation.

A single, composite travel insurance policy can cover a number of unforeseen situations brought about by severe weather. Depending on the type of policy, travel insurance can repay expenses due to delays and interruptions caused by severe weather, as long as the policy is purchased before the specific storm(s) is predicted and the situation meets other conditions.

Medical insurance, which is part of most comprehensive travel insurance policies, covers trip-associated accidents and illnesses up to a set amount. In addition to medical visits and hospitalization, these policies usually provide for necessary medical evacuation, as well as locating doctors and medical facilities. Regular health insurance policies may cover accidents while traveling, but not medical transportation.

Another facet of insurance is assistance, where 24-hour hotline service can help expedite messages on your behalf to family, friends and employers, as well as troubleshoot in certain situations.

Check Your Existing Policies

UStiA suggests that travelers carefully examine their existing insurance such as medical, home, and car policies, as well as coverage offered by their credit cards before leaving home so they know what is and is not covered. "Sometimes travelers are surprised to learn how little their existing policies cover. That is where travel insurance comes in," observes Jon Ansell, UStiA president.

UStiA

The US Travel Insurance Association (UStiA) promotes fairness, integrity and a commitment to excellence in the travel insurance industry. Its mission is to educate the public on travel insurance while maintaining high industry standards. For more information on UStiA visit www.ustravelinsurance.org.

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