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Customer Review from Travelex

Travel insurance carriers often share customer experiences and testimonials in their newsletters.  The earthquake in Chile earlier this year was an opportunity for Travelex to help travelers whose vacation was affected.  The following is from the Travelex newsletter and is a review from the agent that organized the trip.

Traveling to Antarctica and Easter Island in February was the trip of a lifetime for myself and my group of 32 passengers. When the day of travel had arrived so had one of the biggest snowstorms of the decade. We had to determine how to get everyone to Buenos Aires prior to our departure for Antarctica; 5 travelers had to be rerouted, many of them 1-2 days later. Some arrived without luggage so they did some last-minute shopping in Usushia and from the shop onboard our ship. Antarctica was amazing and when that part of the journey ended, 16 of us headed for Easter Island – the most remote island in the world. Our 3 day tour went beautifully. The day of our departure, we had hired a coach to take us to watch the sunrise over the Moai statues; instead we heard sirens. Through a cell phone, CNN told us there was an earthquake in Chile and a tsunami warning for Easter Island! We quickly gathered warm clothes, medicines, passports and valuables and boarded the coach to the top of the volcano where we watched boats head out to sea to avoid damage. We stood with the islanders as we waited for the approaching tsunami. We lost all phone and radio contact and after about 2 hours Navy planes flew overhead and gave us the “all clear.” Then the news came that no flights were arriving or departing Easter Island for 3 to 5 days. We secured hotel rooms, made certain everyone had enough money and arranged for group meals. We were like the castaways from Gilligan’s Island. We kept busy by hiking, going on long walks to town and enjoying the pool and each other’s company. It became a “real vacation” with nothing to do but relax and wait for a plane to come. Three days later the plane arrived and took us to Santiago, Chile, where the airport had been shut down to all departing flights due to earthquake damage. We arranged for group transfers and a hotel in Santiago until we got word we could fly home. Back in the U.S., Travelex worked with our Amazing Journeys office and reconfirmed all 16 group members’ flights back to their home cities upon arriving to the U.S. In our original group of 33, everyone had Travelex insurance except two people. Those with baggage delays got reimbursed for items they had to purchase; those with flight delays were reimbursed for changes they made to their itineraries and new tickets; those who were stranded were reimbursed for their extended hotel stays on Easter Island and Santiago. Meals were paid for as well as reissue fees for flights from Miami to their home cities. Travel insurance coverage can provide relief when vacations don’t go according to plan as the result of a natural disaster.  However, it is important to look closely at natural disaster coverage in travel insurance.  In order for a situation to be a payable claim, the certificate of insurance must identify the specific peril.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, September 12th, 2010 and is filed under All About Insurance. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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