Travel Insurance & Inclement Weather Key Takeaways
- Travel insurance can provide coverage for losses due to severe weather.
- "Inclement Weather" is defined as any severe weather condition that delays the scheduled arrival or departure of a Common Carrier.
- Travel insurance must be purchased before the weather event is known or the storm is named for the weather to be a covered reason.
Severe weather can have a big impact on travel plans. Traveling during hurricane season or in the middle of winter storms can cause travel delays, cancellations, trip interruptions, and more. Having the right travel insurance plan can help you be prepared and enable you to make travel plans worry-free any time of the year.
Does travel insurance cover weather delays and cancellations?
Yes, travel insurance provides coverage for travel delays, trip interruptions, and trip cancellations due to inclement weather.
- Travel Delay (also called Trip Delay) - Reimburses you for covered expenses (up to the maximum on the policy) if you are delayed to or from the trip because of a covered reason, including severe weather. For travel delay coverage to take effect, the delay must be for a certain amount of time, which differs based on the travel insurance policy you choose.
- Trip Interruption – Reimburses you if you are traveling and have to cut your trip short due to a covered reason. For example, if the accommodations at your destination become uninhabitable. Or if you are on a ski trip, and there is a closure of at least 50% of trails or slopes at the destination due to insufficient snow, natural disaster, severe weather, or trail conditions.
- Trip Cancellation - Reimburses you for non-refundable travel expenses, up to the insured trip cost, if your trip is canceled before you can take it due to a covered reason. For example, you booked your trip and bought travel insurance months ago. As your trip approaches, so does an intense storm, grounding planes and making it impossible to reach your destination. Your trip is canceled. Ugh. Trip cancellation can reimburse you for travel expenses for which you will not be otherwise compensated (if you included them when you bought the plan).
Which circumstances are not covered by travel insurance?
It helps to understand that travel insurance, like other insurance policies, provides coverage in case of unforeseen events. Travel insurance can help take the financial sting out of many travel scenarios and, if you have a Trawick International trip insurance plan, can provide 24/7 assistance while you travel if you find yourself in an unexpected situation. Still, it is good to be aware of what might not be covered so there are no surprises.
Below are a few reasons you may not be covered but always default to the language and coverage details in the specific policy you buy:
- Foreseen events - Say you watch the news or look at the forecast and see that a severe storm is predicted for your destination. Travel insurance would not reimburse you for any losses due to that or any other known storm.
- Refundable or transferable travel expenses - Suppose you receive a refund or compensation from the airline or other travel expenses after a trip is canceled or delayed. Those expenses do not qualify for reimbursement since you already received compensation once and cannot be reimbursed twice for the same thing.
- Canceling or leaving early with no covered reason - Voluntarily choosing to come home early or just not travel without a covered reason or mandatory evacuation in place is not covered. One exception is if you have Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) coverage added to your policy. If you do have CFAR coverage, you can cancel for any reason up to two days before you are due to depart for your trip, and receive up to 75% reimbursement on those non-refundable, prepaid expenses.
When do I need to purchase travel insurance to be covered for bad weather?
You can purchase insurance any time after booking your trip up until the day before departure, but in the case of inclement weather, insurance must be purchased before a severe storm warning or watch is issued. This is why we recommend buying travel insurance as soon as you book your first travel arrangement, your trip is scheduled, or you make any pre-paid, non-refundable arrangements.
If you purchase your insurance after a severe weather warning or watch has been issued, you will not have coverage for losses resulting from the winter storm or other weather events.
In the case of hurricanes and tropical storms, you must purchase travel insurance before the storm is named for it to be covered. Read more about traveling during hurricane season.
Still have questions about travel insurance?
There is a lot to know. We get it. Our knowledgeable Customer Support team can help answer any questions you have about travel insurance. They can even help guide you in buying the right plan for your specific trip. Contact us via Live Chat on our website, Email, or Phone.
Ready to buy or curious to see how much it will cost to insure your trip? Get an instant, no-obligation quote.