Warning: Hurricane Irene on Track for U.S. East Coast

If you’re scheduled to travel anywhere along the U.S. southeast coast this week, keep watch for Hurricane Irene, now churning north of Puerto Rico and heading on a track that might take it anywhere from South Florida to the Carolinas or north. If you have trip cancellation insurance, check with your insurer before cancelling.

Tropical storms and hurricanes are notoriously hard to predict as they can change tracks in a few hours, so if you were thinking of cancelling a vacation or business trip you had scheduled in Florida, Georgia the Carolinas or further north, check with you insurer to ascertain your cancellation options.  Normally, you would be covered for any disrupted trip if a government agency or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a hurricane warning for the area you are destined to visit AFTER you have bought your insurance or it has gone into effect. That would mean you could be covered for any non-reimbursable deposits or payments you had already made for that trip.

To this point, no actual Hurricane Warning has been issued for any part of the U.S. although advisories have been posted for most of the east coast. If you were to cancel your trip now, before such warning has been posted, your insurance would not cover your monetary losses.

If you have not yet bought cancellation insurance for a trip you plan on making later this week to these areas, you might not be able to get it as insurers tend to shut the window on such sales if they see the possibility of a storm arising within a few days.

Consequently, before you cancel, or complete arrangements for a trip along the southeast coast of the U.S., or the Bahamas or northern Caribbean area for later this week, check with your travel insurer and make sure you know the limitations and cancellation procedures for hurricane-prone areas.

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