As I sit here writing this, I am watching the Governor of Florida pleading with people to evacuate areas of Florida due to Hurricane Irma. I myself am a former resident of Florida and I have lived through a couple of Hurricane's. I also have been begging friends still there to get out. You can't even imagine what it is like to have to evacuate a state that really only has one way out.
On the same note, I am fully aware of people who are traveling currently. Both this week and in the last couple of weeks and they might have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey. As I am hearing stories of travelers who were in St. Maarten, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands as a whole, all I keep thinking was, "i hope they had travel insurance"!
Many people think travel insurance is not necessary. They usually feel as long as they are taking the trip, they don't need the insurance. But insurance is not just for cancellation. Far from it. Good coverage also takes care of you while you are on your trip. So lets imagine that we are currently at a resort in St. Maarten and Hurricane Harvey is a threat. We want to get out, we want to go home. The first thing is flying home. If your ticket is non refundable, you would have to pay a change fee in order to get out. AND the price is more then likely NOT the same so you have to pay that difference. If you get lucky, the airlines might waive the fees but are they going to get you on a flight. You might be able to get out, but it may not be directly home, so you might need a hotel where you fly to. Thats your expense. Meals, transportation, those are all expenses you didn't budget on. Plus if you can't get out, you have to stay where you are. If you were scheduled to go home and can't get out then you have to find a place to stay, again another cost. Also, you might get ill or injured during your trip. Most American health insurance policies do not cover you when you are out of the country, so that is another expense. In addition with floods and evacuations it is very possible that you may loose luggage and have damaged items due to the storm.
All of these expenses add up, however if you have good travel insurance, then you will either be reimbursed for those costs, or you can call the company and they will make arrangements for you and get you to a hotel, flight or healthcare that you do not have to have out of pocket expenses.
One other thing that no one thinks about is, imagine becoming injured or sick while on your trip. How will you get home? Travel insurance covers emergency evacuation. In many instances this can cost well in to the the thousands of dollars. These allowances are covered in your travel insurance policy.
Not all travel insurance policies are the same, especially the ones offered by airlines, cruise lines, resorts and tour companies. So check with your travel agent and compare costs and coverages. But to be honest, don't leave home without it.