If you’re planning to travel anytime between June 1 and Nov. 30, it’s crucial to be prepared for hurricane season says Jeremy Murchland, President of Seven Corners, an innovative and service-focused travel insurance and benefit management company serving a global market with headquarters in Carmel, Indiana.
“In order to protect you and your family from the uncertainties of hurricane season, it’s important to plan ahead. At Seven Corners, we stress purchasing travel insurance that allows you to cancel or interrupt your trip due to weather-related reasons,” continues Murchland.
Hurricanes are nature’s most powerful and dangerous storm, and they can cause storm surge flooding, inland flooding from heavy rains, destructive winds, tornadoes, high surf and rip currents, severe property damage and death. According to the National Weather Service, on average, 12 tropical storms, six of which become hurricanes, form over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea or Gulf of Mexico during this time. This year’s hurricane season is predicted to be more active than usual, with the latest outlook by The Weather Company predicting an increase in the number of storms expected.
The company’s RoundTrip Choice plan includes benefits for cancellations and interruptions due to several weather-related reasons described below.
If you must cancel your trip due to a covered reason, benefits can be paid to reimburse you for your unused and nonrefundable prepaid trip payments, and the plan’s Frequent Traveler Reward Benefit reimburses the cost to re-bank frequent flyer miles.
If you must interrupt your trip due to a covered reason, benefits can be paid to reimburse you for your unused and nonrefundable trip payments for your travel arrangements plus the additional transportation costs for you to:
- Join your trip if you must depart after your scheduled departure date or travel via alternate travel arrangements; or
- Rejoin your trip from the point where you interrupted it to the next scheduled destination; or
- Travel to your originally scheduled return destination.
Covered Reasons for Canceling or Interrupting a Trip Due to Weather
There are four covered reasons that provide coverage if you must cancel or interrupt your trip due to weather, including:
- Inclement weather, including a hurricane, causes complete cessation of your common carrier’s services for at least 48 consecutive hours. A common carrier is an airline, cruise line or any land transportation with a valid license to transport passengers for a fee (excluding taxicabs or rented, leased or privately owned motor vehicles).
- You or your traveling companion’s primary residence (for trip cancellations) or scheduled destination accommodations (for both cancellation and interruptions) become uninhabitable and remain uninhabitable during your trip or are inaccessible within 30 days of your scheduled departure date due to a natural disaster, including a hurricane.Coverage for a hurricane applies only if you buy the plan before the hurricane becomes a named storm. Review your plan document for more details about this coverage, which applies only if you bought the plan during the Time Sensitive Period*.
- Your scheduled trip departure city or destination is under a hurricane warning or watch issued by the NOAA Hurricane Center within 24 hours of your scheduled departure date. For Trip Cancellation coverage to apply for this reason, you must cancel your trip more than 14 days after the date your trip cancellation coverage begins.
- Due to a natural disaster (including a hurricane), local government authorities at your scheduled trip departure city or scheduled destination order a mandatory evacuation, which prevents you from traveling to/arriving at your scheduled trip departure city or scheduled destination. For Trip Cancellations, this applies only if you bought the plan during the Time Sensitive Period*.
The covered reasons for Trip Cancellation coverage are not identical to the covered reasons for Trip Interruption coverage, and additional terms apply to all covered reasons.
Cancel for Any Reason
If you would like the option to cancel your trip for any reason of your choosing, consider purchasing the optional Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) benefit.
It will increase the price of your plan and will reimburse you for up to 75% of your nonrefundable prepaid trip costs if you do the following:
- Cancel your trip two days or more before your trip start date (scheduled departure date),
- Buy a plan with CFAR coverage during the Time Sensitive Period* and
- Insure the full cost of subsequent travel arrangements within 15 days of paying for them. An example of a subsequent travel arrangement could be adding an excursion to your cruise after you had previously paid for the cruise.
Missed Tour or Cruise Connection
A Missed Tour or Cruise Connection benefit can pay you if you miss your cruise or tour departure because your arrival at your destination is delayed for three or more hours due to covered reasons, including weather. These reasons include: any delay of a common carrier (airline, cruise line, etc.) or a documented weather condition, like a hurricane, that prevents you from getting to your point of departure.
This benefit can pay for additional transportation costs to join your trip and reasonable expenses, such as accommodations and meals.
Other Ways to Protect Your Trip
Along with purchasing travel insurance, I’d also recommend taking the following actions in your travel planning:
- Act quickly. If there is a hurricane headed toward your location, evacuate in accordance with local evacuation guidelines as soon as possible. Call your airline if you are flying and try to schedule the next available flight home.
- Be alert. Pay attention to the local weather and stay on top of potential storm activity. Be aware that hurricanes can change course or become more intense without much warning. It is important to be as prepared as possible.
- Keep important information on hand. Always keep a list of important phone numbers written down in case you need to make an emergency phone call and cannot use your personal cell phone. Additionally, keep a copy of your travel protection plan and ID card available for reference so you know what type of coverage you have. Reach out to your insurance company with any concerns. Physical documentation is key if you suddenly do not have internet access.
To learn more about how travel insurance can protect you as we head into hurricane season, visit sevencorners.com.
*The Time Sensitive Period means the plan must be purchased within 20 days of the date your initial payment or deposit for your trip is received and within 15 days of payment for subsequent travel arrangements you add to your trip.
Please note: The plans also contain non-insurance Travel Assistance Services provided by Seven Corners, Inc. Coverages may vary and not all coverage is available in all jurisdictions. Insurance coverages are subject to the terms, limitations and exclusions for pre-existing conditions.
CA DOI toll free number: 800-927-4357. MD Insurance Administration: 800-492-6116 or 410-468-2340. The cost of your plan is for the entire plan, which consist of both insurance and non-insurance components. Individuals looking to obtain additional information regarding the features and pricing of each travel plan component, please contact Seven Corners, Inc. Carmel, IN 46032 USA 1-800-335-0611, 317-575-2652, 317-818-2809 or contact CUSTOMERSERVICE@SEVENCORNERS.COM.
Cover image courtesy of Photo by Dylan Sauerwein on Unsplash.