What happens if I’m stranded during a weather event?

No one hopes for bad weather on vacation, in fact, we all pray against it, but sometimes Mother Nature has her own plans. Bad weather could be due to the time of year you decide to travel, or it could be storm season near your destination.

In this post we’re going to look at a few different scenarios that might occur if your vacation stay gets (extremely) dampened by the weather, both before you depart and once you've arrived.

You cancel your trip due to a travel advisory

If you’re travelling somewhere in a few weeks and a travel advisory has been declared, would trip cancellation coverage apply to your booking?

Yes, but there are conditions:

As long as the travel advisory was not known before booking the trip, the cost of cancellation will be covered. The advisory declaration must be “sudden” and “unforeseen;” two key words that validate the majority of insurance claims. Contacting your insurance provider quickly is also an essential step.

Conversely, if you have booked your trip despite a travel advisory that was already in place and have only recently decided not to see the trip through (because yeah, it’s still looking pretty bad around your vacation spot) your cancellation will not be covered.

Your airline cancels or delays your flight due to a storm or an earthquake

Say you’re ready to head home on your scheduled flight and your airline decides to err on the side of caution and cancel or delay your flight until conditions improve. Some airlines will provide hotel vouchers or flight discounts in an attempt to comfort you during this inconvenience.

It’s important to contact your insurance provider before you speak with the airline if you are planning to file a claim for trip interruption. A good travel insurer will work behind the scenes with the airline to void any credit given by them so that the you, the client, may receive a full cash refund through their insurance coverage if preferred.

Your destination is devastated by weather in the middle of your trip

In an extreme weather event abroad, a number of things may happen that would incentivize you to cut your trip short. This may be a weather event that was not predicted until after your arrival, and it may not have reached travel advisory status quickly enough. Power and water could be down for an indefinite time or debris might make your beach stay unpleasant. What happens if you just want to go home?

This scenario would fall under trip interruption coverage. If your resort has been made uninhabitable, you would be covered for an earlier flight, along with the lost portion of your trip.

You need emergency evacuation, ASAP

If you are hurt and emergency repatriation is recommended, your insurer will have access to emergency teams that specialise in getting travellers to safety. It’s a good idea to speak to your insurer as soon as possible.

With this coverage, your insurer will have the option of paying the emergency service provider off in full, or they may reimburse you for the funds once you make the claim.

Know your policy in and out

Though the above information is true for PrimeLink customers who opt for the specified coverages, it may not be the same for your particular insurer if you are not a covered by us. Because every insurance provider is different, it’s always best to talk to your own travel insurance agent so they can go over specific weather-related claim scenarios.

As a rule of thumb, always discuss emergency situations and chance weather events with your travel insurance provider – before booking and again at departure – so you know what to do if you find yourself stranded far from home.