INSUBUY® Insurance Blog

Posted: 09/29/20223,575 Views

With Hurricane Ian slamming into the Florida coast this week, causing widespread flooding, power outages, and significant damage, some would-be travelers with coastal locations on their minds may have questions:

Will my travel insurance plan cover hurricanes?

When does travel insurance not cover hurricanes?

What benefits can travel insurance provide in the event of a hurricane?

With a lot of money on the line for that fall vacation, it’s important to understand the way travel insurance provides coverage for hurricanes, cyclones, and tropical storms. Let’s find out.

Hurricanes and Travel Insurance Coverage

When it comes to hurricane coverage through travel insurance, eligibility is largely determined by when you purchase the policy. Remember, travel insurance is meant to cover unforeseen events that impact your travel plans.

Therefore, in order for your travel insurance plan to provide coverage related to hurricanes, you must purchase the policy prior to a storm being named, when it is still unforeseen.

For instance, if you had booked a trip to Tampa and purchased travel insurance for it prior to Hurricane Ian being named and it impacted your travel plans, your travel insurance could provide coverage in accordance with the policy, since it is an unforeseen event. On the other hand, if you’d booked a trip to Florida after Ian had become a named storm, it would no longer be an unforeseen event, and you would be excluded from receiving travel insurance coverage related to Hurricane Ian. 

In order to be eligible for hurricane coverage, you must purchase the travel insurance within a certain period of time. Some plans require you to purchase coverage within seven to 21 days of your initial trip deposit, and others state that the hurricane must occur within a certain number of days after the policy’s effective date to be covered. In any case, make sure you read the policy documents thoroughly, as requirements can vary by plan.

What Hurricane-Related Benefits Can Travel Insurance Provide?

Hurricanes and Trip Cancellation Coverage

If the travel insurance policy lists hurricanes as a covered reason for trip cancellation, it can refund your eligible prepaid, nonrefundable trip expenses, such as airfare and hotel costs, if a hurricane forces you to cancel your trip prior to the departure date. 

Common scenarios for trip cancellation due to a hurricane can include airlines or other travel providers suspending service for 24 hours or more, extensive travel delays that make the trip impossible, or your primary travel destination accommodation becoming damaged to the point that it is uninhabitable. 

Cancellation is not covered if you simply don’t want to go because it will be raining the whole time. If you want the flexibility to recoup some of your prepaid, nonrefundable travel expenses for reasons such as this, look into cancel for any reason travel insurance

Hurricanes and Trip Interruption Coverage

If a hurricane impacts your trip already in progress, trip interruption coverage can be a financial lifesaver. It can reimburse the unused portion of your prepaid, nonrefundable trip costs, as well as reimburse you for additional transportation costs if you’re forced to return home early.

This can be especially helpful if your destination is subject to a mandatory evacuation order and you’re forced to leave. So long as it’s covered by the policy, you won’t be made to bear the cost of extra airline tickets or other transportation back home on your own. The insurance policy can reimburse you. 

Conversely, if you’ve traveled to a location far from any tropical storm and your own home becomes uninhabitable due to hurricane damage, you’ll likely need to return early. Trip interruption coverage can provide reimbursement for these covered expenses as well.

Hurricanes and Travel Delay Coverage

If a hurricane causes your trip to be delayed, travel delay coverage may be able to help by covering reasonable additional expenses for things like lodging, meals, and transportation.

However, many plans require that you lose at least 50% of your scheduled trip due to the delay in order to be eligible for this benefit, and also require that you make an effort to continue the trip if possible. In other words, you can’t just decide that you don’t want to continue on because the weather won’t be sunny.

The Key to Understanding Travel Insurance Coverage and Hurricanes

Remember, not all travel insurance plans are the same. Each has a policy certificate that will outline all of the coverages and exclusions in detail. It is important to read this document before purchasing a policy. This way, you will have a thorough understanding of what is covered, and what isn’t.

If you have any further questions about hurricanes and travel insurance coverage, we’re here to help. Our experienced, licensed professionals can provide you with all the information you need to purchase a travel insurance plan with the best coverage for your needs.

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