As the East Coast faces Irene and recoups from her devastation, the travel plans of several thousands of people have gone awry. The storm is particularly worrisome for international visitors without trip cancellation insurance who have less time to juggle their schedule around.

Trip cancellation insurance covers most of the costs related to a flight getting cancelled due to an unforeseen circumstance. A hurricane does fall under that category; however, to be valid, the travel insurance along with trip cancellation protection must have been purchased before a storm is identified and named.

Most international travelers to the U.S. make trips to Washington, D.C. and New York, both of which are in the projected path of Irene. While most airlines provide alternate flights at a later date, the problem for tourists is compounded with non-refundable accommodation and other auxiliary expenses too.

Trip cancellation insurance provides for reimbursement against these and more, for covered reasons. Some plans also offer Cancel for Any Reason coverage, which can be very helpful if you are traveling with the very young or very old. When purchased as part of a travel medical insurance plan, travel cancellation coverage costs even less.