Peak-Hurricane Season Developments Pose Travel Threat
InsureMyTrip, a Weather-Ready Nation (WRN) Ambassador for the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), reports an increase in calls today from travelers due to concern over the potential impact of Tropical Storm Dorian.
While it is too late to purchase traditional travel insurance to cover losses related to Dorian, travelers may still be eligible for a travel insurance plan with the Cancel For Any Reason benefit.
Tropical Storm Dorian is on track to make landfall in the Caribbean Islands, including Puerto Rico, an island still recovering from Hurricane Maria's devastation. The National Hurricane Center said that Dorian could pose a threat to the southern parts of U.S. Mainland and the Bahamas late this week, directly impacting Labor Day Weekend travelers.
Travelers who purchased traditional travel insurance prior to the storm forming may 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. Here are some examples:
Flights are grounded: Many plans may cover a traveler when common carriers such as airlines or cruise lines cease service due to weather. The cessation of services must be for a certain number of consecutive hours, usually 24-48.
The resort is in the path of a hurricane: A few plans will cover a traveler when the traveler's destination is under a NOAA-issued hurricane warning within 24-48 hours of the departure date.
Hotel or resort is impacted: Many plans may cover a traveler when a hotel, resort, or vacation rental is devastated and made uninhabitable by a storm.
Home is badly damaged: Many plans offer coverage when the primary home of a traveler sustains destructive storm damage that renders the home uninhabitable.
Travelers Seeking Insurance
While traditional travel insurance to cover losses related to Dorian is now unavailable, travelers may still be eligible for a travel insurance plan with Cancel For Any Reason benefits.
Cancel for Any Reason Coverage, an optional benefit of travel insurance, offers the opportunity to cancel travel plans for reasons other than those listed as "covered reasons" on a policy. There are specific eligibility requirements:
Depending on the policy, it is only available within 10-21 days of your initial trip payment.
- You must insure 100 percent of your pre-paid, non-refundable trip cost.
- You must cancel your trip with the travel suppliers at least 48 hours before the departure date.
This benefit typically covers between 50-75 percent for your trip cost and vary by plan.
As other tropical depressions are brewing off the East Coast of the US, travelers are opting to buy coverage now. InsureMyTrip highly recommends buying a plan early, as purchasing travel insurance prior to a storm being named should provide coverage for travel concerns that arise due to a storm.
Also, travelers can still purchase comprehensive travel insurance for coverage unrelated to the hurricane, including emergency medical coverage, emergency medical evacuation, and baggage protection. Trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage are also available for covered unforeseen circumstances unrelated to the storm.
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