Hurricane season starts May 15 and extends through to November 30.
Last year’s hurricane season disruoted travel plans for many when Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria made landfall throughout the Caribbean, leading to a record number of trip cancellation claims and travel insurance sales. Hurricane Irma, Harvey and Maria and Nate also helped drive online searches for travel insurance to its highest level in five years.
According to InsureMyTrip, 75 per cent of customers will choose a comprehensive travel insurance policy for summer travel. This policy provides a variety of benefits including medical coverage, emergency travel services, baggage protection, trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage.
Here are some examples of how insurance may enable travellers to receive reimbursement of pre-paid, non-refundable trip costs if they must cancel a trip due to severe weather-related issues that are covered under the trip cancellation benefit:
Cancel trip due to weather: when common carriers such as airlines and cruise lines cease service due to weather. Many plans require that the cessation of services be for a certain number of hours, usually 24-48.
Cancel due to a hurricane warning: when a destination is under a NOAA-issued Hurricane warning.*
Cancel because of storm damage at destination: when a hotel, resort, or vacation rental is devastated and made uninhabitable by a storm.
Cancel because home is destroyed by storm: when the home of a traveller sustains destructive storm damage.
Cancel trip for any reason: this is an optional time-sensitive benefit available on some plans, that allows travelers to cancel a trip for any reason. Reimbursement is usually 50-75% of the pre-paid, non-refundable trip cost. This benefit includes specific eligibility requirements.
Tip: Travellers concerned about hurricanes should purchase travel insurance early. Once a storm starts forming, it's considered a foreseeable event and insurance coverage will no longer be available to cover losses related to that storm. Only a few plans offer coverage for a NOAA-issued hurricane warning.
"Travelers clearly have concerns about bad weather hampering their travel plans. Choosing to buy insurance early, before a storm is named, is a smart way to protect their trip investment," says InsureMyTrip CEO Jim Grace.
Travellers interested in learning more about protection plans for travel during hurricane season can visit www.InsureMyTrip.com.