As national travel restrictions ease, many Americans are planning summer trips in and around their home state. Unfortunately, some of these areas are also prone to hurricanes. While hurricanes are less common during the earlier months of the year, their likelihood increases with time. This month marks the beginning of hurricane season, a period of time where conditions are ripe for hurricane activity that will likely last through November. Forecasters are already predicting an active hurricane season. To protect any trips that may be altered due to hurricanes, make sure you have trip insurance.
What is trip insurance?
Trip insurance covers the financial investment of a domestic or international trip. This is different from travel medical insurance, which provides health coverage in the event you get sick or injured. With trip insurance, if you’re forced to cancel the trip, miss a flight connection or are unable to proceed with your trip due to certain covered reasons, trip insurance will provide reimbursement for a percentage of prepaid trip costs up to the limits of your policy. For example, if you were planning a trip to Florida and had to cancel because of an impending hurricane, you could receive a refund for certain prepaid travel expenses.
What does trip insurance cover?
Trip insurance can protect you from the financial burden related to:
- Trip interruption & Travel delays
You become eligible for trip interruption coverage as soon as you embark on your trip. If an emergency interrupts your vacation and forces you to return home, trip interruption coverage provides reimbursement for remaining hotel days, unused event tickets, and more. While travel delay coverage can provide assistance for any out-of-pocket expenses you may have incurred as a result of delay. These costs might include reimbursement for food, accommodations, and other forms of transport.
Trip interruption and travel delay coverage often go hand in hand. That is, if your travels have been delayed, you’re also probably missing a portion of your trip. If you’re headed to your destination state, or you’re already there and a hurricane occurs, this insurance would ensure that you’re financially protected.
- Trip Cancellation
Trip cancellation insurance protects you from financial losses that could occur if your trip were to be cancelled due to unforeseen events beyond your control, such as a hurricane. The coverage for trip cancellation insurance varies from plan to plan, so you’ll want to make sure you read all the fine print before buying a policy.
With that being said, here are some of the more common situations that trip cancellation insurance would cover:
- You, your travel companion or a dependent gets sick just before your departure, making it necessary to cancel your plans
- Death of a travel companion or family member
- Damage to your house in a natural disaster, such as a flood, fire or earthquake
- Complete cessation of travel services due to strike
- Terror strike in your destination country
- You or your companion are affected by a termination or a layoff
- Inclement weather
- You or your travel companion becomes pregnant and is not allowed to travel during pregnancy
- You or your travel companion is quarantined
- You or your travel companion is summoned to appear in court
In addition to your normal trip insurance policy, consider purchasing Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) coverage. This add-on to your travel insurance policy allows you to cancel your trip for literally any reason and still recoup some of the finances. This insurance can give you confidence that the financial investment of your vacation is protected.
When should I purchase trip insurance for hurricane season?
Under normal circumstances, you’d need to purchase trip insurance before your trip commences. Ideally, you’d purchase this insurance as you were booking everything else surrounding your trip. However, the rules are a bit different when it comes to hurricane season.
Coverage for hurricanes are only covered if the policy was purchased before the NOAA Hurricane Center names the storm. If you were to purchase a policy after a storm is named, any trip cancellation and interruption losses that result from the hurricane would be excluded from the coverage.
To ensure that you’re completely covered, you should book your policy as soon as you book your trip.
Stay Safe this Hurricane Season
If you’re planning on traveling somewhere this summer or fall that’s prone to hurricanes, the best thing you can do is be as prepared as possible. Although you never know when a tropical storm might start to form, purchasing trip insurance is a great way to ensure that you’ll be covered in the event that your plans have to change.
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