Hurricane Alert: Travelers Preparing for Delays, Cancellation & Need for Live Assistance

Travel Guard Helps Travelers Navigate Hurricane Katrina

STEVENS POINT, Wis., Aug. 26 /PRNewswire/ — As Hurricane Katrina approaches the Florida Panhandle after slamming into the southeast coast, the travel “hotlines” are heating up at Travel Guard International, the nation’s largest provider of travel insurance programs.

“Our LiveTravel call center has been fielding calls from travelers concerned with flight status, possible flight and hotel cancellations/arrangements, and travel insurance coverage,” reports Dan McGinnity, vice president for Travel Guard.

Travelers carrying insurance coverage provided through Travel Guard have immediate 24-hour access to the company’s LiveTravel hotline. This gives Travel Guard customers affected by Katrina an added advantage over other travelers who are scrambling to make alternate travel arrangements in order to avoid the storm.

With an active hurricane season forecast for the Atlantic basin in 2005, experts foresee Hurricane Katrina as part of an increase in probability of major U.S. hurricane landfalls this year. Some 13 named storms were predicted to form in the Atlantic basin in 2005, and a total of 45 hurricane days — almost double the average of 24.5 were forecast for this year.*

Following the harsh hurricanes of 2004, consumers nationwide are being urged to better understand and prepare for this year’s storm season. Vacationers must again weigh the elements with the potential of weather related flight delays and cancellations. To help reduce the impact weather can have on vacation plans — from being stranded in the Caribbean to missed cruises or flights overseas, or delayed arrivals at the beach house — travelers should consider safeguarding vacation investments with a travel insurance plan which includes 24-hour assistance and emergency travel services**.

“Consumers should indeed continue to book their late summer and fall travel, but make sure they’re covered in case a storm impacts their trip,” says McGinnity. “It’s wise to have a travel insurance plan that includes emergency travel services at your disposal. Travel Guard customers can take advantage of our LiveTravel emergency travel service to check on the status of their flights, rebook cancelled flights or make alternative hotel reservations.”**

Travel Guard International, the nation’s largest provider of travel insurance programs and assistance services, offers travelers resources during the hurricane season. Travel insurance can help cover their vacation investment if severe weather conditions directly affect their travel arrangements or accommodations. For example, if a traveler is forced to cancel a trip due to a hurricane, travel insurance with trip cancellation can provide a reimbursement for nonrefundable expenses, up to the limit of coverage purchased.

If severe weather forces the evacuation of the traveler’s hotel or resort, the travel insurance can provide reimbursement for nonrefundable expenses, and additional travel expenses. For losses to be covered, travel insurance must be purchased before a hurricane is forecasted or predicted. Once a warning has been issued, losses resulting from a hurricane that has been forecasted or predicted on or before the effective date of coverage are excluded.

All of Travel Guard’s comprehensive travel insurance plans include LiveTravel, Travel Guard’s ’round-the-clock emergency travel hotline for making last-minute travel changes such as rebooking flights, hotel reservations and rental cars, and Travel Guard Assistance, the company’s 24-hour, toll-free hotline for assistance with emergency medical needs, cash transfers, replacement of lost travel documents, pre-trip health and safety advisories and live e-mail and phone messaging to family and friends.**

For more information about Travel Guard’s selection of travel insurance and assistance programs, travelers can visit http://www.travelguard.com/ , call Travel Guard’s World Service Center at 1-800-826-1300, or see their travel agent.

Travel Guard International is America’s leading travel insurance program provider, covering more than 6 million travelers each year. Travel Guard’s travel insurance protection plans include coverage for trip cancellation penalties, travel interruptions and delays, emergency medical expenses, medical evacuation expenses and lost or delayed baggage. All Travel Guard coverage also includes 24-hour travel emergency service for emergency medical assistance, last minute or emergency travel changes, lost luggage tracking, pre-trip travel advice and more.**

The foregoing scenarios are offered only as examples. Insurance is underwritten by American Home Assurance Company or Arch Insurance Company, licensed in all states and the District of Columbia, and headquartered in New York. This is a brief coverage description. See Policy for restrictions. Conflicts between this document and the policy will be governed by the Policy. Not all coverages are available in all states.

* William Gray and the Colorado State University Hurricane Forecast Team
research, 2005

** Non-insurance services are provided by Travel Guard International.

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