St Pete Beach, FL, Sep 26 2005 – All the hurricane activity recently has raised many questions about how travel insurance works in the event a hurricane forces you to cancel or cut short your trip. A little known clause in most travel insurance policies could really make a difference.
Most travelers assume they are covered in the event of a mandatory evacuation. While this is true of some policies, you may be surprised to find that this coverage is not provided for most of the products on the market.
Unfortunately the term “mandatory evacuation” is not mentioned in most insurance policy certificates. Where it is listed, it relates to non-weather evacuation. You should instead look for the following terms:
1) Complete cessation of your Common Carrier services for 24 hours
2) Complete cessation of your travel supplier services for 24 hours
3) Accommodation at destination rendered uninhabitable
1) Complete cessation of your Common Carrier usually means the airport has to be closed for a certain number of hours in order for a claim to be valid. If your accommodation is under a mandatory evacuation order and the airport stays open you cannot make a claim. Also note the word “your” in this term. If you are driving or have not used an airline then you may not be covered because you do not have a Common Carrier that has ceased services.
2) Complete cessation of travel supplier is the term to look for. This usually means the hotel, condo or other accommodation has to be unavailable for a certain number of hours in order to claim. In this instance, you would be able to claim for a mandatory evacuation because your travel suppler can no longer provide you with accommodation. However, this coverage is only available if the accommodation is provided by a company licensed to provide that service which most hotels or property managers would be. If you are staying in a friends property then you will not be able to make a claim here either.
3) Accommodation being rendered uninhabitable means your hotel, condo etc. either flooding or damaged so much you cannot continue to stay there. We assume you will have been evacuated long before this happens anyway so in most cases, you will be back to points 1 and 2.
One insurance agent, Squaremouth, breaks down the hurricane coverage as a separate element detailing whether mandatory evacuation is covered without the need to wade through pages of policy certificates.
Chris Harvey, President of squaremouth.com says “We are based in St Pete Beach in Tampa Bay, Florida, so we are acutely aware of the issues surrounding the potential cancellation or disruption to your vacation from hurricanes.?
Squaremouth is a website that specializes in comparing all the major travel insurance plans. The site has unique research capabilities as well as providing instant quotes, coverage and immediate purchase confirmation.