Travellers should consider extending their travel insurance coverage if they are heading anywhere near the Atlantic this year, warns the US Travel Insurance Association (UStiA), as the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season is now upon us. The first storm of the season, Andrea, has already been named, and the season is scheduled to last through until the end of November.
Out of the nine to 15 storms predicted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), four to eight could become hurricane strength, with winds of 111mph or higher, and as such, UStiA has urged travellers to protect their summer and autumn travel investments to guard against unexpected cancellations, delays and even evacuations.
In unexpected scenarios, UStiA accentuates that travel insurance can make a positive difference: financially, by reimbursing cancellation costs, as well as additional transportation expenses that may result from evacuation; through assistance, as most providers offer a 24-hour hotline for travel and medical assistance services; and in a medical sense, as a comprehensive travel insurance policy can also help reimburse medical expenses and locate and arrange emergency medical care, including emergency air ambulance evacuation.
UStiA advises the following preparations to travellers:
- Purchase travel insurance when booking a trip, as typically, travel insurance plans exclude coverage if the policy is purchased after a hurricane or tropical storm becomes a named event.
- Keep all receipts and a copy of their itinerary in case travellers need to file a claim.
- Read their travel insurance policy and make sure that they understand what is and is not covered.
ITIJ agrees with UStiA’s helpful advice; encouraging travellers not to leave it up to chance and risk unexpected costs is a win-win for all, especially on top of the hassle and stress that severe weather can cause.