STEVENS POINT, Wis., Feb. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The travel industry has seen its fair share of major changes and developments in recent years, and 2012 shows no signs of slowing down. The Costa Concordia disaster that struck during wave season, coupled with the very recent robbing of Carnival Splendor cruisers while on a tour excursion in Mexico, have left cruisers with questions about cruise ship safety and regulations. Cruise lines and airlines have tightened cancellation policies, leaving travelers with stiffer penalties when changing itineraries. News of airline consolidations and bankruptcies continued to make headlines across the globe, as the number of seats available to passengers began to shrink even more.
Furthermore, travel experts from websites like Smarter Travel and Airfare Watchdog have predicted that the cost of airfare will continue to rise in 2012 due to factors including oil prices, increased regulation, fees, and decreased competition.**
In spite of all of this, travel to far-flung places has become increasingly common. Exotic, long-haul destinations like Sri Lanka, Mozambique, Myanmar and Abu Dhabi landed on lists of the "must see" destinations for 2012 compiled by some of the country's top travel editors and experts.* In a world with more places to go and more things that can go wrong, it's important for travelers to educate themselves on how to cover their investment, and safeguard themselves, when traveling.
"The big, dramatic stories are what get people thinking about travel insurance," said Carol Mueller, Vice President at Travel Guard North America. "In reality, travelers are more likely to actually use travel insurance plans for common, everyday reasons."
According to Mueller, the majority of insureds file claims as a result of trip cancellation, interruption or delay; lost or delayed luggage; and medical emergencies. Others take advantage of "Cancel for Any Reason" plans that provide reimbursement in the event that they must call off the trip entirely.
However, many travelers don't realize that travel insurance plans often do more than just cover the costs of these types of inconveniences. They can serve as an invaluable resource for travelers in need, providing assistance services such as facilitating cash transfers, making last-minute hotel arrangements and tracking lost luggage. This type of assistance can be especially helpful in a foreign country, where Travel Guard can help locate English-speaking doctors, assist with replacing lost or stolen travel documents and relay messages to family and friends back home.
Travel Guard's 24-hour call center ensures that customers can reach someone at a moment's notice, regardless of where they are in the world. For the more than 90 million Americans planning travel online, (according to the U.S. Travel Association's "Travelers' Use of the Internet" study in 2009,) the travel assistance services can provide extra reassurance that they won't be heading out into the world alone.
Travel Guard's assistance service centers have access to the most current information regarding airline flight schedules, can act as emergency travel counselors and are prepared to help travelers with alternative travel solutions. Travel Guard North America's core insurance plans include coverage for trip cancellation, interruption and delay in the event of covered reasons such as natural disaster or inclement weather. "Our claims representatives are always just a call away, no matter the time of day or night," said Mueller.
For more information about Travel Guard's selection of travel insurance and assistance service plans, travelers can talk to their travel agent, visit www.travelguard.com or call Travel Guard's World Service Center at 1.800.826.1300. Travelers can also "Like" Travel Guard at www.Facebook.com/TravelGuard or follow the company on Twitter @TravelGuard to stay abreast of travel trends, news and views.
About Travel Guard
Travel Guard, a Chartis company and worldwide leader in travel insurance and assistance, provides products and services to millions of travelers around the globe, including a wide range of emergency services through its wholly-owned assistance centers located in Asia, Europe and the Americas. Travel Guard helps leisure and business travelers alike solve problems and manage risks. Travel Guard's global reach, unparalleled service quality and proven operational capabilities allows clients to receive best-in-class care. Travel Guard's suite of technology platforms enables seamless integration with all major travel distribution systems and supplier channels. The travel insurance products marketed by Travel Guard are underwritten by insurance company subsidiaries and affiliates of Chartis Inc. For additional information, please visit our websites at www.travelguard.com and www.travelguardworldwide.com.
The coverage listed here is for U.S. residents only. To learn more about coverage in Canada, please call 1-866-648-8422.
The travel insurance products marketed by Travel Guard in the United States are underwritten by National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., a Pennsylvania insurance company, with its principal place of business at 175 Water Street, New York, NY 10038. It is currently authorized to transact business in all states and the District of Columbia. NAIC No. 19445.
. This is only a brief description of the coverages available. The Policy will contain reductions, limitations, exclusions and termination provisions. Coverage may not be available in all states.
*Source: CNN.com, Travel + Leisure
SOURCE Travel Guard North America