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Bad Weather and Natural Disaster Coverage

This is important – While anyone will sell you travel insurance at the last minute, claims under bad weather coverage from known events are not covered. If you’re traveling soon and bad weather is forecast or known, you will not be covered for bad weather if you’re getting your travel insurance today. That’s because the bad weather isn’t an unforeseen event.

If you like our explanations, read this blog post: “Do Callers Think We Were Born Yesterday?”

Snow storms, hurricanes, fires, earthquakes, etc – you get the picture. No matter what causes your trip to be delayed, cancelled or interrupted, you want to know how travel insurance can cover you.

Bad Weather or Natural Disaster Coverage in a Travel Insurance policy means that some kind of unexpected inclement weather or unexpected natural disaster causes you to be delayed getting to your destination.

Here are the coverages most likely to be used with respect to Bad Weather: (Note that each policy covers you differently)

  • Missed Connection – generally from a car accident en route to the airport, bad weather or carrier-caused delays;
  • Trip Delay – generally from bad weather or carrier-caused delays. Long delays of more than 50% of the length of your trip can turn onto a trip cancellation;
  • Trip Cancellation- you have to completely cancel your trip. Some plans, but not all, require a 24 hour shut down of common carrier services; Two exceptions are the Global Alert and the TravelSafe Classic. These plans allow you to cancel your trip within 24 hours of your Scheduled Departure Date and time if your Trip destination is under a Hurricane warning issued by the NOAA National Hurricane Center, provided the cancellation of your Trip occurs more than 15 days following the effective date of coverage for your plan.
  • Trip Interruption – you unexpectedly return home early from your trip. This reimburses you for your unused prepaid trip costs and one way airfare. This can include being forced to evacuate by the authorities.

Trip Cancellation / Interruption for bad weather is different from going to Cancun and having it rain the whole time. Or going skiing but there’s no snow. You won’t have much fun, but unless the bad weather completely prevents you from getting there, you won’t have a payable claim.

Here’s An Overview of Missed Connection Coverage

Some plans cover the additional traveling expenses under a separate section called “Missed Connection”. Missed Connection” provides reimbursement in the event of a missed flight connection or for the additional costs to “catch up” to a cruise or tour if the cause of delay is an accident or bad weather.

I suggest you read the policy wording carefully since the phrase “Missed Connection” doesn’t mean the same from company to company. One company states: “coverage will not be provided to individuals who are able to meet their scheduled departure but cancel their Trip due to Inclement Weather.”

Here’s An Overview of Trip Delay Coverage

Trip Delay is reimbursement for meals and accommodations that you might incur if your trip’s departure is delayed for a covered reason.

For example, you’ll be reimbursed up to the daily limit for meals and accommodations (to the policy maximum) if your departure is delayed for more than the number of hours required for a covered reason during your trip.

Here’s An Overview of Trip Cancellation Coverage

Trip Cancellation / Interruption for bad weather is different from going to Cancun and having it rain the whole time. You won’t have much fun, but unless the bad weather prevents you from getting there, you won’t have a payable claim.

Something else that’s important is that if you see a hurricane bearing down on your destination, you can’t cancel your trip. Your airline or supplier has to be the party who cancels. Here’s some more pertinent information.

  • The Travel Insured Comprehensive and Gold plans’ coverage has this wording: (this isn’t just limited to bad weather)
    • “If Your Travel Supplier cancels Your Trip, You are eligible for benefits equal to the amount protected for Your airline tickets or the value of the reissue fee. You must have protected the entire cost of Your Trip including the airfare.”
  • Some time later you go to a destination that was adversely affected by the storm. If the place is inhabitable, but isn’t what you expected or there are damaged facilities, travel insurance won’t cover you. It’s the responsibility of the travel supplier to make any adjustments.
  • Global Alert’s Trip Cancellation Benefit covers: A cancellation of the Insured’s Trip within 24 hours of the Insured’s Scheduled Departure Date and time if his or her Trip destination is under a Hurricane warning issued by the NOAA National Hurricane Center, provided the cancellation of the Insured’s Trip occurs more than 15 days following the Insured’s effective date of coverage for the Trip Cancellation Benefits.
  • TravelSafe Classic’s Trip Cancellation Benefit covers: A cancellation of the Insured’s Trip within 24 hours of the Insured’s Scheduled Departure Date and time if his or her Trip destination is under a Hurricane warning issued by the NOAA National Hurricane Center, provided the cancellation of the Insured’s Trip occurs more than 15 days following the Insured’s effective date of coverage for the Trip Cancellation Benefits.

