ST. PETERSBURG Fla. October 3, 2019 — A recent swell of record-breaking storm activity this hurricane season has many travelers anxious about their upcoming fall getaways. With two months of storm season still ahead of us, travel insurance comparison site, Squaremouth, reveals 3 things travelers should know before purchasing travel insurance for hurricane coverage.
Purchase in Advance
Travel insurance can provide coverage if your trip is affected by a storm, as long as the policy is purchased before the storm is named. Once you’ve heard about a storm that may impact your trip, it’s probably too late to get coverage.
With the NOAA predicting above-normal storm activity to continue through October and November, Squaremouth recommends getting coverage as soon as possible if you plan to travel to a destination at risk for hurricanes. If weather is a primary concern, consider a policy with Hurricane and Weather coverage that kicks in after a 6-hour delay.
Get Clear on Your Coverage Specifics
Most travel insurance policies can cover your trip costs if a storm significantly impacts your ability to take a trip, but when those benefits kick in can vary, depending on the policy. Each policy has specific situations that trigger weather-related benefits. Most policies require one of the following before coverage begins:
- Your flight or cruise is delayed for at least 6-48 hours, depending on the policy
- Your hotel or home is severely damaged and rendered uninhabitable
- A hurricane warning or mandatory evacuation is issued for your destination or the city you’re scheduled to fly out of
Loss of Enjoyment is Not Covered
While a forecast of a tropical storm can throw a wrench in plans for a holiday weekend at the beach, loss of enjoyment is not covered by standard travel insurance. As long as you can reach your destination on time and your accommodations are safe, you likely will not be refunded to cancel your trip.
If you are worried a storm may affect your destination but don’t want to wait for your benefits to be triggered, the only option is Cancel For Any Reason coverage. This benefit is more expensive but can pay back a portion of your trip costs if you cancel your trip for a reason not otherwise covered. This upgraded coverage must be purchased within 14-21 days of your initial trip booking and you must insure 100% of your trip costs.
Squaremouth’s Hurricane Travel Insurance Information Center will be updated regularly throughout hurricane season with information about travel insurance coverage as storms hit.