ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. July 11, 2019 — Within the next 48 hours, Tropical Storm Barry is expected to make landfall as a category 1 hurricane, threatening northern Gulf Coast residents and tourists with significant rainfall, severe flooding, and storm surges. Travel insurance comparison site, Squaremouth, says it is now too late to purchase a travel insurance policy for the tropical storm.
Travel insurance policies are designed to cover unforeseen events. Once a storm is named, it can no longer be covered by policies purchased after that date. Any travel insurance policies purchased on or after Tropical Storm Barry was named on July 11th will not cover any events related to the storm.
“Tropical Storm Barry serves as a stark reminder that it’s never too early to purchase coverage for trips during hurricane season,” said Squaremouth spokesperson Jenna Hummer. “If a traveler wants to buy a policy for the storm now, we advise them against it because they won’t be covered.”
On the other hand, travelers who did buy a travel insurance policy may be covered to come home early or cancel their trip entirely for a full refund of their unused expenses. Hurricanes and tropical storms are generally covered under policies with the Trip Cancellation benefit, however when that coverage becomes available varies by policy.
The most generous policies cover a cancellation as early as when a hurricane warning is issued at the destination. Currently, a state of emergency has been declared for the state of Louisiana and hurricane watches have been issued in southeast Louisiana. 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.