This Week in Links, What to Watch for Edition

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Our weekly round-up today is a bit of a potpourri of topics.  Ordinarily, we try to stick to a theme — security abroad, for example, or the Olympics.  However, travel news this week has been a bit more eccentric than usual (or, possibly, the things that have caught our attention are more varied than usual).  Still, we think this week’s collection of travel news stories boils down to one key takeaway: Things to keep your eye on.  Here are the things we’ll be watching for new developments in the near future.

Lots of travelers without insurance.

We recently shared the statistic that at least 1 in 6 travelers will be affected by bad weather or other common issues during their trips. This week, a new USTiA infographic shows that of those affected travelers, only about 20% actually have travel insurance.  Tsk, tsk, people.  Pardon the shameless self-promotion, but 80% of you really ought to give us a call.  We’ll be anxiously awaiting the next report, which will hopefully show an upswing in travel insurance purchases as we approach summer vacations and hurricane season.

Not sure what we mean? Read How Travel Insurance Works.  Convinced it’s not for you? Before you make that determination, look at Who Should Buy Travel Insurance.

A new outbreak of disease on a cruise ship, and it’s not what you think.

If you thought Norovirus was bad, how do you feel about a measles outbreak on a cruise ship?  Jim Walker of Cruise Law reported this morning on a Costa Cruise ship that’s been docked due to the infection of 59 crew members with measles.  While there are currently no reports of passengers actively showing symptoms of the disease, the likelihood that everyone on board the ship was exposed to the virus is fairly high.  How this type of serious outbreak on a cruise ship will affect both Costa’s reputation, and the industry’s standards and practices for controlling infectious disease, will be interesting to watch.

What do you need to know about travel insurance in the case of a cruise ruined by illness?  Read Sick at Sea.

Grief becomes more expensive.

American Airlines announced this week that it would be phasing out bereavement fares for passengers who need to book an unexpected, last-minute trip due to the death of a loved one.  The move comes as part of AA’s process of merging operations with US Airways; since US Airways does not offer bereavement fares, American is following suit in an effort to standardize policies and procedures across the new organization.  But since the reason bereavement fares existed in the first place is that last-minute bookings are often significantly more expensive than flights booked well in advance, it will be worth watching this story to see whether there’s any kind of public outcry that factors into the ultimate outcome.

Booking a trip at the last minute, for any reason?  Check out our article on Last Minute Travel Insurance to find out how you can secure important coverages for yourself and your loved ones.

InsureMyTrip’s Customer Care Center Gets Some Love.

Let’s end this on a positive note, shall we?  This week, we need to give a round of applause to the hard-working team in our Customer Care Center, whose work has been recognized by the Stevie Awards.  InsureMyTrip’s Customer Care took a Bronze Stevie for Contact Center of the Year (Up to 100 Seats) in the Financial Services division.  We always knew we had great service, but now we’ve got a shiny medal to prove it!  Congratulations to the team; we’ll be keeping our eyes on you to see what your next great Customer Care innovation might be.

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