Ed. Note: May 22-27, 2011 is National Hurricane Preparedness Week. As part of our series of archived information from past blog posts regarding the best travel insurance tips for hurricanes and other inclement weather, we offer the following post on what to know if a disaster hits home. Given the current news about devastating tornadoes, floods, and various kinds of damaging weather throughout the United States, it seems a timely piece of information. Here’s hoping all our travelers, and their loved ones, stay safe and well.
Often, when people think about travel insurance policies, they consider what kind of coverage they might need if something happened near their destination, or if there happened to be some issue with their transportation, whether by land, sea, or air. Rarely does anyone consider what would happen if they woke up on the morning of their planned departure to find their basement awash in flood water, or their local airports shut down by a hurricane, blizzard, tornado, or locusts. (Hey…it could happen.)
In other words: What happens when you really, really wish you were on vacation, but a disaster at home prevents you from getting there?
If you’ve purchased travel insurance, you may be covered for trip cancellation. A typical package policy probably recognizes significant storm damage to your home as a covered reason for opting out of your travel plans. You’ll want to check your specific policy, but most state that they provide coverage if your home is made “uninhabitable” by the weather event. Even if your home escapes damage, a shutdown of the airport or train station due to a storm or natural disaster will qualify you in most cases for coverage against trip cancellation or delay.
To be extra-safe, though, we recommend looking into a Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) policy if you plan to travel during hurricane season. These policies can provide you with greater freedom to change your plans as you see fit, while a standard package policy will cover only a stated set of reasons for cancellation. That means that if you really feel it’s more important to, say, stay home and help your neighbors repair their storm-damaged houses than it is to take that romantic getaway, you can follow your conscience without worrying about losing the money you spent on your trip. To determine whether CFAR, a package policy, or any other product is the right one for you, call our Customer Care representatives at 800-487-4722.