As Category 5 Hurricane Irma intensifies with Tropical Storm Jose and Tropical Storm Katia also on their way, storm-weary travelers are scrambling for options. Travel insurance agents at InsureMyTrip report a record high call volume from concerned travelers seeking guidance. While it is too late to purchase traditional travel insurance to cover losses related to any of these active storms, travelers may still be eligible for a Cancel For Any Reason policy.
Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR)
An optional benefit of travel insurance coverage which offers the opportunity to cancel travel plans for reasons other than those listed as “covered reasons” on a policy. There are specific eligibility requirements:
- Depending on the policy, it is only available within 10-30 days of your initial trip payment.
- You must insure 100 percent of your pre-paid, non-refundable trip cost.
- You must cancel your trip with the travel supplier 48 or 72 hours before departure date, depending on the plan.
- These plans typically cover between 50-75 percent of your trip cost and vary by plan.
Already Insured Travelers
For those travelers who have already purchased a policy prior to these storms being named, here is how travel insurance enables travelers to cancel a trip due to severe weather-related concerns under a traditional trip cancellation policy:
- Weather: when common carriers such as airlines and cruise lines cease service due to weather.
- Hurricane Warning: when a destination is under a NOAA-issued Hurricane warning.*
- Storm damage at your destination: when a hotel, resort, or vacation rental is devastated and made uninhabitable by a storm.
- Your home is destroyed by a storm: when the home of a traveler sustains destructive storm damage.
Limited Options for Uninsured Travelers
Travelers affected by the storm that did not purchase travel insurance may have a chance to recover a small portion of their trip expenses.
- During severe weather, airports may experience widespread delays and cancellations. Airlines may issue travel vouchers. However, any travel voucher issued by airlines may only be available for passengers traveling to or from specific airports.
- Cruisers should check whether their sailing is impacted. Cruise lines may change itineraries or cancel with little notice. Refund policies are typically limited. Some fare codes are non-refundable.
- Resort guests should contact the resort’s reservations department. Many resorts have significant cancellation fees.
- Consider purchasing a travel insurance plan for any future trips to ensure all trip expenses are covered.
Travelers interested in learning more about protection plans for travel during hurricane season can visit www.InsureMyTrip.com or call (800) 487-4722 to speak with a licensed travel insurance agent.
Hurricane Travel Insurance Expert:
*With most comprehensive travel insurance plans you must be within 24-48 hours of your scheduled departure and the cancellation must be more than 14 days after your effective date for trip cancellation coverage when a destination is under a NOAA-issued hurricane warning. Coverage not available on all plans.
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