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How Travel Insurance Works for a Hurricane

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For the first time in more than 100 years, Americans are eyeing the very real and potentially devastating possibility that the U.S. will be struck by back-to-back Category 4 (or higher) hurricanes.

If you’re traveling this week, hopefully, your travel professional has already helped you purchase travel insurance. for your trip. Right about now, though, you might also be wondering just what is covered if a hurricane wrecks your plans for a much-needed getaway.

In a post on their website, Allianz Global, a leading specialty insurance provider details just what your insurance does and doesn’t cover if you’re facing extreme weather or a hurricane on your next trip.

If your trip is canceled or cut short, a policy provided by Allianz Global Assistance will likely include reimbursement for your travel costs as well as any costs incurred if you have to fly home early. If you can’t get home, your insurance will probably also reimburse any costs associated with extra nights at your hotel, meals and other essentials. And, of course, if you're injured, travel insurance will help you find medical services—including medical transportation—for any injuries that might occur, while also defraying those costs.

What else should you know about travel insurance?

If you’re headed to Florida but haven’t yet committed to travel insurance, while you will still likely be able to purchase a travel policy it probably won’t cover any damages incurred due to Hurricane Irma.

“Travel insurance is designed to offer protection against sudden and unforeseen situations and events,” says Allianz Global. “When a hurricane (or any storm) becomes a named storm, it also becomes a ‘foreseeable event’ with known potential to affect your travel. If you buy travel insurance after a storm is named, your plan won't provide coverage for storm-related claims.”

Travel insurance comparison website, SquareMouth says that in order for a traveler to be covered for Irma-related costs, you must have bought your policy on or before August 30, when Irma was named.

Chalk up yet another reason for purchasing insurance as soon as you book your trip.

When it comes to flight delays, sitting in an airport for hours—or even days—could make even the most patient traveler decide to give up and head home.

“Don’t do it,” says Allianz Global. You need to have lost at least half of your scheduled trip due to a travel delay and you must have shown a good-faith attempt to try to get to your destination before insurance will even consider covering you.

If the airline does ultimately cancel your flight due to Irma—and you’ve purchased the proper insurance in time—SquareMouth also recommends you keep a copy of your original itinerary and obtain a statement or updated itinerary from your airline verifying that the original flight was canceled.

As for cruise passengers, travel insurance will likely not cover your costs if you decide to change your trip before your cruise line cancels the itinerary.

The “weather event must force your airline, cruise line or tour operator to stop offering all services for at least 24 hours,” said Allianz Global. “Once that happens, your travel insurance would reimburse you for non-refundable travel costs.”

It also good to note that if your cruise line changes your itinerary at the last-minute due to inclement weather, you must accept the change. As long as the new itinerary has the same “value” as your original itinerary, your insurance company doesn’t consider that you’ve suffered “a financial loss.”

On the other hand, your insurance should protect you if you need to change hotels because weather damage made the property uninhabitable. Keep in mind that what annoys you might not necessarily be classified as uninhabitable by the insurance company. If your golf vacation is on the rocks thanks to weather damage to the golf course, for example, but the hotel can still accommodate you, it is unlikely you’ll be reimbursed for any changes.

If your hotel does prove to be uninhabitable or if it is evacuated, again Squaremouth recommends you receive documentation, such as a local news story announcing the evacuation or a statement from the hotel as proof.

It’s important to note that if local authorities order a “preemptive evacuation,” that will probably also not be covered by your policy.

The most important thing to know when purchasing travel insurance is to read your inclusions and exclusions very carefully before setting off on your trip. It can help to have a seasoned travel professional on your side who can work with you to get exactly the right policy you need.

Or, check out www.allianztravelinsurance.com or SquareMouth’s Hurricane Irma Fact Sheet for more information.


Article Courtesy Travel Pulse and Seven Sea Journeys/News 

Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com - Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more.

Photo: Pixabay Free Images

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