Purchase insurance. After last season’s pounding, insurance doesn’t seem like such a Chicken Little idea, does it? This year, Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison site, noticed a 31 percent rise in policies purchased specifically for hurricanes. Steven Benna, the company’s marketing specialist, recommends a comprehensive plan that includes trip cancellation and interruption. If a hurricane strikes and you can’t reach your destination or you must abort your trip midstream, you can recoup 100 percent of your prepaid costs.
To reap the benefits of insurance, you must purchase it before the storm earns its official name. Other stipulations include: Your flight was delayed by six to 48 hours or canceled; the storm ravaged your home; or your hotel or local officials issued an evacuation order.
Benna said the policy typically costs 5 to 10 percent of the trip’s total expenses. To keep costs down, only list nonrefundable payments. For even greater coverage, travelers can upgrade to a pricier policy that includes canceling for any reason —for example, your hotel is open but lost its air-conditioning, or the storm has muddied the scuba waters, or you don’t feel comfortable visiting a place under siege by Mother Nature. However, what you gain in flexibility, you lose in refunds: Policyholders only recoup up to 75 percent of their expenses.
If you are renting a condo, bungalow or villa, the Realtor will urge you to buy travel insurance through an affiliated firm. The companies are very strict about their refund practices. At Home in Key West states on its website, “NO refunds are offered in the event of inclement weather. If an evacuation is called during or just before a guest’s arrival, all refunds will be subject to the Trip Insurance approval. If you have not purchased Trip Interruption Insurance there will be no refund.”
Before committing to the rental company’s insurance plan, Benna recommends a round or two of comparison shopping.
“The advantage to shopping around is having the option to compare policies from multiple providers, including those offered by rental companies, to find the best coverage for the best price,” he said.
To take the pain out the claim, save every scrap of paper involving your trip. Stockpile all receipts, cancellation notices and even news items detailing the storm that foiled your vacation.
Read the full article in The Washington Post online here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/how-travelers-can-protect-themselves-during-hurricane-season/2018/06/11/b6702db0-65d3-11e8-99d2-0d678ec08c2f_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.5493d6a7fa81