Known as typhoons and tropical cyclones in other parts of the world, hurricanes are a fairly common natural phenomenon that affects travel in areas near tropical and subtropical waters. These large, swirling storm systems commonly have a pinwheel shape in satellite images. Hurricanes can cause massive damage to people and property.
Here are some interesting facts about hurricanes:
- Roughly 1.75 hurricanes hit the US coastline annually and up to 7 hurricanes affect the US every four years.
- Roughly 10 hurricanes develop over oceans surrounding the US annually, yet most of these never reach the coastline.
- 2005 had the most hurricanes in a year with 15 storms transforming into hurricanes.
- Since 1924 a total of 35 category 5 hurricanes have been recorded in the North Atlantic. A total of five category 5 hurricanes have hit US soil.
As you can see, the severity of these storms can not only cause billions of dollars’ worth of damage but can also uproot travel plans, whether you live in the U.S. or are planning on visiting. The best way to protect your trip investment is by purchasing trip insurance that covers hurricanes.
How Does Hurricane Travel Insurance Work?
Travel insurance is a good way to ensure that if you're caught in the path of a hurricane, you can stay safe and covered. However, you must purchase this coverage before the hurricane is named.
Florida is by far the state most impacted by hurricanes but Texas, Louisiana, North and South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi are also at high risk, particularly during peak hurricane season in August, September and October.
Although less often, hurricanes have also been known to hit higher up on the eastern seaboard in states including Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. Washington D.C. is also known to be affected by hurricanes.
While many travel insurance plans include natural disaster insurance, here are a few specific types of insurance that we recommend if you're traveling to one of the states at high risk for hurricane activity.
- Trip Insurance: If you need to cancel your trip before you depart or forgo a leg of your journey, there will likely be nonrefundable costs including airline tickets and hotel reservations. A trip insurance policy can help you to recoup a portion of these costs if you need to cancel your plans due to a hurricane.
- Medical Coverage: If you're injured from a hurricane while traveling abroad, you'll want quality medical attention without worrying about the cost. With the notoriously high costs of medical treatment in the United States, travel medical insurance is important for every foreign visitor, especially during hurricane season.
- Emergency Medical Evacuation: If you need to evacuate an area due to a hurricane or an unexpected injury, costs can add up quickly. Helicopter airlifts to a medical facility routinely cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you are injured and unable to get yourself to a medical facility, you may require an emergency medical evacuation.
If you're visiting from overseas and traveling to the U.S. or elsewhere in the Americas, one plan that includes insurance for hurricanes is CoverAmerica-Gold. This plan meets many of the common needs of travelers to the U.S. including emergency evacuation in the event of a natural disaster.
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.
Trip cancellation insurance:protects you from financial losses that could occur if your trip were to be canceled 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 layoffInclement 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
Always be sure to double-check policy documents before you purchase any plan. Many plans will include hurricane coverage under natural disaster coverage, but it's always prudent to confirm this before you commit to a plan.
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. VisitorsCoverage is here for you. If you have any questions, please contact our Customer Success Team.