ST. PETERSBURG FL September 29, 2017 — In the past month, hurricanes Harvey and Irma halted travel in the U.S., and Maria ripped through the Caribbean as a Category 5 storm. With two months left in hurricane season, leading travel insurance comparison site, Squaremouth, explains the key travel insurance takeaways travelers should know now.
Travel Insurance Coverage Before the Storm
The widespread damage and uncertain path of Hurricane Irma affected thousands of people in the Caribbean and Florida. Many travelers think they can buy insurance anytime, as long as they haven’t left for their trip.
Travel Insurance Takeaway: Travel insurance covers unforeseen events. In order for a traveler to be covered for a hurricane, they must have bought their policy before the storm was named.
Travel Insurance Coverage if a Hurricane Hits Your Destination
Caribbean islands are some of the most popular destinations for U.S. travelers. After Maria and Irma devastated the region, many areas were left uninhabitable and completely without power.
Travel Insurance Takeaway: If a traveler’s destination becomes uninhabitable, they can be reimbursed their trip costs. Some policies also have cancellation coverage if a “hurricane warning” is issued in the city a traveler is heading to. However, a “hurricane watch” is not enough to trigger coverage.
Travel Insurance Coverage When Storms Halt Travel
Hurricane Harvey brought unprecedented rain to areas of Texas, shutting down hub airports and impacting connecting flights and travel plans nationwide.
Travel Insurance Takeaway: If a hurricane delays travel by 3-12 hours, policies with Travel Delay coverage can refund travelers for meals and hotel costs during the delay. If flights are cancelled or the delay exceeds 12 hours, they can be refunded by the Trip Cancellation benefit to cancel their trip outright.
Travel Insurance Coverage if Your Home is at Risk
Hurricane Irma’s path beyond the Caribbean was unpredictable, forcing mandatory evacuations for residents across Florida.
Travel Insurance Takeaway: If a hurricane makes landfall in a traveler’s hometown and damages their house, they may be covered to cancel their trip for a full refund. In order for a traveler to be refunded, their home must be rendered uninhabitable by the storm.
Squaremouth’s Hurricane Travel Insurance Information Center explains travel insurance coverage with up-to-date information for travelers whose trips are affected by a storm, including answers to FAQs and statements from providers.