Experts Predict an “Above Average” Hurricane Season for 2022
It seems like each year, the Atlantic is more and more active during hurricane season, and 2022 is shaping up to be no different. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts that this year alone will see between 14 and 21 named storms (meaning winds of 39 mph or higher), with up to six of those storms classified as major hurricanes.
One of the most impacted areas is the Caribbean, as it almost always lies in the direct path of a hurricane. The islands typically hit the hardest include, The British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, Cuba, and The Bahamas. In the United States, the East Coast and Gulf Coast are likely to see their fair share of tropical storms and hurricanes, as well. Florida, the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Texas, Alabama, and Louisiana are some of the most impacted regions.
As we see each year, major hurricanes can cause catastrophic damage, result in widespread power outages, and leave residential areas uninhabitable for several days to months.
So, what does this mean for travelers?
Does this mean you should avoid traveling during this time? No, not at all. Hurricane season spans six months of the year, from June 1- November 30, and plenty of trips are taken in that time. Even the Caribbean shouldn't be off your destination list, as there are islands you can visit with less concern of major hurricanes (hello, Aruba!). But you should be aware that, whether you are heading to a hurricane-prone destination or not, hurricane season can affect your travel plans.
Canceled flights, travel delays, and interrupted trips can be common during this time and mess with even the best-laid travel plans. And with flight costs at a near-all-time high, the last thing you want to hear is that your non-refundable flight has been canceled. So how can you prepare for your trip? Follow weather news to see what may be headed your way and protect the investment you put into your trip by buying a travel insurance plan – and buying it early. You must purchase a travel insurance plan before a storm is named for that hurricane or storm to be a covered reason.
What is the best travel insurance during hurricane season?
A Trip Cancellation plan is the smartest option when traveling during hurricane season. These comprehensive plans include coverage for trip cancellation, trip interruption, travel delay, and more:
Trip Cancellation provides reimbursement for unused, non-refundable, prepaid trip costs if you are prevented from taking your trip due to certain unforeseen events, such as a hurricane. This is important for anyone traveling during the season, and especially if you live in or are headed to a region that has a history of being impacted by hurricanes.
Trip Interruption provides benefits for unused travel arrangements if you miss a portion of your trip due to a covered reason, such as a natural disaster. It also provides reimbursement for unused, non-refundable land and water activities and additional transportation costs to return home.
Travel Delay (also sometimes referred to as Trip Delay) covers out-of-pocket expenses incurred if your flight is delayed and you are stuck, either heading to your destination or home from it. Hotel accommodations, meals, and local transportation can all be covered with Trip Delay. Different plans have different delay minimums, usually between 6 and 12 hours, so be sure to check what your chosen plan covers.
Additional benefits include Emergency Accident & Sickness Medical Expense, Missed Connection, and Baggage Delay.
When should you purchase travel insurance for hurricane season?
It is worth repeating – you must purchase a travel insurance policy before a storm is named for that storm to be a covered reason. The development of a hurricane usually goes as follows: the system starts forming and becomes a tropical disturbance, a tropical depression, a tropical storm, and then finally transforms into a hurricane. To ensure that you are covered, purchasing your policy as soon as you book your trip is important.