How To Find Travel Insurance For Severe Weather – Forbes Advisor

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When storms hit, even the best vacation plans can fall apart. A hurricane could disrupt your cruise itinerary, or a snowstorm could shut down your destination airport.

By purchasing comprehensive travel insurance well in advance of your trip, you will be better prepared to weather severe weather unscathed. The right travel insurance plan can compensate you for weather-related travel issues, but it’s important to know what your policy will and won’t cover.

Does travel insurance cover severe weather?

The best travel insurance plans bundle multiple types of coverage that can protect you financially if severe weather causes travel delays, disruptions, or cancellations.

The key is to make sure the travel insurance plan you take out includes the types of coverage you need and lists severe or inclement weather as a reason you can make a claim.

What qualifies as severe weather will be defined by your policy but often includes:

  • storms
  • hurricanes
  • tornadoes
  • fog
  • rainstorms
  • hailstorms
  • blizzards
  • ice storms

Make sure you get travel insurance that specifically addresses your severe weather concerns. Plans from these companies provide good coverage for hurricanes and severe weather:

Some of the types of coverage to look for in a severe weather travel insurance plan include:

  • trip cancellation
  • shutter lag
  • travel disruption

Also look for additional coverage options, such as:

  • Missed connection. WorldTrips offers additional benefits when severe weather causes you to miss a connecting flight.
  • travel inconveniences. AIG’s Travel Guard Deluxe plan covers certain travel inconveniences such as: B. Arriving in the mountains to ski and realizing that the resort is closed due to inclement weather.
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cancellation insurance and bad weather

If you have to cancel your trip to the Bahamas because a hurricane closed Nassau Airport, you can contact your cancellation insurance.

This coverage will reimburse 100% of your covered travel expenses as long as you cancel due to a policy issue – such as severe weather.

There is one exception. In order to make a successful trip cancellation claim, you must have completed your travel insurance plan before the storm becomes a “known event”. So if a hurricane has already been named near your vacation destination, it’s too late to buy travel insurance for hurricane coverage.

Also, find out about specific travel cancellation deadlines due to a hurricane at your destination. For example, to make an insurance claim, your destination may need to be under a hurricane watch issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration within three days of your scheduled departure date, and you may need to cancel at least 14 days after your policy’s effective date.

It is important to note that your destination must normally be inaccessible or uninhabitable due to severe weather for trip cancellation benefits to take effect.

Sometimes storms hit at home too. If your primary residence is uninhabitable after the arrival of a named hurricane, you may have a trip cancellation claim provided you purchased the policy before the storm was named.

You can also make a trip cancellation claim if your home is uninhabitable due to damage from a natural disaster covered in your policy. That way, you can stay home to repair the damage but still recoup your travel expenses with an insurance claim.

Travel Insurance Upgrade “Cancel for Any Reason”.

For maximum flexibility in canceling your trip, add Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) travel insurance to your travel insurance plan at the time of purchase. This typically increases the cost of your policy by 50%, but allows you to cancel regardless of your reason.

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There are some CFAR limitations to be aware of:

  • Typically, you must purchase CFAR coverage within 14 days of your initial travel deposit.
  • In order to submit a successful CFAR application, you must cancel your trip at least 48 hours before your scheduled departure (so not last minute).
  • CFAR generally reimburses 50% or 75% of your insured travel expenses, depending on your policy.

Trip Delay Insurance and Severe Weather

Suppose you are waiting at the airport and your flight is delayed due to a snow storm at your destination. This is where travel delay insurance can come in handy.

Travel Delay Protection can reimburse you for the loss of prepaid, non-refundable travel expenses if you experience a delay longer than the waiting time stated in your policy. For example, the specified waiting time can be six hours or twelve hours.

If this blizzard causes you to miss a pre-paid day’s skiing, you can recover that loss as long as severe weather is listed as an acceptable reason in your policy.

Travel delay insurance can also help pay for a hotel room and meals you buy during a layover due to severe weather. There is usually a daily maximum and an overall maximum per person for travel delay benefits.

Trip interruption travel insurance and bad weather

Travel insurance doesn’t usually cover minor weather frustrations like rain that spoil your beach vacation. But if unexpected storms cause you to end your trip early, trip interruption insurance can help.

For example, if a tornado hits your destination, preventing access to the area or making the area uninhabitable, you can make a travel disruption claim. If a tornado blows through your neighborhood at home while you’re away and makes your home uninhabitable, you’re also eligible for travel interruption benefits.

Most travel insurance companies have free 24/7 policyholder hotlines. If you need to return early due to bad weather, staff can help you book a new flight home.

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Trip interruption insurance covers the additional cost of that last minute ticket and reimburses you for prepaid, non-refundable costs that you miss out on by departing early. But again only if you fly home early due to a problem listed in your policy.

Upgrade to “Disruption for any reason” travel insurance.

For more freedom to end your trip early for any reason, some travel insurance companies offer “interruption for any reason” travel insurance. This premium upgrade reimburses you for up to 75% of your travel costs, as long as you insure the full value of your trip. It occurs after a certain waiting period, usually 48 hours or 72 hours after the start of your trip. As with CFAR, you must purchase “disruption for any reason” coverage, generally within 14 days of booking your trip.

When is severe weather not covered by travel insurance?

Travel insurance policies generally exclude coverage for “known events”. Once a natural disaster is a known threat (and no longer “unforeseen”), it likely won’t be covered when you buy new travel insurance.

For example, if you’re embarking on a cruise in a week and a new hurricane is announced, you can’t quickly get travel insurance to cover hurricane-related delays or travel disruptions.

This is the best argument for getting travel insurance early, says Jeff Rolander, director of claims at Faye Travel Insurance. “It is best to get travel insurance as soon as possible after booking your trip (e.g. your flights or accommodation). This way you are protected from unexpected events that could cause delays or cancellations.”

Many travel insurance companies offer a “free look” period after purchasing a policy. Take the time to read the fine print on the travel insurance plan and decide if the policy meets your needs. If not, cancel it for a refund.

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