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Anybody ever use their trip insurance due to a hurricane?

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Pittsburgh...
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Anybody ever use their trip insurance due to a hurricane?

I've read a lot on the boards about it may be a good idea to purchase trip insurance if you are traveling during hurricane season. What I didn't find though was anybody that actually had to use it. I was just wondering if anyone had any first hand experience as to what conditions must be met in order to refund your costs. I'm sure it's all in the fine print, but hope someone could provide some personal experience.

Thanks!

1. Re: Anybody ever use their trip insurance due to a hurricane?

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Rockville, Maryland
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2. Re: Anybody ever use their trip insurance due to a hurricane?

Been traveling to Saint John for over 20 years. We use to get trip insurance, and we always travel during hurricane season. Never needed it. The only time there was a hurricane problem, it was back home in Maryalnd, and we had to stay in the Islands an extra day!! Boo hoo!!!

Pittsburgh...
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3. Re: Anybody ever use their trip insurance due to a hurricane?

I've also read the part about not being able to evacuate and that is part of the reason I posted the question. I'm leaning towards not getting it, since it will be early in the hurricane season and I also don't know what hoops I would have to jump through for a claim.

Villa, Jeep and airfare are all booked. Now comes the countdown and getting help from you all to make it a special trip.

Boston
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4. Re: Anybody ever use their trip insurance due to a hurricane?

If you are thinking about purchasing it, I would call the people at SquareTrade and ask them.

The important thing to find out is what would trigger coverage to kick in and with some hurricane clauses, it would be an evacuation notice, so if you were going to the Keys or the Outer Banks for example,and there was an evacuation order put into place, your policy would kick in. However, this does not happen in STJ because there is no where to evacuate to (and my understanding is that they do not give evacuation orders), so it is important to ask the insurance company and get a policy that would actually cover you, maybe because of fight cancellation or some other trigger.

Here is another link you can read:

travelinsurancereview.net/hurricane-travel-r…

Pittsburgh...
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5. Re: Anybody ever use their trip insurance due to a hurricane?

Thanks for the link! That has a lot of great information. It looks from the link that I have up until when the storm is named to buy the policy. That will give me a lot of time to research.

Maybe I should be asking if anyone has ridden out a hurricane while in St. Johns. I have never bought trip insurance and seldom buy extended warranties. I'm just doing my due diligence. (and maybe trying to justify not buying it)

Edited: 31 January 2013, 20:43
Kansas City...
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6. Re: Anybody ever use their trip insurance due to a hurricane?

We were with two couples on St. John this August when Issac came through. One of the couples was booked on American through Miami for their return on Sunday. They were informed on Saturday night that the STT to MIA was cancelled. Long story short they didn't get home until Thursday. Ended up staying on STT and then SanJuan before finally getting to Miami and then on home

Was surprised to find out that they had purchased trip insurance (I think through American) and were reimbursed for hotels and the extra airfares. Said they had to argue a little but received the check last week.

Chicago
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for Seven Mile Beach, East End
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7. Re: Anybody ever use their trip insurance due to a hurricane?

The most important thing IMO with trip insurance is that you get your money back on a nonrefundable villa rental should there be a hurricane. This is normally described in the policy as complete cessation of common carriers. In other words if you can't get a flight you can't get to the villa and the insurance will refund your money. Many villa owners and villa rental agencies explain that if there is a hurricane your money will not be refunded and you should buy trip insurance.

Luckily I have never had to use it but I don't travel to the Caribbean in peak hurricane season very often.

B.

Corydon, Indiana
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8. Re: Anybody ever use their trip insurance due to a hurricane?

In 2008, we were on St. John at Caneel during Hurricane Omar. We did not have trip insurance but as far as I know, we wouldn't have been able to claim anything. We were evacuated, by Caneel, to the leeward side of St. Thomas (Sugar Bay) and Caneel didn't reopen for three days. However, we weren't charged for the time we weren't there. We actually left Sugar Bay and went to the Ritz Carlton and didn't return to Caneel. So we didn't incur any additional expenses, in fact it was considerably less expensive. When we flew into STT, Omar was a tropical storm wandering around down by Aruba, so we didn't think anything would go amiss. In effect, we had our vacation and trip insurance won't pay for failure to have a good time.

If there is a hurricane, at some point the ferries will stop running so evacuation can be problematic. Having gone through Omar, we won't be going back during Sept/Oct (and prior to Omar, we had been several times during that time period and it was very nice weather). And for the last couple of years at least Caneel has a two month shut down for maintenance during Sept/Oct.

I'm surprised that you have until the storm is named. When I've bought travel insurance, I've had to get the policy within a short time period of when I booked the trip. We've bought the insurance in the past when there have been significant cancellation charges and since we both have elderly parents, it's been something we thought would be a good idea.

Boston
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9. Re: Anybody ever use their trip insurance due to a hurricane?

Also, it is not just a hurricane in the islands that might give you trouble. If there is a problem in your connecting or home city you might not get out - or you might get stuck somewhere trying to get back home.

If you have non-refundable costs that you cannot afford to lose - for whatever reason, trip insurance is a good idea - not just during hurricane season. It is not that expensive.

Chicago
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for Seven Mile Beach, East End
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10. Re: Anybody ever use their trip insurance due to a hurricane?

saffie11 - Good point. I always buy it when I have non refundable costs. All it takes is for one of my kids to get sick and not be able to travel and I could potentially be out a lot cash. It almost happened once as we were sitting in a doctors office 5 hours before we were to fly out waiting on some test results. Luckily they were good and we didn't have to cancel.

B.