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As Hurricane Ophelia passes over Ireland the first question that might be coming to every traveller’s mind is does my travel insurance cover hurricanes? You may be worried about how severe weather conditions may affect you should you or your belongings get damaged while abroad or should your travel plans become disrupted.
Ophelia left 400,000 people without power and 3 people dead. The worst of the damage was seen in the South and West Coast of the country where the worst storm in Ireland in over 50 years hit hardest. Schools closed for 2 days and public transport services were cancelled. A huge number of flights in and out of Ireland were cancelled due to Ophelia, with mainly Aer Lingus, British Airways and Ryanair flights affected.
Luckily, it is not common for us to experience such extreme weather conditions in Ireland. However when travelling to areas regularly affected by hurricanes, floods or tornados, it is vital that you plan ahead to ensure you are not left stranded if your flights have been cancelled and your trip has been disrupted.
If you are already the victim of cancelled flights due to the storm, you should be provided with accommodation and meals by your airline until they can get you on the next flight provided you have travel disruption cover. However, what if you arrive safely at your destination but a hurricane will hit and be hugely disruptive to your further travel plans? This is where travel insurance can help you.
Travel insurance cover hurricanes season & becomes extremely important. Holiday destinations like Florida are particularly notorious for their extreme weather conditions. Hurricane season occurs between June and November, the period when Irish holidaymakers are most likely to take a sun holiday to places like Florida which are at risk. This means that your trip may be in total jeopardy if you do not have sufficient travel insurance to cover cancellations due to severe weather conditions.
Key tips for travelling during hurricane season:
- Research well in advance: See if your location is at risk and if so, how high are these risks;
- Know how to react: Don’t panic. Instead, focus on establishing whether it is safe to proceed with your trip. Your airline and insurance provider are the most important points of contact. If you are already caught up in the hurricane, focus on contacting local emergency services;
- Contact your travel provider: Contact your airline and see if your flight will be rescheduled or if they have any advice for travellers;
- Keep your travel insurance policy details safe and accessible: Always carry your insurance details with you when travelling abroad. For extra safety, scan and store a copy of these details online on your cloud or email them to yourself so you can access them from anywhere in the world. Your insurance provider will also normally offer an emergency contact line which you can ring for advice, and is normally located on your policy document.
What you need to know?
Be aware that you must have taken out your travel insurance policy with additional covers before a hurricane or storm has been predicted in order to be covered. Therefore it is important to keep an eye on predicted weather conditions at your destination and to plan ahead of time. If you are travelling in Summer or Autumn, don’t risk it without being covered. As soon as you book your next holiday, please make sure you have relevant travel insurance cover straight booked at the same time.
Storms and mass flooding can occur almost anywhere in Europe. For this reason we recommend everyone to take out travel insurance even if you are staying in Europe. As we have seen over the past few days alone in Ireland, thousands have had their flights cancelled in and out of Dublin airport. Although Europe is less prone to weather extremities, they do occur from time-to-time so it’s not worth taking the risk of having no cover.
However, it is even more important to ensure you will be fully covered if your destination is the East Coast of America or the Atlantic region in general. Some of the worst hit areas in recent years include Florida, Texas, Mexico, and the Caribbean, which are all popular destinations for travellers. Moreover, even if the area hit is not your final destination, your lay-over could be affected if you are travelling on international flights through the Atlantic region.
When buying travel insurance, you need to look out for additional covers like travel disruption and natural disaster as if you these covers are not included under standard policy, you need to pay additional premium for it. Tsunamis and earthquakes have caused horrific damage in recent years in places like New Zealand, the Indian Ocean and Chile. Such natural disasters will obviously put all your travel plans at risk. As a result, natural disaster cover may be required on top of the recommended flight cancellation and extreme weather travel insurance policies. While tsunamis can technically occur anywhere in the world, we usually know in advance if a city is at risk of an earthquake due to proximity to a fault line (such as the San Andreas fault in California). So do your research on your destination location to ensure you are well informed and can select the most relevant and comprehensive travel insurance for you.
Here are some of the most common situations in which you will require travel disruption and natural disaster cover:
- There are some hurricane warnings at your destination in past;
- Your destination has been hit by a storm, earthquake or tsunami in past;
- Mass flooding at your departure or arrival destination means your flights have been cancelled;
- Extreme weather conditions mean that your cruise or trip has been completely cancelled.
Having seen how travel insurance cover hurricanes and truly is essential, what about the cost? On average, a travel insurance plan covering cancelled trips and interrupted trips due to a hurricane will cost approximately 4% of your total holiday cost. This is terrific value considering that without travel insurance, you could potentially lose out on the entire cost of your trip if it has been disrupted by a hurricane.
If you have any trips coming up or are thinking of planning your dream holiday, get the cheapest travel insurance by comparing quotes from leading Irish Insurance companies in minutes.
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Author: Ciara Maher
My name is Ciara Maher I am a freelance blogger, marketing assistant and English teacher. I enjoy creating multimedia content and managing websites, and am passionate about travel and technology. I am also studying web development at Google thanks to a scholarship I received from Udacity. I am currently writing blogs for Ucompare.ie, Ireland’s leading insurance comparison website. Having lived abroad, I understand the importance of travel insurance in particular as it has helped me in France and the USA.
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