Hurricane Season is Here. Stay Alert

It’s the peak of hurricane season in Atlantic and Caribbean waters and the first major storm of the season, Dorian, has switched on the alert for residents on the southeast coast of the US, the Maritimes, and Newfoundland, as well as the highly susceptible island countries in the Caribbean and the shores of the Gulf of Mexico.

If you have travels planned to any of these areas, you need to carefully read your travel documents, airline travel rules, hotel/resort contracts, and especially your travel insurance trip cancellation and interruption benefits and limitations, and you must monitor the official government travel advisories.

Travel Canada has already issued advisories for many of the islands in the Caribbean, warning of the need to either practice extreme caution if you’re already in the path of the storm, or avoid travelling altogether. These warnings will change from day to day, but you need to be aware of these warnings as travel into any area considered high risk by your government may invalidate parts of your travel insurance.

You also need to understand the intricacies of any trip cancellation plan you have for a cruise, resort, or air travel, as simply cancelling on suspicion or a hunch that your destination might be affected by a storm brewing somewhere in the Atlantic or Caribbean is not sufficient grounds for reimbursement—unless you have a “cancel for any reason” plan, which is usually a supplemental purchase.

If your cruise or destination resort is missed by the storm, or even if it is affected but not seriously damaged, you don’t have a justified claim.  If in doubt, call your travel insurance agent and clarify what your benefits are and how the exclusions in your policy might affect your travel.

Understand too that trip cancellation/interruption insurance covers only those non-recoverable, non-reimbursable costs you have already put out or are committed to. It does not reimburse you for the lost enjoyment you have been counting on or your “trip of a lifetime” dream. It covers only the money you have put out that you can’t get back. And if the airline or the cruise line or the resort you had booked reimburses you in any way for those costs, or offers you a credit for future travel, that will be considered reimbursement, so there’s no double-dipping allowed.

By the time you read this, Dorian may well have passed by, or dissipated, or—hopefully not—rendered terrible damage to many thousands. Atlantic storms are very unpredictable; they can turn on a dime and instead of hitting one predicted location might devastate another several hundred miles away.

And it’s not only shorelines that are vulnerable to winds and high surf, but inland communities that can be devastated by floodwaters and power outages that can last for days. I have been through several hurricanes, one that left my house without power for nine days—in Florida’s withering heat. We still have September and October to contend with. And while the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico waters are in the high 80s—which they will be until well into November—we can’t take our eyes off those weather charts. If you’re planning any trips into these areas anytime soon, stay tuned. Stay in touch with your travel insurance advisor. Know your policy. And stay flexible.

Travel freely, travel blissfully. We cover Canadian Travellers with travel medical insurance and non-medical travel insurance such as trip cancellation, trip interruption, and baggage worldwide. We’ve got it all taken care of. For more information, visit, call us at 1-800-360-3234 or email us at

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