As summer swings into its second half, another season starts to make its presence felt: hurricane season. And with hurricane season comes the need for hurricane travel insurance.
Hurricane season is the time of the year, officially June through November, when Atlantic and Caribbean waters warm and conditions become right for the development of large, severe storms. These storms can be trip-wreckers for popular vacation destinations that are often in the path of hurricanes, including the Caribbean, Hawaii, Mexico, Florida, and the Carolinas.
How can you help protect your vacation from being ruined by a hurricane? One way is to get travel insurance before a storm is named. Plans from Generali Global Assistance provide coverage for a variety of weather-related events.
Hurricane Season Impact on Travel
Because factors like the overall ocean temperature and weather patterns differ from year to year, hurricane seasons vary in their severity. But, even an average season can result in a handful of major hurricanes that could wreck a trip.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there’s “a 70% probability for each of the following ranges of activity” during an average season:
- 9-15 named storms
- 4-8 hurricanes
- 2-4 major hurricanes
NOAA expects most of the storm activity to take place between August and October. If during that time you’re planning a trip to a hurricane zone – especially the Caribbean – seriously consider buying travel insurance for coverage against certain weather-related travel issues.
Does travel insurance cover weather events like hurricanes?
Yes – but we have to be careful how we define “cover.”
If the lodging at your destination is destroyed by a hurricane and you have to cancel your trip, the answer is yes. If you’re at your destination, a hurricane strikes, and the government says you have to evacuate, you can be covered with a Generali plan.
If you’re injured in a hurricane while traveling, your medical expenses can be covered. If your injuries are severe enough that you have to be evacuated, that can also be covered, up to the coverage limits.
With Generali, you even have coverage if your own home is made uninhabitable by a hurricane and you have to cancel or interrupt your trip.
Not all travel insurance companies or plans cover storm-related cancellations and interruptions the same way, so read your Description of Coverage/Policy carefully before you buy – especially if you’re headed to the Caribbean during hurricane season.
Does travel insurance cover hurricane-related delays?
That’s an interesting question, and like a lot of interesting questions that have to do with travel insurance, the answer is: “it depends.”
In the case of travel delay, it depends on:
- The plan you bought;
- Whether you’re delayed long enough; and
- What you did during the delay.
Travel delay coverage reimburses you for expenses you incurred while you were delayed – food and lodging, mainly, not that Gucci bag you saw in the gift shop while killing time. It also doesn’t cover you if your flight was delayed an hour and all you did was sit in the airport lounge playing Candy Crush.
Okay, but what about getting caught up with your cruise or tour, if they’re out of the hurricane zone but there’s a Category 5 storm wreaking havoc with your travel plans?
That could fall under Trip Interruption or Missed Connection coverage, and Generali offers that as well – and we can help make the arrangements to get you caught up. So travel insurance has a lot of ways to deal with weather delays.
When to buy trip insurance for a storm
If you buy travel insurance after a storm is named, your plan will not provide coverage for storm-related claims. See our Storm Coverage Alerts for more information.
We suggest you buy a travel insurance plan when you make your first trip payment, like airfare or a cruise. That way you have a long coverage period in case you need to cancel your trip, and if you need to file a claim related to a storm, you will have bought the plan well before the storm was forecasted.
Generali travel insurance plans can be purchased up to 18 months before the trip departure date and up until the day prior to departure.
Is hurricane travel insurance worth it?
There are many ways you can try to help protect your vacation from hurricanes – even a Caribbean vacation. You can stay on islands in the southern Caribbean, like Aruba and Curacao. You can avoid the Caribbean or hurricane zones entirely during hurricane season. You can follow the tips in our article on prepping for travel during hurricane season.
However, even if you do all those, travel insurance is a good idea if you’re taking a vacation during hurricane season. Like every other part of travel, weather is unpredictable. When it’s hurricane season, you just never know. So why put your vacation investment at risk?