As we warned you in our previous advisory, Hurricane Isaac has developed, has taken its toll on South and central Florida, and is now steaming northward toward the Louisiana, Alabama and North Florida coastline.
If you are travelling anywhere into that vast area, or if you are already in it and contemplating your next moves, you need to remain aware of official warnings.
If you are a Canadian and relying on your travel insurance to protect any losses you may encounter during this storm, or to cover any accidents or illnesses caused directly or indirectly by it, you need to know that Canada’s Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada has issued a hurricane warning “advising against non-essential travel to the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico, from Intracoastal City, Louisiana to the Alabama-Florida border. This includes metropolitan New Orleans, Lake Ponchartrain and Lake Maurepas.
“The U.S. National Hurricane Centre in Miami is issuing advisories for Tropical Storm Isaac, which is forecast to become a hurricane. As changes to the forecast and local conditions are continuous, Canadians should visit the U.S. National Hurricane Center for the latest updates.
“Canadians residing in or travelling to the affected areas should monitor local news and weather reports, follow the advice of local authorities, and contact their travel agent or tour operator to determine whether the situation will disrupt travel arrangements.
“Canadians seeking emergency consular assistance in the area should contact the Consulate General of Canada in Miami, or the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.”
Once such a warning is issued, most travel insurance policies will be invalid if you travel into the affected area until the warning is lifted. So be careful and check with your travel insurer about the limitations on your policy and stay tuned to the government website for updates. If you are already in the area—before the government warning was issued—some policies will give you a very limited time to get out of harm’s way. Others may continue to cover you but you can’t take that for granted so if that’s your situation, call your insurance company immediately and find out what your obligations are.
Act now. A hurricane—even a Category 1—can be devastating if you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. Don’t fool with it.