Here’s An Overview of Trip Interruption Coverage

  • You are forced to evacuate by the authorities: CSA, Travel Guard, Travel Insured and TravelSafe consider this a trip interruption. With Travelex you won’t have a valid claim because if you can be transported out, then the “complete cessation of services of Your Common Carrier” for the required 24 hours didn’t occur.
  • You can’t get out and are forced to ride out the storm: You also won’t have a payable claim because if you don’t leave then your trip wasn’t cut short.
  • Your cruise line substitutes a destination to avoid a storm: You won’t have a payable claim because you still got to take the cruise.
  • Some time later you go to a destination that was adversely affected by the storm. If the place is inhabitable, but isn’t what you expected or there are damaged facilities, travel insurance won’t cover you. It’s the responsibility of the travel supplier to make any adjustments.

 

Here’s What Our Selected, Trusted, Pre-screened Travel Insurance Companies’ Certificates of Coverage say:

See the CSA Freestyle & Freestyle Luxe Certificates of Coverage:
Benefits will be paid, up to the amount in the Schedule, for the forfeited, prepaid, non-refundable, non-refunded and unused published Payments that you paid for your Trip, if you are prevented from taking your Trip due to one of the following unforeseeable Covered Events that occur before departure on your Trip to you or your Traveling Companion, while your coverage is in effect under this Policy.
2. Common Carrier delays and/or cancellations resulting from adverse weather
6. Your Home made Uninhabitable by fire, flood, volcano, earthquake, hurricane or other natural disaster;
7. Uninhabitable due to fire, flood, volcano, earthquake, hurricane or other natural disaster. We will only pay benefits for losses occurring within 30 calendar days after the event renders the destination Uninhabitable.
9. A mandatory evacuation (or public official evacuation advisement in geographic areas where no mandatory evacuation orders are issued by government authorities) at your destination due to adverse weather or natural disasters. We will only pay benefits for losses occurring within 30 calendar days
after the evacuation order is issued. In order to cancel your Trip, you must have 4 days or 50% of your total Trip length or less remaining at the time the mandatory evacuation ends;
CSA Freestyle Certificate CSA Freestyle Luxe Certificate

Global Alert Preferred & Preferred Plus’s Certificate says:

Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption: Benefits will be paid, up to the Maximum Benefit Amount, for the non-refundable, unused portion of the prepaid expenses for land or water Travel Arrangements and the Additional Transportation Cost paid to return home or rejoin the Trip, when You are prevented from completing Your Trip due to:

b. Your or Your Traveling Companion’s principal place of residence or destination being rendered uninhabitable by fire, flood, burglary or other natural disaster within 10 days of departure;

h. Inclement Weather that causes complete cessation of services of Your Common Carrier for at least 12 consecutive hours;

q. mandatory evacuation or public official evacuation advisements where there is no mandatory evacuation issued by local government authorities at Your destination due to adverse weather or natural disaster. In order to cancel Your Trip, You must have 4 days or 50% of Your total Trip length or less remaining on Your Trip at the time the mandatory evacuation ends;

t. a cancellation of Your Trip within 24 hours of Your Scheduled Departure Date and time if Your Trip destination is under a hurricane warning issued by the NOAA National Hurricane Center, provided the cancellation of Your Trip occurs more than 15 days following Your effective date of coverage for the Trip Cancellation Benefits;

A cancellation of your Trip if your arrival on the Trip is delayed and causes you to lose 50% or more of the scheduled Trip duration due to: a) any delay of a Common Carrier (the delay must be certified by the Common Carrier); b) a documented weather condition preventing You from getting to the point of departure; c) quarantine, hijacking, Strike, natural disaster, terrorism or riot.

Global Alert’s Trip Cancellation Benefit covers:

A cancellation of Your Trip within 24 hours of Your Scheduled Departure Date and time if Your Trip destination is under a hurricane warning issued by the NOAA National Hurricane Center, provided the cancellation of Your Trip occurs more than 15 days following Your Effective Date of coverage for the Trip Cancellation Benefits;

Click here for more information on the Global Alert plans


Travelex Select & Max Evidences of Coverage say:

TRIP CANCELLATION & TRIP INTERRUPTION
The Company will pay a benefit, up to the maximum shown on the Confirmation of Coverage, if You are prevented from taking or unable to continue Your Covered Trip due to:

3. Common Carrier delays resulting from inclement weather;

4. arrangements canceled by an airline, cruise line, motor coach company, or tour operator, resulting from inclement weather;

