SOURCE: US Travel Insurance Association

July 10, 2007 10:05 ET

UStiA Reveals Three Travel Insurance Myths

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - July 10, 2007) - A number of misconceptions and myths abound about travel insurance that could end up potentially costing consumers thousands of dollars, advises the US Travel Insurance Association. UStiA advises that consumers may incorrectly believe they are already covered for a variety of situations when in reality they are not.

A major misconception is that a consumer's medical, homeowners insurance or credit card programs will cover all types of travel problems. "Before deciding to purchase travel insurance, we urge consumers to check the details of their current policies and credit cards. Consumers may be surprised to learn what is and what isn't covered," says Brad Finkle, president, UStiA.

Myth #1: I'm covered in case I have to cancel or Interrupt my trip

The vast majority (over 70%) of travel insurance claims are for trip cancellation, interruption and travel delay. This can be due to accident, illness or death of either the covered traveler or a family member; or due to weather such as hurricanes and snow storms. What protection may be available through a limited number of credit cards is highly restrictive. Some travel insurance policies also cover travelers in case a trip has to be interrupted or cancelled because of work-related reasons, or because their home is made uninhabitable.

Myth #2: In case of force majeure circumstances (acts of God), I will likely receive refunds on cancelled trips anyway

Airlines, cruise lines, hotels and tour operators are under no legal obligation to refund consumers, and most contain statements in their literature exempting or limiting refunds. Most travel insurance policies will reimburse travelers for the unused portion of a trip due to cancellation or interruption because of weather-related and other catastrophes such as snow storms, earthquakes, and more.

Myth #3: Airlines will reimburse for delays

While airlines are required to reimburse you for lost bags, airlines are not required to reimburse for baggage delay, overnight delays, or to put you up in case of weather-related overnight delays, all situations covered by travel insurance.

For more information on travel insurance, along with questions to ask and what to look for, visit www.ustia.org.

About UStiA

UStiA promotes fairness, integrity and a commitment to excellence in the travel insurance industry. UStiA is a non-profit association of insurance carriers and allied businesses involved in the development, administration and marketing of travel insurance and assistance.