St Pete Beach, FL, Aug 4 2006 – If you are traveling to an area that could be affected by Tropical Storm Chris and you haven’t already bought travel insurance then think carefully before you buy. You cannot make a claim for losses related to the storm as it was named BEFORE you purchased insurance.
A named event clause exists within most policies to protect the insurance companies by stopping people claiming if they purchased insurance knowing something bad may happen. As soon as a tropical depression becomes a tropical storm and gets a name, insurance companies will not provide coverage.
Most travelers assume they are covered in the event of a mandatory evacuation. While this is true of some policies, you may be surprised to find that this coverage is not provided for most of the products on the market.
The term “mandatory evacuation” is not mentioned in most insurance certificates. Where it is listed, it relates to non-weather evacuation. You should instead look for the following terms:
1) Complete cessation of your Common Carrier services for 24 hours
2) Complete cessation of your travel supplier services for 24 hours
3) Accommodation at destination rendered uninhabitable
1) Complete cessation of your Common Carrier usually means the airport closing for a number of hours before a claim is valid. If your accommodation is under a mandatory evacuation order and the airport stays open you cannot make a claim. If you are driving, you may not be covered because you do not have a Common Carrier that has ceased services.
2) Complete cessation of travel supplier is the term to look for. This usually means the accommodation has to be unavailable for a number of hours in order to claim. In this instance, you would be able to claim for a mandatory evacuation because your travel suppler can no longer provide you with accommodation. However, this coverage is only available if the accommodation is provided by a company licensed to provide that service which most hotels or property managers would be.
3) Accommodation at destination rendered uninhabitable means your hotel, condo etc. either flooding or damaged so much you cannot continue to stay there. We assume you will have been evacuated long before this happens anyway so in most cases, you will be back to points 1 and 2.
One insurance agent () breaks down the hurricane coverage as a separate element detailing whether mandatory evacuation is covered without the need to wade through pages of policy certificates.
Detailed information on the hurricane benefits for all policies can be found at http://www.squaremouth.com/travel-insurance/information/travel-insurance-hurricane-weather-benefit.html
Full policy wording related to hurricane clauses can be found at http://www.squaremouth.com/travel-insurance/information/travel-insurance-hurricane-weather-benefit-information.html
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