What travel insurance is and why it can help you avoid vacation headaches

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Meltdowns in air travel systems and major weather interruptions create chaos and stress when people are trying to travel.

These days when you are ready to travel, it’s like a roll of the dice. One never knows if they’re going to be lucky or unlucky.

“You just don’t know when you leave for the airport what’s going to happen,’’ Stan Sandberg said, the co-founder of the website

A recent survey indicates 42 percent of us have experienced a travel delay within the last year.

Steve Sbraccia/CBS 17

The most recent aviation problem was last week’s massive ground stop that shut down every airport in the country for hours delaying hundreds of thousands of passengers, such as Tammara Williams.

“Our flight is set to land in Miami after our flight takes off to Costa Rica,” she said on Wednesday.

In the case of the ground stop, passengers had the right to a refund for their ticket but that doesn’t cover the expenses of missing connections and delayed vacations.

That is where travel-insurance/” data-type=”URL” data-id=””>travel insurance would have helped.

“There are a couple of coverages that would apply in this instance,’’ Sandberg said. “The first is trip delay coverage. It will provide a reimbursement for the extra costs associated with delays that might be hotel, food and transportation. The second is trip interruption coverage where the delay is so bad you’re not going to be able to take the trip or miss 50 percent of the trip or more.”

Because the price of travel insurance is based on the cost of the trip, before you purchase, it’s best to compare shop using a site such as to figure out the best deal. 

Premiums range anywhere from 4 to 10 percent of the cost of your trip. 

“It’s basically the equivalent of a dinner out on your vacation,’ Sandberg said. 

With more and more people filing claims for disrupted travel, or even baggage delayed claims, the industry is trying to make payouts quicker. 

“In 2023 it’ll be how the claim process becomes more efficient for the customer,” Sandberg said. 

The industry is also looking at covering FAA-mandated actions such as the nationwide ground stop just as it did when it added COVID-19 coverage. 

Keep in mind, people have to buy travel insurance before something such as a storm or airline shutdown happens. One can’t buy it for an event that’s already occurring. 

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