Hurricane Coverage - 2023 Review
The official hurricane season is June 1st to November 30th each year with the maximum hurricane activity occurring in September. Travelers booking travel for these months often ask if policies cover allow cancellation for hurricanes or if they cover hurricanes at all. Let’s take a look.
Travel insurance typically provide trip cancellation, trip interruption and delays for weather-related issues. Prior to departure, most travel insurance will cover provide trip cancellation benefits when:
- The Common Carrier Cancels due to weather after 6 - 12+ hours (depending on policy)
- Roads are closed or inaccessible to the destination
- Inclement weather causes cancellation or delay of the trip
- Insured’s home or destination is made uninhabitable or inaccessible due to a natural disaster.
According to the Weather Channel, airports with the highest levels of weather-related cancellations are:
EWR – Newark Liberty International, NJ
LGA – LaGuardia, NY
JFK – John F Kennedy International, NY
DCA – Ronald Reagan Washington National, DC
FLL – Ft Lauderdale-Hollywood International, FL
DFW – Dallas/Fort Worth International, TX
PHL – Philadelphia International, PA
BOS – Boston Logan International, MA
DAL – Dallas Love Field, Tx
BWI – Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall, MD
When traveling to/from one of these airports, keep a close watch on the weather as if flights are cancelled due to weather issues for 6 – 12+ hours, you may be able to cancel your trip and get a refund of your non-refundable trip costs.
For hurricanes, if you wait to buy a policy when the National Weather Service is warning that a hurricane is heading toward your destination, you’re too late. You would not have coverage for a hurricane if the travel insurance policy was purchased AFTER the hurricane is named.
If we don’t want to try to attempt the trip, are there any options to cancel BEFORE we leave home? The answer is ‘yes’! Policies with a NOAA warning or watch included is a great option.
NOAA Warning/Watch Trip Cancellation
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a member of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The National Hurricane Center (NHS) component of NOAA is tasked with monitoring tropical cyclones and weather conditions in the North Atlantic and North Pacific basins. They also issue coastal tropical cyclone watches/warnings for the US and its Caribbean territories and provide warning/watch recommendations to WMO regions for Japan and Southeast Asia.
Several policies add NOAA wording to their policies to provide trip cancellation benefits if NOAA issues a warning or watch for either your departure city or destination within 24-72 hours (depending on policy) before departure.
This means if NOAA issues a hurricane warning or watch 24-72 hours prior to departure for your destination you can cancel the trip without attempting it. Policies without the warning included will permit cancellation if the common carrier cancels for twelve or more hours due to weather, or if roads are closed or inaccessible to the travel destination. In all cases, you must purchase the policy before a tropical storm is upgraded to hurricane status. Typically, there is also a 14-day waiting period in effect, meaning that NOAA must upgrade the storm’s status at least 14 days AFTER you purchase the policy.
If you’re purchasing a policy for a trip in a few months, then there is no problem with this 14-day waiting period requirement. However, if you are buying a policy close to departure, the 14-day requirement may not be met and if not, you couldn’t cancel for a tropical storm that was upgraded to hurricane status.
The policies that currently carry the NOAA warning/watch cancellation wording are:
AIG Preferred and AIG Deluxe – the NOAA warning or watch must be issued 72 hours prior to departure with a 14-day waiting period after purchase required.
IMG Travel Lite, SE and LX - the NOAA warning or watch must be issued 24 hours prior to departure with a 14-day waiting period after purchase required.
Seven Corners Round Trip Basic and Choice - the NOAA warning or watch must be issued 24 hours prior to departure with a 14-day waiting period after purchase required.
Travel Insured World Wide Trip Protector and Trip Protector PLUS - the NOAA warning or watch must be issued 48 hours prior to departure with a 14-day waiting period after purchase required.
If you are primarily concerned about hurricanes ruining travel plans, then a travel policy with a NOAA warning would be your best option by allowing you to stay safe at home and still be able to cancel the trip if a hurricane upends travel plans.
To help you find the best policy, TravelDefenders recommends having at least $100,000 in travel medical coverage and $250,000 emergency medical evacuation when traveling outside the US or for domestic travel, having at least $10,000 in medical coverage and $150,000 in medical evacuation coverage. If possible, a policy with the NOAA warning included should be considered. If you purchase the policy within the 14-21 days of initial trip payment, please consider a travel insurance policy with the pre-existing condition waiver included to ensure the most coverage for your money.
Have questions? Chat with us online, send us an email at agent@TravelDefenders.com or alternatively call us at +1(786) 321 3723. We would love to hear from you.
This article has been written for review purposes only and does not suggest sponsorship or endorsement of AARDY by the trademark owner.
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