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Leading travel insurance and assistance provider Allianz Partners has received nearly 5,000 travel insurance claims related to hurricane losses in 2021 alone, a reality that highlights the importance of protecting your trip with a travel insurance policy, especially during Atlantic hurricane season.
This week, Hurricane Sam strengthened to a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph but is thankfully forecast to track to the northeast of the Leeward Islands.
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Already this year, there have been eight storms to make landfall and 19 total named systems, including seven hurricanes, three of which became major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher). That's well above the average of three named storms to make landfall in the U.S. and 14 named storm systems.
Purchasing the right travel insurance plan can reimburse impacted travelers for pre-paid, non-refundable trip costs in the event of a cancellation due to a hurricane or severe weather conditions. What's more, Allianz's OneTrip Premier product includes mandatory evacuation and a hurricane warning as covered reasons to cancel or interrupt a trip.
"Buying travel insurance as soon as you book your trip is essential to protect your travel investment during hurricane season," Daniel Durazo, director of marketing and communications at Allianz Partners USA, said in a statement. "Weather is unpredictable and what many travelers don't know is that once a hurricane impacting one's destination is identified and named, it's too late to purchase travel insurance. It's always smart to purchase travel insurance right after you book your trip, so you know you can be protected."
In a recent example, John B. of Alexandria, Virginia described how his policy reimbursed him after Hurricane Sally interrupted his trip to Florida in September 2020.
"We had a planned vacation down in Perdido Key, Florida. I had bought the travel insurance when I purchased my airfare because the trip coincided with hurricane season. The day we were leaving to travel down there, Hurricane Sally was supposed to shift around Perdido Key, so we went ahead and flew into Pensacola. Three days into our trip the hurricane hadn't hit yet and then turned to head directly toward us. We woke up that morning to the eye of the storm. We were on the fifth floor and water was flooding into the condo, which didn't have hurricane shutters. The electricity went out and we couldn't evacuate over the bridge because of the wind. We needed to get out of the condo because of the conditions and ended up briefly in a hotel. The Pensacola airport had 22 inches of rain, so we needed to change our tickets to fly out of Mobile, Alabama. We got an Uber to the airport and flew back home. I knew we had the travel insurance so that made me feel better considering all of the additional expenses. I submitted my claim to Allianz and to my delight it was all covered, and the policy paid for itself."
As of September 21, Allianz Partners has received a total of 4,919 travel insurance claims related to hurricane season, more than half of which were due to Hurricane Ida (2,533) and nearly a quarter of which were related to Hurricane Henri (1,213). Even the brief-lived Tropical Storm Mindy produced 28 claims to Allianz alone.
A Maryland native and wanderer who has lived across the U.S. from North Carolina to SoCal, Patrick Clarke graduated from Towson...
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