Hurricane Warnings: When Is the Cutoff Point for Travel Insurance?

by Richard D'Ambrosio
Hurricane Warnings: When Is the Cutoff Point for Travel Insurance?

Photo: Shutterstock.com


As the water slowly subsides in Houston from Harvey and Hurricane Irma threatens the Caribbean this week, travel agents are once again receiving an education on how a named hurricane triggers travel insurance rules.

While most comprehensive travel insurance plans kick in coverage once a storm causes a disruption, the situation is less clear for travelers who are concerned about heading to a destination in advance of a storm, according to InsureMyTrip’s hurricane travel insurance expert, Lynne Peters.

The National Oceania and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) naming a hurricane is the cutoff point for travelers having their trips protected, Peters told TMR.

Once a storm starts forming, it is deemed a “foreseeable event,” and if your client does not have insurance coverage yet, they will not be covered if the storm threatens, interrupts or disrupts their travel plans.

“If your client purchased the insurance before the storm was named, they’re covered. Anyone purchasing today, for a destination in Irma’s path, isn’t,” Peters said.

Generally, however, travel insurance plans only provide coverage for trip cancellation, interruption and delays for bad weather patterns at the time that they disrupt travel plans. A standard comprehensive insurance plan will not provide specific coverage for NOAA warnings.

For example, iTravelInsured allows travelers to cancel a trip within 24 hours of scheduled departure if a destination is under an NOAA hurricane warning, provided the cancellation occurs 14 days or more after the plan’s effective date.

Travel Safe’s Classic and Classic Plus plans allow a client to cancel within 36 hours of departure date if the destination is under an NOAA hurricane warning, provided the cancellation happens 14 days or more from the policy’s effective date. Several other companies offer similar coverage, Peters said.

Trip cancellation coverage typically provides reimbursement of pre-paid, non-refundable trip costs. Many hotels, resorts and tour operators may not provide reimbursement unless the storm prohibits them from providing service, so these types of plans could provide a client with peace of mind if they are traveling during peak hurricane season.

Hurricane season always spurs an increase in travel insurance inquiries and purchases, and travel agents might want to brush up on their knowledge to answer client questions, Peter said.

InsureMyTrip experienced a 10% increase in call volume last week from travelers seeking answers on hurricanes. The most asked questions by customers in the wake of Harvey include evacuation, overall hurricane coverage, trip cancellation and financial default.

Also, agents and travelers are reminded that even if a destination is not considered uninhabitable, a traveler can still cancel if they feel that the state of the destination isn’t amenable to a pleasant vacation.

“A hurricane may not destroy a hotel, but with pouring rain and wind, you might not want to go,” she said.

Hurricane season officially runs June 1 through November 30.

  6
  0
Daily Top List

Most Scenic Train Rides in U.S.

1. Grand Canyon Railway

2. Amtrak: The Adirondack

3. Cass Scenic Railroad

4. Amtrak Cascades

5. Napa Valley Wine Trail

Source: CNT

Could not load file or assembly 'System.Net.Http.Primitives, Version=4.2.22.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a' or one of its dependencies. The located assembly's manifest definition does not match the assembly reference. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80131040)
TMR THIS WEEK
http://services.travelsavers.com/AMGService.svc/REST/GetImage?ImageID=4d6288bf-481e-e911-b4aa-782bcb66a2f2

Why the Caribbean Remains the Preferred Region for Cruise Travel

It’s family-friendly, convenient and like no place else in the world — no wonder the majority of travelers seek this region for their ocean-going getaways.

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
Yearly Business Checkup – A Really Good Idea
Yearly Business Checkup – A Really Good Idea

From business structure to legal documents to cash flow, here are important items to evaluate annually in order to keep your agency in its strongest position.

10 Reasons You Should Use a Travel Agent in 2019
10 Reasons You Should Use a Travel Agent in 2019

It’s a year of more ships, more flights and less legroom. And some say 2019 is also the Year of the Travel Agent. We asked some professionals why they think that is.

Future Generation of Retirees Names Travel as Top Priority
Future Generation of Retirees Names Travel as Top Priority

Travelers in the thirties and forties age bracket put more emphasis on seeing the world than getting hitched, having children, or owning a home, new study suggests.

Travel Advisors Share Best Sales Tactics for 2019
Travel Advisors Share Best Sales Tactics for 2019

An increased social media presence, and more focus on groups, targeted events and service fees round out the top strategies.

How One Travel Agent Went from Zero to $1.3 Million in Three Years
How One Travel Agent Went from Zero to $1.3 Million in Three Years

Kristina Raykinstein gave up a career in banking to become a travel agent. Here’s how she doubled her earnings while working from home.

Berkshire Hathaway Debuts Cruise Travel Insurance Called WaveCare
Berkshire Hathaway Debuts Cruise Travel Insurance Called WaveCare

WaveCare includes Berkshire Hathaway’s 24/7 global travel assistance. 

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards & Outlooks
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: Luxury Gold