ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. August 22, 2018 — Hurricane Lane may become the third hurricane ever recorded to make landfall in Hawaii. As residents scramble to prepare, tourists are researching their options to cancel an upcoming trip or cut their vacation short. Travel insurance comparison site, Squaremouth, says it is now too late to purchase a travel insurance policy for the unexpected storm.
Travel insurance policies are designed to cover unforeseen events. Once an event occurs, it can no longer be covered by policies purchased after that date. In terms of a hurricane, the time it originally “occurs” is the date it is named. Hurricane Lane was named on August 15th. Any travel insurance policies purchased on or after August 15th will not cover any events related to Hurricane Lane.
Squaremouth recommends travelers with upcoming trips to Hawaii contact their airlines and accommodations instead of buying a travel insurance policy now. “Travelers still have options, unfortunately travel insurance isn’t one of them,” says Squaremouth representative Megan Moncrief. “We’re seeing a lot of airlines offering waivers and refunds. At this point, purchasing a travel insurance policy isn’t worth the cost if the purpose is to cancel a trip to Hawaii.”
On the other hand, travelers who did purchase a travel insurance policy may be covered to come home early or cancel their trip entirely, and receive a full refund of their unused expenses. Hurricanes are generally covered events under Trip Cancellation-style policies, however when that coverage becomes available ranges between policies.
The most generous policies cover a cancellation as early as when a hurricane warning is issued at the destination. Currently, parts of the Hawaiian Islands are already under a hurricane warning. However, most travel insurance policies require a flight delay or cancellation, your accommodations to be uninhabitable, or an evacuation issued at the location, before cancellation coverage becomes available.
Squaremouth’s Hurricane Lane Travel Insurance Information Center explains travel insurance coverage for this event, and will be updated as events unfold.