5 Tips for Purchasing Travel Insurance During Hurricane Season

Hurricane season begins in June and spans through the very end of November. It’s unfortunate that most people prefer to vacation during this seven month period, However, storms are unpredictable and the notion of hurricane season should never keep you from traveling through America’s beautiful east coast.
“But what if there actually is a hurricane?” you ask. That is great question and this is when travel insurance makes its grand entrance. Travel insurance is meant to protect you and your travel investments in case something—such as a natural disaster—were to affect your travel plans. When purchasing travel insurance for your trip, you need to keep a few things in mind.

1. Not all insurance policies offer a cancellation plan.

If you want the option to cancel your trip the minute you find out that a tropical storm has been spotted, you need to ensure that your travel insurance plan offers cancellation. Many plans will only reimburse you for cancelling if your travel destination has been named uninhabitable. However, some plans do allow for trip cancellation, and that’s what you want to look for.

2. Buy your travel insurance way in advance.

The option to purchase travel insurance becomes unavailable the moment a tropical storm or hurricane has been spotted and named. It’s the equivalent of trying to buy car insurance right after getting into an accident. It doesn’t work that way. Most plans must be purchased within a certain time frame of booking your trip, so don’t take your time before deciding to look into travel insurance.

3. Make sure that your travel insurance plan covers natural disasters.

Hurricanes fall under the category of natural disasters—something that not every travel insurance plan will cover. Since this is your main concern when booking your trip, be sure to read all of the fine print to find out exactly what your plan does cover. If it doesn’t include hurricanes, check to see if there’s an add-on option that does.

4. Understand the limitations of your travel insurance plan.

And be realistic if you make the decision to try to file a claim. If, while on your vacation, you do experience a storm, that doesn’t guarantee that you have a claim. If it rains during your entire vacation, it isn’t likely that your travel insurance company is going to do anything about that. However, if your destination has to be evacuated, you have more cause to file a claim.

5. You can still buy travel insurance if you’re going on a cruise.

In fact, it’s encouraged! A travel insurance plan is much more likely to cover or reimburse expenses than a cruise line is. Cruise lines are not typically required to refund anyone for weather-related detours, so if a port is skipped altogether—and not just changed or rescheduled— only passengers with travel insurance will be reimbursed any non-refundable expenses paid for pre-arranged plans made at the missed port.
There are other ways to try to outsmart a hurricane (for example, the months of June, July, and November are less likely to see a hurricane than the months of August, September, and October), but travel insurance is your best bet. As long as you protect your investment with travel insurance, there is absolutely no reason not to take a vacation to the east coast. Plus, many vacation plans will offer a deal if you choose to travel during hurricane season, and who doesn’t enjoy saving a money?

Date of publication August 11, 2014