8. your Home made uninhabitable by fire, flood, volcano, earthquake, hurricane or other natural disaster;

9. your destination made uninhabitable by fire, flood, volcano, earthquake, hurricane or other natural disaster

10. mandatory evacuation ordered by local authorities at your destination due to hurricane or other natural disaster;

19. you or your Traveling Companion’s place of employment is rendered unsuitable for business due to burglary, fire, flood, volcano, earthquake, hurricane, or other natural disaster and the Insured or Traveling Companion is required to work as a result;

Click here for more information on the Travelex Select plan or for more information on the Travelex Max plan


Travel Guard Gold & Platinum Certificates say: Note: “other than a hurricane”)

“Inclement Weather” means any severe weather condition, other than a hurricane, which delays the scheduled arrival or departure of a Common Carrier or prevents the Insured from reaching his/her Destination when traveling by an Owned or Rented Vehicle.

TRIP CANCELLATION & INTERRUPTION
(d) Inclement Weather causing delay or cancellation of travel;”

For Missed Connection

The Travel Guard Platinum plan says:
MISSED CONNECTION

The Insurer will reimburse this benefit up to the Maximum Limit shown on the Schedule of Benefits if Inclement Weather or Common Carrier causes cancellation or a delay of all regularly scheduled airline flights for three to less than five hours to your point of departure. You can collect up to $500, or up to $750 if the Umbrella Package is purchased, for additional transportation costs to join the Trip (must be same class of original tickets purchased). Reasonable accommodations and meals (up to $150 per day), and/or the non-refundable, unused portion of the prepaid expenses as long as the expense is supported by a proof of purchase and is not reimbursable by another source. Common Carrier must certify the delay of the regularly scheduled airline flight.

The Travel Guard Gold plan says:
“MISSED CONNECTION

The Insurer will reimburse this benefit up to the Maximum Limit shown on the Schedule of Benefits if Inclement Weather or Common Carrier causes cancellation or a delay of all regularly scheduled airline flights for three to less than five hours to your point of departure. You can collect up to $250, or up to $500 if the insurance was purchased within fifteen calendar days of initial Trip payment, for additional transportation costs to join the Trip (must be same class of original tickets purchased). Reasonable accommodations and meals (up to $150 per day), and/or the non-refundable, unused portion of the prepaid expenses as long as the expense is supported by a proof of purchase and is not reimbursable by another source. Common Carrier must certify the delay of the regularly scheduled airline flight.

Click here for more information on the Travel Guard plans


Travel Insured Certificates say:

Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption: The Insurer will pay a benefit, up to the maximum shown on the Schedule of Coverage and Services, if You are prevented from taking or continuing Your covered Trip due to the following Unforeseen events:
… c) “Weather which causes complete cessation of services of Your Common Carrier for at least 24 consecutive hours”
… k) Natural disaster at the site of Your destination which renders Your destination accommodations uninhabitable
… n) Mandatory evacuation ordered by local authorities at Your destination due to hurricane or other Natural Disaster. You must have 50% or less of Your Trip remaining at the time the mandatory evacuation ends, in order for this benefit to be payable.

The Travel Insured Comprehensive and Gold plans’ coverage has this wording: (this isn’t just limited to bad weather)

If Your Travel Supplier cancels Your Trip, You are eligible for benefits equal to the amount protected for Your airline tickets or the value of the reissue fee. You must have protected the entire cost of Your Trip including the airfare. (Does not apply to Post Departure Plan).

The Travel Insured Comprehensive and Gold plans’ cover you without requiring the “complete cessation of services of Your Common Carrier for at least 24 consecutive hours” if you are forced to evacuate by the authorities. That’s because your destination accommodations are considered uninhabitable.

Click here for more information on the Travel Insured plans


TravelSafe Classic Certificates say:

A cancellation of your Trip if your arrival on the Trip is delayed and causes you to lose 50% or more of the scheduled Trip duration due to: a) any delay of a Common Carrier (the delay must be certified by the Common Carrier); b) a documented weather condition preventing You from getting to the point of departure; c) quarantine, hijacking, Strike, natural disaster, terrorism or riot.

TravelSafe Classic’s Trip Cancellation Benefit covers:

A cancellation of Your Trip within 24 hours of Your Scheduled Departure Date and time if Your Trip destination is under a hurricane warning issued by the NOAA National Hurricane Center, provided the cancellation of Your Trip occurs more than 15 days following Your Effective Date of coverage for the Trip Cancellation Benefits;

Click here for more information on the TravelSafe Classic plan


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