Travel Insurance and Hurricane Season

Firstly, regardless of whether it is hurricane season or not, check the Canadian Government travel advisories before you travel. You can get the advisories at Travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories.

Below are the levels of risk provided by the Canadian Government that you will want to be aware of…

The two highest risk levels “avoid non-essential travel” and “avoid all travel” may have implications on your travel insurance coverage.

NOTE… This information is provided as a guideline to understanding your travel insurance. There are many different travel insurance companies with different policies. Please check with your travel insurance company or travel insurance broker to know the specifics of your coverage in each situation.

With the peak of hurricane season in the Atlantic basin approaching, it raises a lot of questions for Canadians travelling to hurricane hot spots like the East and Gulf coasts of the United States, especially Florida, Louisiana and Texas, the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America.

6 tips to understand your insurance while travelling to at-risk hurricane areas:

1.  What if the tropical storm or hurricane has not yet been named?

You can purchase your travel insurance, especially your Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Insurance. At this point the storm is not classed as a known risk.

2.  What if the tropical storm or hurricane has been named?

If you are about to purchase Trip Cancellation / Interruption Insurance, and a tropical storm or hurricane HAS BEEN NAMED your insurance policy may not provide the coverage you purchased if that tropical storm / hurricane affects your area of travel. If the reason you are cancelling the trip is because of the storm, the insurance may not provide you with refunds. If the reason for cancelling the trip is not related to the storm (e.g. medical issue or family death etc.) the policy should provide you with your valid refunds.

3.   What if there is a tropical storm or hurricane warning at my travel destination?

If you purchase the trip cancellation insurance before the tropical storm / hurricane is named, your trip cancellation policy should cover you. If you choose to travel to your destination in this situation, your policy should cover you if the Canadian Advisory does not advise against travelling.

4.  What if I cannot get to my travel destination due to a hurricane?

If the hurricane was named at the time you purchased your Trip Cancellation Insurance, you may not get refunded but if the hurricane was not named you should get refunded.

5.  What if I am already on my vacation when a tropical storm, hurricane or other natural disaster starts?

If you are in a situation where you need evacuating from your vacation area due to natural disaster you need to contact the Canadian Embassy or Consulate in that area for assistance. You should also notify your travel insurance provider.

6.  Registration of Canadians Abroad

The Government of Canada provide a registration for persons travelling or living abroad. It enables them to contact you in the case of an emergency abroad or a personal emergency at home. You can register at travel.gc.ca/travelling/registration.

If you are in a situation where you need evacuating from your vacation area due to natural disaster you need to contact the Canadian Embassy or Consulate in that area for assistance. You should also notify your travel insurance provider.

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