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Does Travel Insurance Cover You If Can’t Get Your Car?

If you liked my last Blog post Do Callers Think We Were Born Yesterday?, you’ll like this one.

Last Saturday, Aug. 27th, I got a call from a client named Mike stuck in the Caribbean because his flight was cancelled due to Hurricane Irene. The earliest he could come back was on Wed. Aug. 30th. I told him not to worry as he’ll be reimbursed up to the daily limit for meals and accommodations. Mike was fine with that as he got to stay in paradise for 3 more days at someone else’s expense.

On Wednesday I got a call from Mike. He was back in the USA. He wanted to be sure his travel insurance would cover a car rental or taxi so he could drive home. He parked at an offsite discount lot and due to the National Guard closing all the roads he couldn’t get to his car. Plus, there was no one available at the lot’s 24 Hour customer service number.

Steve: No, that’s not covered
Mike: I thought this covered me until I got home.
Steve: You’re covered if you’re ill, injured, accommodations & meals if you are delayed, you luggage is stolen or damaged. But not for alternate transportation back home because the car lot is closed.
Mike: If I can’t be covered for everything, it’s a waste of money … Why even buy travel insurance? …

Since Mike didn’t react very well when I suggested he have a friend give him a ride home, or as he lives close to the airport, to walk home, I decided not to go through the arithmetic with him for his current trip, but here it is for your benefit:

Policy cost = $98 for 2 people
vs
Extra nights in hotel = at least $400
3 days of meals = at least $200

While I’m not a super genius (though I think I have some geniuses that influence me), I think’s it’s obvious that Mike comes out ahead even if he had to walk home from the airport.

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