As hurricane season is well upon us, travel plans may begin to become affected. That is, if COVID-19 hasn’t already done the job. Until the end of November, a hurricane or tropical storm may turn up and ruin your travel plans. When this happens, you obviously don’t want to lose any money invested into a trip, and winning in this situation isn’t always as easy as you’d think. Natural disasters are inevitable, so thinking ahead is key.
Although insuring your trip might already be a good idea due to the pandemic, the possibility of a storm might be even more of a reason. For this reason, you might want to book your flight using a card that affords travel protections. These protections can go beyond the scope of your flight. They will often cover hotel expenses or any other costly interruption due to hurricanes—or anything really. Although every card is different, many can offer a huge benefit if things do go wrong.
For example, my United Explorer Card with Chase offers numerous travel protections. The trip cancellation service is detailed on their website, “You can be reimbursed up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip for your pre-paid, non-refundable passenger fares, if your trip is cancelled or cut short by sickness, severe weather and other covered situations.”
The card even affords trip delay reimbursement, “If your common carrier travel is delayed more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay, you and your family are covered for unreimbursed expenses made with your United Explorer Card, such as meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket.”
If you aren’t protected by your credit card, you can purchase travel insurance. There are dozens of travel insurance policies and providers available. For traveling inside the USA, some of the most popular services are Insuremytrip and World Nomads. Every policy is different, from the cost right down to the presence of preexisting conditions. Before investing in a policy, do your own research. Different lifestyles require different forms of coverage.
A cancel-for-any-reason (CFAR) insurance policy is about as covered as you can get. The title speaks for itself. Although coverage may cost upwards of 10% of your trip and only reimburse 50% to 75% of the costs, it might be worth it. For example, even if a storm never hits but you’re worried about it affecting your plans, you can cancel the trip and be reimbursed, respectively.
2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season
Although these regions seem to be most affected, it’s not just the Caribbean and Florida that are in potential hurricane danger. As we’ve seen in the past, the entire Gulf and East coast is subject to hurricane threats. From the Carolinas to as far as New England have proven to be storm targets in the past.
Whether you live on the Gulf/East coast or plan to travel to these regions from now through November, it’s worth considering the possibility of a hurricane. The Atlantic hurricane season peaks in September, so you may want to avoid planning travel altogether during this month. Whether or not you wish to invest in trip insurance is always a personal choice.
For the latest up-to-date information on the 2020 Hurricane season, visit the National Hurricane Center’s website.