ST. PETERSBURG, FL August 3, 2012 – According to travel insurance comparison site, Squaremouth, it is too late to purchase insurance for tropical storm Ernesto.
The fifth storm of the Atlantic season was named as it moved toward the eastern Caribbean yesterday. According to storm models, Ernesto’s maximum sustained winds are currently close to 50 mph; however, the storm could strengthen to a category one hurricane by late Sunday.
Ernesto is predicted to move into the northwest Caribbean over the weekend. It is too early to accurately forecast its path, but meteorologists warn that residents of the Gulf Coast should pay close attention if the storm moves into the Gulf of Mexico.
A tropical storm warning is currently in effect for St. Lucia, Dominica, Martinique and Guadeloupe. The storm warning for St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been downgraded to a watch. A warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected within an area, while a watch indicates that storm conditions are possible.
Cancellations have not been announced by any common carriers yet, but those with travel plans are urged to follow the storm’s developments. In the event that flights and cruises are cancelled, travelers with insurance policies that include storm benefits will be able to claim losses if they purchased their policies before Ernesto was named. “It is crucial for travelers to understand that once a storm is named, travel insurance can no longer be purchased for trip cancellations or interruptions,” explains Chris Harvey, CEO of Squaremouth.
Ernesto was named by the National Hurricane Center’s 5pm (EST) advisory on Thursday, so the storm benefits of any policy purchased after this time are void. If purchased ahead of time, travel insurance may help recover costs for any prepaid, non-refundable expenses. Before purchasing travel insurance with storm benefits, travelers should check the policy’s certificate to determine whether the coverage is based on inclement weather, uninhabitable accommodations, or the cessation of a common carrier.
As we enter August and September, the heart of hurricane season, Squaremouth recommends that travelers be mindful of the limitations of travel insurance storm benefits. While travel insurance can be a prudent purchase, it is important to be sure that expected benefits have not been circumstantially excluded.
Squaremouth is America’s fastest growing travel insurance comparison site, helping customers instantly quote, compare and buy policies from every major provider. Squaremouth has an extensive network of partner sites worldwide. The company is headquartered in St. Petersburg, FL., with offices in Fort Wayne, IN. For more information, visit www.squaremouth.com.
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