ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., June 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The worst time to find out you're wrong about your travel insurance coverage is when a hurricane is threatening to ruin your trip. Leading travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth reveals the three biggest misconceptions travelers have about travel insurance for hurricanes.
I can buy travel insurance after a storm is named
This misconception generates the most calls to Squaremouth and is the most costly mistake travelers make when buying a policy for hurricane coverage.
Save your money. While you can still buy a policy after a hurricane has been named, if you try to claim for anything related to the named storm, your claim will be denied and your money will be wasted. The only way to get a successful claim is to have a travel insurance policy in place before the storm is named.
"The majority of our customers buy online without calling us. Any of these customers could be buying for any number of reasons unrelated to the hurricane," said Squaremouth Customer Service Director Jessica Harvey. "The customers we do speak to, we advise not to buy."
Most travelers who make this mistake can get a refund as long as they cancel within 14 days of buying the policy, but no later than one day before they leave home.
I can cancel if a hurricane is headed for my vacation spot
It's the day before your trip and the weather stations are forecasting a storm to pass right over your destination. You may think that would be a good enough reason to cancel your vacation. However, unless the storm hits, or there's an official hurricane warning, no travel insurance policy will provide coverage.
Most travel insurance policies require the hurricane to have a direct impact on your travel or your accommodations to qualify for coverage. You most likely will be covered if your flight is delayed, your hotel is destroyed, or your cruise is canceled because of a hurricane.
I can cancel if my destination is wrecked, even though my hotel is fine
A hurricane wreaks havoc at your destination but leaves your hotel undamaged. You won't be covered to cancel your upcoming trip even though this may spoil some of your vacation plans. To trigger cancellation coverage, most policies require your hotel to be rendered uninhabitable.
Why? Most travel insurance companies consider a ruined beach or closed attraction to be 'loss of enjoyment'. Travel insurance only covers specific events that affect your ability to take your trip, such as you having nowhere to stay or no way to get there due to a canceled flight.
"In the event of any natural disaster, we encourage travelers to call us. We are open 24 hours a day to provide help in any situation," said Squaremouth spokesperson Rachael Taft. "Few people want to read through a travel insurance policy, but they should at least call for advice."
Squaremouth is an online company that compares travel insurance products from virtually every major travel insurance provider in the United States. Using Squaremouth's comparison engine and third party customer reviews, travelers can research and compare insurance products side-by-side. More information can be found at www.squaremouth.com.
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