If you are traveling to the southeastern United States between May and December, your trip may be impacted by the Atlantic hurricane season.
Known as typhoons and tropical cyclones in other parts of the world, hurricanes are a 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.
These storms can cause massive damage to people and property. If you get caught in one, you may be forced to cancel your travel plans, unable to leave the country if flights are grounded, or in need of new hotel accommodations away from the storm. Travel insurance is a good way to ensure that if you are caught in the path of a hurricane you can stay safe and covered, as long as you purchase your plan before a storm 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 coverage for natural disasters, here are a few specifics that we recommend if youre traveling to one of these states during hurricane season.
- 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 find yourself injured from a hurricane, you will want to be able to seek 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 any visitor.
- 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. In this scenario, you could be bankrupted by the trip to the hospital if you are without adequate travel insurance.
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 are visiting from overseas and traveling to the U.S. or elsewhere in the Americas, one plan that includes coverage 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 thats due to an accident, illness or a hurricane.