ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. October 9, 2018 — In less than 48 hours, Hurricane Michael has intensified from a tropical storm to a category 2 hurricane, threatening Gulf Coast residents and travelers alike. The storm’s rapid development caught some travelers off-guard, with the end of hurricane season only a month away.
While it’s too late to get coverage for travel insurance losses related to the storm, travelers who purchased coverage prior to October 7 may be covered in the following situations, according to travel insurance comparison site, Squaremouth:
Your Flight is Cancelled
Those whose flights are delayed for an extended period of time, typically between 12-48 hours, or whose flights are cancelled altogether due to the storm, may be covered under the Trip Cancellation benefit to cancel their trip outright and be reimbursed for all prepaid and nonrefundable trip expenses.
Your Travels are Delayed
If a hurricane delays your travel by 3-12 hours, policies with Travel Delay coverage can refund you for meals and hotel costs incurred during the delay.
You Missed Your Connection
If you miss a flight connection due to storm-related conditions, Missed Connection coverage may provide reimbursement for transportation costs to catch up to a trip departure point. In order to qualify, travelers must experience a travel delay for the specified amount of time listed on the policy, typically 3-12 hours.
Your Hotel is Uninhabitable
Most policies will refund travelers who are forced to cancel their trip due to a mandatory evacuation at their destination, or if their hotel or rental is rendered uninhabitable due to weather or flooding.
Your Home is Badly Damaged
Preparing your home for a hurricane is not covered under standard Trip Cancellation benefits, but storm-related damage can be covered by travel insurance. Most policies include coverage if a traveler’s home is rendered uninhabitable by a storm and will reimburse their unused travel expenses if they need to cut a trip short, or cancel a future trip.
You Upgraded Your Policy
Some travelers who don’t meet any of the above reasons may still have coverage related to the storm if they purchased a Cancel For Any Reason policy. This upgrade allows them to cancel their trip for reasons not otherwise covered by the standard Trip Cancellation benefit, and will reimburse a majority of their expenses.
Squaremouth created the Hurricane Michael Travel Insurance Information Center to answer travelers’ questions with up-to-date coverage information as events unfold.