Travel insurers prepare for Hurricane Irma

Peter Terlato 6 September 2017 NEWS

Lightning strike in sky

A category 5 storm is bearing down on Florida.

With Texas still reeling from the aftereffects of Hurricane Harvey, many US airlines are preparing themselves for their next disruption: Hurricane Irma.

The hurricane is currently making its way through the Caribbean and is expected to make landfall in the Florida Keys as early as Saturday.

If you can, you might want to rethink heading to Florida.

Travel insurers in Australia have been updating their sites with information regarding when you will need to have bought your travel insurance policy in order to have cover for claims relating to Hurricane Irma.

These dates can range anywhere from as recently as 10am this morning to 1pm on Friday last week.

Not all travel insurance brands have updated their websites or released information about Hurricane Irma.

We will continue to update the table below as information becomes available. Note all time AEST.

Disclaimer: Information last updated at 1:42pm Friday 8 September 2017.

Brands Covered Not covered
1Cover Policies purchased before 10am on Wednesday 6 September 2017 Policies purchased after 10am on Wednesday 6 September 2017
Cover-More Policies issued on or before 6 September 2017 Policies issued after 6 September 2017
Fast Cover Policies issued before before 4:26pm 5 September 2017 Policies issued after 4:26pm 5 September 2017
itrek Policies purchased before 10am on Wednesday 6 September 2017 Policies purchased after 10am on Wednesday 6 September 2017
Simply Policies purchased before 10am on Wednesday 6 September 2017 Policies purchased after 10am on Wednesday 6 September 2017
Ski-Insurance.com.au Policies purchased before 10am on Wednesday 6 September 2017 Policies purchased after 10am on Wednesday 6 September 2017
Southern Cross Policies purchased before 1pm on Friday 1 September 2017 Policies purchased on or after 1pm on Friday 1 September 2017
Travel Insurance Direct Policies purchased before 5pm on Tuesday 5 September 2017 Policies purchased after 5pm on Tuesday 5 September 2017
Woolworths Policies issued before before 4:26pm 5 September 2017 Policies issued after 4:26pm 5 September 2017

Please contact your travel insurer or consult your product disclosure statement (PDS) for the full details of what is and isn't covered by your policy.

But what options are there for those heading to Florida who don't have travel insurance?

If you haven't taken out cover, all is not lost said travel safety expert at Travel Insurance Direct Phil Sylvester.

"Speak to your airline and hotel and any provider where you’ve made a booking and ask them about re-scheduling your trip or getting a refund. Mostly they’re accommodating and understand that hurricanes happen. The problem for the uninsured is when the travel provider refunds all except the 10% deposit – that money is gone, but that’s what travel insurance would have protected.

"If you’re delayed for a period on-route, again talk to the airline about some compensation or accommodation. The issue may be that they have so many stranded passengers that they can’t help them all with a hotel room overnight. Again, that’s where travel insurance would help," Sylvester told finder.com.au.

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