Forecasters are predicting another active hurricane season in the Atlantic, calling for 16 named storms, including nine hurricanes, five of which are predicted to be a Category 3 or higher.
According to the National Weather Service, the 2013 hurricane season began on June 1st, and Travel Guard is offering several tips for planning travel during this time of year.
Superstorm Sandy was a reminder that it’s not just the Caribbean and Southeastern U.S. that can feel the effects of a hurricane. Although a major weather event may only affect one geographic area, flight cancellations and airport closures can have ripple effects that disrupt flight schedules and travel plans for thousands of travelers across the country, as well as U.S.-based flights to and arrivals from international destinations.
If unforeseen severe weather disrupts your plans, a travel insurance solution with trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage may cover your losses. If a trip is cancelled for a covered reason, travel insurance may refund the prepaid, forfeited, non-refundable trip costs up to the limit of coverage.
Purchase in advance: To avoid a last-minute scramble, travelers should purchase insurance at the same time they book their travel plans. Once a hurricane is named, it’s probably too late for your travel insurance’s trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage to cover losses due to the storm.
Monitor the status of airports, accommodations and driving routes: Before taking off, travelers should research the destination they plan to visit, check the websites and social media sites of hotels or air carriers to monitor real-time updates and call to ask questions directly to a company representative, if needed. Travelers should also sign up to receive flight status alerts on their mobile devices to stay aware of delays and cancellations.
If a storm directly affects travel arrangements or accommodations, insured travelers may benefit from trip cancellation or trip interruption coverage. For example, if an airport is closed due to high winds; or if mandatory evacuations are enforced at an insured traveler’s hotel or resort; or if roads are impassable due to high water and alternate modes of transportation are not possible, these coverages may provide protection. Similarly, if a resort, hotel or vacation home is damaged and cannot be used, or if comparable accommodations cannot be provided, non-refundable costs could be covered.
Prepare for delays: If the airport from which flights are scheduled to depart is closed due to a hurricane or other weather event, travel insurance may cover the expenses incurred because of the delay. Additionally, reasonable accommodations and travel expenses may be covered until travel becomes possible.
Hurricane season runs through Nov. 30, 2013. To keep track of the latest hurricane-related news, visit the National Weather Services’ National Hurricane Center.
For more information, visit www.travelguard.com.