Nearly half of Americans are planning to take a vacation this year and most domestic and international travelers are heading to warm weather destinations with many traveling during the spring and summer months. As your clients look forward to relaxation and abundant sunshine this season, it’s wise to note that some of the most popular places to visit in the U.S.— such as Florida, South Carolina and the beautiful coastlines of Hawaii—are also prone to hurricane-related travel risks. Through it’s rare that vacation plans are affected by natural disasters, helping your clients prepare for such events and ways bad weather might affect carefully planned itineraries can help them trust that you’re attending to each aspect of their trip.
When is Hurricane Season and What’s Qualifies as a Hurricane?
Hurricane season is June 1st through November 30th and typically peaks in mid-August to late October. Once an event has a wind speed of 39 mph it is considered a tropical storm, and when a storm’s wind speed surpasses 74 mph the event then qualifies as a hurricane according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Travel Tips and Emergency Preparation
Here are some helpful tips that your clients traveling during hurricane season or to hurricane-prone areas might want to keep in mind as they plan for their trip:
- Hurricanes and adverse weather can disrupt flights and your clients may be separated from their baggage. Travelers can minimize this inconvenience by packing necessities in their carry-on bags. Our travel insurance plans can reimburse them for the purchase of necessities if their bags are delayed for more than 12-24 hours, depending on their plan.
- It’s tempting to completely unplug on vacation, but advance warning about hurricanes is not always guaranteed. We recommend travelers keep up-to-date on the latest information about possible storms before and during their trip. Clients who planned ahead and purchased travel insurance have Trip Cancellation coverage available should they need to cancel their plans due to a covered event.
- If your clients are truly concerned about a hurricane impacting their travel plans, they may want to consider taking a cruise to their destination as cruises are more flexible than flights and can detour to alternative ports.
- Travelers whose vacation destination is located in a common hurricane zone might want to learn how to prepare for an emergency in case they unexpectedly get caught in a storm’s path. FEMA has created a dedicated website that describes how travelers can prepare by making a communication plan for their travel party, creating a kit equipped with necessities and knowing their resources so they can stay informed during the event.
Staying Up to Date about Potential Hurricanes and Natural Disasters
- FEMA, NOAA and regional resources, including state emergency response team sites like Florida’s, are good places for your clients to look for information about any storms approaching or impacting their destination.
- The Weather Channel’s Hurricane News section is another great resource where your clients can see if any storms are on the horizon and to get an idea of what the hurricane season has in store for travelers.
- Travelers can also refer to the United States Landfalling Hurricane Probability Project to learn the probability of a hurricane or named storm making landfall in a specific county.
Travel Insurance and Hurricanes
Our travel insurance plans provide coverage for a number of weather-related events your clients might encounter during hurricane season, such as mandatory hurricane evacuations, flight delays and/or cancellations and their personal home being made uninhabitable by a hurricane or natural disaster. Travelers who purchase protection plans also receive access to our 24/7 emergency assistance service.
A travel protection plan could make the difference between your client recouping some or all of their costs should hurricane-related mishaps occur. If your client purchases insurance, we recommend they always travel with a hard copy of their Description of Coverage/Policy so they can contact us, even if they can’t access the internet.
Once a hurricane is forecasted or it becomes evident that a storm will impact travel to your clients’ destination, the event is considered foreseeable. This means the insurance plan can no longer be purchased to cover financial losses that your client might suffer as a result of that specific storm. For this reason, it could be beneficial for your clients to purchase travel insurance sooner rather than later.
Armed with these hurricane preparedness tips, informational resources and a travel protection plan, your clients can leave on their vacations knowing they have options should a hurricane unexpectedly interrupt their plans. Though the chances of this happening are slim, being prepared is just one more reason for your clients to know they’re in good and hands and relax during vacation.
Travel insurance plans are administered by Customized Services Administrators, Inc., CA Lic. No. 821931, located in San Diego, CA and doing business as Generali Global Assistance and Insurance Services. Plans are available to residents of the U.S. but may not be available in all jurisdictions. Benefits and services are described on a general basis; certain conditions and exclusions apply. Travel Retailers may not be licensed to sell insurance, in all states, and are not authorized to answer technical questions about the benefits, exclusions, and conditions of this insurance and cannot evaluate the adequacy of your existing insurance. This plan provides insurance coverage for your trip that applies only during the covered trip. You may have coverage from other sources that provides you with similar benefits but may be subject to different restrictions depending upon your other coverages. You may wish to compare the terms of this policy with your existing life, health, home and automobile policies. The purchase of this plan is not required in order to purchase any other travel product or service offered to you by your travel retailers. If you have any questions about your current coverage, call your insurer, insurance agent or broker. This notice provides general information on Generali Global Assistance’s products and services only. The information contained herein is not part of an insurance policy and may not be used to modify any insurance policy that might be issued. In the event the actual policy forms are inconsistent with any information provided herein, the language of the policy forms shall govern.
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