Travel with peace of mind, region’s agents stress

Travel with peace of mind, region’s agents stress

Spring is here and the Northeast is buzzing with plans for the brief window of enjoyable weather, but even the most ironclad of plans can be sunk without warning. Illness, an unexpected business trip, missed flights — any one of these scenarios can cause ruin for travel plans, yet most travelers don’t buy travel insurance and travel on luck instead.

“Years ago (prior to AAA), a honeymoon couple came in booking a Hawaiian honeymoon — I will never forget it — I asked them if they wanted to purchase insurance and they said, ‘No, we are in love; we are not going to cancel,” said Jill Rosenberg, manager of group and executive travel services for AAA Northeast, whose coverage area includes New York and Connecticut.

The couple ended up getting married in a hospital after the man broke his back defending his fiancée from an aggressive goose while touring the grounds for their wedding, Rosenberg said.

According to a 2014 US Travel Insurance Association survey, one in six Americans (17 percent) said their travel plans had been impacted by medical conditions, natural disasters including severe weather, or airline-caused problems.

Of those, only 22 percent had travel insurance, according to the survey.

In 18 years working with AAA and nearly 30 years in the travel industry, Rosenberg said she has seen consumers go from thinking of travel insurance as an afterthought to a serious consideration, as travelers are booking vacations earlier — a trend noticed by others in the industry as well.