Can I purchase travel insurance for my trip that got affected by the hurricane?

Ask Dan

Written by: Dan Drennen, Director of Sales and Marketing

D.A from Florida asks:

My wife and I are considering purchasing travel insurance again for a trip from Florida to Arkansas, leaving Sept. 8. We paid the group throwing the trip $3,000, and we will probably drive and pull our 5th wheel RV with us.

I’m writing you to see if we would be covered if we have to cancel or delay our departure because of a tropical storm, or hurricane — since we don’t have airline tickets and are driving instead.  

 

Dan Answers:

We can insure prepaid nonrefundable costs even if you are driving on your trip, but unfortunately D.A.’s concern was what if a hurricane were to strike their Florida residence and  thus, cancel their plans. Hurricane Irma is what prompted this inquiry on Aug. 31, 2017.  Hurricane Irma was named on Aug. 31, 2017. Therefore, it is a “foreseeable event,” and there isn’t any travel protection plan that provides cancellation coverage for “foreseeable events.”

The travel protection plans that do provide coverage against bad weather, including hurricanes, have policy language that specifically exclude storms that have been named. This includes the new practice of naming winter storms as well. Here’s sample of how the policy might explain coverage and exclusions:

a named hurricane causing cancellation or interruption of travel to the Insured’s Destination that is Inaccessible or Uninhabitable. Claims are not payable if a hurricane is foreseeable prior to the Insured’s effective date. A hurricane is foreseeable on the date it becomes a named storm.

 

Or:

 

Benefits are not payable if a storm, snow storm, blizzard or hurricane is named on or before the Effective Date of Your Trip Cancellation coverage.

Only a few days later, I received a note from a different customer, D.M. of Boulder, Colorado. Fortunately, D.M. had bought travel insurance with hurricane coverage on Aug. 10 — before any hurricane affecting her travel had been named.

D.M.’s email rang of relief: “Boy oh boy am I glad we added that hurricane insurance!”


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