East Hartford, CT (Vocus) May 12, 2010
The names Alex, Bonnie, Colin, Danielle, Earl and Fiona sound innocent enough. However, Travel Insured (http://www.travelinsured.com) advises travelers planning trips this summer to plan ahead of emerging storms that will be given these and 15 other names as they reach tropical storm strength. They are listed in alphabetical order by the U.S. National Weather Service’s Hurricane Center in advance of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season that runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. The Hurricane Center attaches a name to a tropical storm when it reaches maximum sustained winds of 39 miles per hour, and the storm graduates to hurricane status if and when its sustained winds reach 74 miles per hour.
Starting on the date a tropical storm is identified and named it becomes a publically-known event and no longer meets the “unforeseen” definition required for coverage. Travel Insured, like all insurers, does not provide coverage for adverse weather claims due to a named tropical storm or its resulting weather patterns for insurance plans bought on or after the date when the storm is named.
The hurricane forecasting team at Colorado State University has been making seasonal forecasts in April for 27 years. The CSU this year has predicted 15 named storms during the season, including eight hurricanes of which four will be major events of Category 3 (111 miles per hour winds) or greater. The U.S. Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center will give its annual hurricane season forecast on May 22.
Although 2009 was a quiet hurricane season compared to yearly averages, there is no expectation that 2010 will be the same. Last year the U.S. National Weather Service predicted seven to 11 named storms with three to six hurricanes. The actual result was nine storms with only three hurricanes. An average season brings 11 named storms with six hurricanes. The most active recent seasons have included 2008, with 16 named storms including eight hurricanes with five majors, and the record year of 2005 with 28 named storms of which 15 were hurricanes, including the infamous Katrina and Wilma.
Trip Cancellation and Interruption
New this hurricane season is Trip Cancellation coverage in Travel Insured’s Worldwide Trip Protector and Worldwide Trip Protector Gold plan when the insured is forced to lose 50% or more of his or her scheduled trip duration due to a covered Trip Delay reason. Defined reasons covered for Trip Delay include delay of a common carrier for six or more hours, including for inclement weather, or a delay due to a traffic accident enroute to a departure, or a delay due to lost passports or documents, a hijacking, quarantine, or unannounced strike, or a natural disaster.
As disruptive storms strike, all plans in Travel Insured’s Worldwide Trip Protector line of products can provide Trip Cancellation when weather causes complete cessation of the insured’s common carrier for 24 or more hours. Trip Cancellation can also apply when a natural disaster renders the destination accommodations uninhabitable, or when the insured’s primary residence is made uninhabitable by flood or other natural disaster within 10 days of a scheduled departure.
Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption coverage in the Worldwide Trip Protector and [Worldwide Trip Protector Gold plans can apply when local authorities order a mandatory evacuation at the destination due to a hurricane and 50% or less of the insured’s trip remains when the evacuation is over.
Cancel for Any Reason is the right option for travelers who want to cancel the trip when a storm is threatening but has not yet reached their destination. The option allows the insured to cancel up to 48 hours prior to his or her scheduled departure for any reason to receive up to 75% reimbursement of the non-refundable prepaid vacation costs.
Trip Delay and Missed Connection:
Trip Delay benefits can apply when weather causes a minimum delay of either six or 12 hours depending upon the terms of the Worldwide Trip Protector plan purchased. Most plans provide Missed Connection coverage that can protect if, as a result of a weather-related disruption of the common carrier for three or more hours, the insured misses his or her cruise or tour departure. And most plans also provide Missed Port of Call coverage that applies when the cruise or tour supplier makes a change in the scheduled trip itinerary due to weather causing the insured to miss a prepaid, non-refundable activity that cannot be rescheduled during the course of the trip.
The answer to the question of “What’s in a Name?” is nothing good for the traveler who has failed to purchase travel insurance before a tropical storm has been identified. Summer travelers who plan ahead can avoid the disappointment of losing coverage because a 2010 storm named Julia, Karl or Lisa got a head start on disrupting their vacation.
About Travel Insured International:
Travel Insured International, based in E. Hartford, CT, was founded in 1993 by the foresight of insurance industry executive Peter Gehris when he acquired the travel protection division of the Travelers Insurance Company. Coverage is underwritten by Arch Insurance Company (a Missouri corporation, NAIC #11150) with executive offices located in New York, NY. Arch Insurance is rated A (“Excellent”) for financial strength by the insurance rating service A.M. Best. Not all insurance products or coverage is available in all jurisdictions. Coverage is subject to actual policy language.
Travel Insured International
52-S Oakland Ave.
E. Hartford, CT 06128-0568
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1-800-243-3174 x 117