Tropical Storm Andrea dumped on Florida’s Gulf Coast earlier today
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Hurricane season is effective every year from June 1 until November 30. Those of us in the directly affected areas (namely: Florida) expect balmy mornings, afternoon showers and steamy humidity on a daily basis. Typically, hurricane and tropical storm activity picks up from August until October. So imagine my surprise when I found myself driving in the midst of a tropical storm this morning. What?

Yes…5 days into hurricane season, the Tampa Bay area was blessed with Tropical Storm Andrea. This one snuck up on everyone, I think. The area has been afflicted with tornadoes and floods today, but thankfully no one lost their lives. Some businesses closer to the beach suffered property damage, and many of the tourist attractions (Busch Gardens, Sea World, Legoland) closed early today. We remain under a tornado watch until 10pm, so although the worst has passed, we are not yet out of the woods. In fact, the wind is howling against my window as I type this.

I’m reading reports that this early tropical activity is a warning of things to come. If so, this will be an active hurricane season. Someone even said that this may be the year that Tampa is hit with the “big one”. (*knocks on wood that this isn’t true*)

If ANY of this ends up being true, then it leads me to emphasize the importance of Travel Protection insurance if you are planning a trip to a hurricane-prone region. Some may remember the mess that Hurricane Isaac caused for Royal Caribbean and Carnival last year; those with insurance were able to easily rebook their trips and return home (or get refunded), while those without had a bit more trouble. Travel Protection covers severe weather events that may interrupt, delay or cancel your trip. You can purchase it through the travel supplier, or an outside vendor (I personally work with TravelSafe and Allianz). Many of the plans also offer a “Cancel for Any Reason” option, which would allow you to cancel the trip for an “uncovered” reason (i.e. not due to weather, medical emergency, etc) and still receive some or all of your investment back.

Obviously, no one can predict the future or what could happen; you could pay for the protection with no need to use it…which would be ideal, really. However, I personally believe that Travel Protection is a small price to pay for peace of mind.