When bad weather strikes against your travel plans, it doesn’t always only affect your destination. In some unfortunate circumstances, bad weather can also affect your primary home. So what does it mean if a storm sweeps through your town and creates such substantial damage you don’t feel comfortable leaving on your trip? Can you cancel? Will you lose your money?
Fortunately, there is a chance your comprehensive travel insurance plan will offer trip cancellation insurance due to the damage at your home. The plan would have to have been in effect before the damage occurred or was “foreseen”. If the storm was foreseen, or predicted, prior to you purchasing your plan, you may not be eligible for the coverage. For this reason, we recommend purchasing your plan as early as possible after booking your trip.
Here is a short list of coverage that may come in handy if you experience damage to your home (or business) prior to leaving for a trip:
Cancel for Work Reasons. In rare cases, like the boardwalk fire in New Jersey in 2013, you may need to cancel your planned trip due to damage to your place of work that causes you to have to work or be part of a disaster recovery crew.
If your business operations are interrupted due to a covered reason, such as a natural disaster, and you must stay home to deal with the fallout, you could potentially file a claim under Cancel for Work Reasons to recover your insured trip expenses.
Some travel insurance plans may offer these as an included benefits. On some comprehensive plans, Cancel for Work Reasons is an optional, additional benefit that can be added if you fulfill the eligibility requirements.
Cancel for Any Reason. On comprehensive plans, some covered reasons for trip cancellation may not fit the exact needs of every traveler. It is important to read the full details and understand exactly what is covered so that there isn’t disconnect between you and the insurance company that leads to stress and aggravation during a claims process.
If you find that your main concern isn’t typically covered under general trip cancellation benefits, your best bet may be to invest in a plan that includes an optional Cancel for Any Reason benefit. While you must fit the eligibility requirements to add Cancel for Any Reason to a plan that offers it, it offers the most flexibility in the event you need to cancel your trip. Naturally, this is because you can cancel for any reason.
As long as you notify all travel suppliers and your travel insurance company at least 48 hours before you were due to depart, you can use any excuse in the book. Reimbursement under this benefit is usually around 75% of your pre-paid, non-refundable trip cost. So if you are concerned that damage to your home may not fall into the travel insurance company’s definition of “damaged badly enough”, Cancel for Any Reason may be the solution for you.
OK – so it’s probably a rare occasion that a disaster occurs at your home, causing damage that would keep you from traveling. Even so, this is one of those times you’d be thanking your lucky stars you invested in a travel insurance plan.
When tragedy happens at home, you don’t want to worry about 1) whether you should leave to take that trip you planned or 2) losing the money you already invested in your trip when you have other expenses piling up around you. Luckily, not only can the right travel insurance plan help you travel worry-free, but it can also help you to cancel worry-free.