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. They can also uproot travel plans, whether you live in the U.S. or are planning on visiting. If you're in America and hoping to travel outside of the country, a hurricane in your area could force you to cancel your plans.

Likewise, if you're outside of the U.S. and planning a visit, a hurricane in America can curtail your plans. The best way to protect your trip investment is by purchasing trip insurance that covers hurricanes.

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, but you must purchase this coverage before the hurricane is named.

Florida is by far the state most impacted by hurricanes with 117 of the storms making landfall between 1851 and 2017. 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., the District of Columbia, 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.

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 is always prudent to confirm this before you commit to a plan.

If you're visiting from overseas and traveling to the U.S. or elsewhere in the Americas, one plan that includes insurance for natural disasters, including 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 and medical coverage if you should need to visit a hospital, whether that's due to an accident, illness or a hurricane.