June marks the official start of hurricane season. That can be a bit unnerving for folks planning vacations to areas that are prone to hurricanes. Other than careful planning, one of the best things you can do when booking a trip during hurricane season is to factor in the additional, but usually reasonable expense of purchasing travel insurance.
Last year’s hurricane season helped remind us just how serious the storms can be. Aside from the physical damage, the storms also resulted in a lot of canceled plans.
In fact, the insurance firm Allianz Global Assistance filed over 26,000 claims for its customers last year. Those clients that had purchased insurance ahead of time were protected, but there were a lot of travelers who weren’t so lucky.
You see, once a hurricane or tropical storm is named, travelers can no longer purchase insurance to cover a trip during the time the storm hits. That’s why it is important to purchase insurance well in advance.
Once purchased, most providers will have 24/7 assistance on hand for travelers. But booking travel insurance is only half the battle. It’s also important to purchase the right type of coverage. Do you know the difference between trip cancellation and trip interruption? If not, there is no need to worry. Travel insurance companies have experts who can chat with you prior to purchasing so you can rest easy knowing you’ve got exactly what you need to protect your trip.
Insurance aside, it’s also important to closely follow a trusted news source should a storm become a named tropical depression, tropical storm or hurricane during your vacation window. If the 2017 season taught us anything it’s that storms can quickly change directions. Areas that expected severe impact received little more than heavy rainfall, while areas that thought they’d only get rain bands wound up smack dab in the path of the eye of the storm. It’s important to be safe, and travel insurance ensures that canceling your plans won’t negatively impact you financially. However, it’s also important not to panic should a storm become named and cancel too early. There’s always a chance it could change directions or dissipate completely.