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The latest meteorological forecasts show that this year’s El Niño may be the strongest one in nearly eighteen years. Furthermore, experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center have predicted that this year’s El Niño may even intensify to become one of the strongest on record. So what does this mean for travelers?

Unfortunately, El Niño may be a nightmare for travelers who have booked a trip without travel insurance. In fact, the California Department of Water Resources issued a warning statement indicating that the Southwestern region of the United States could see upward of 200 percent of normal rainfall, which could lead to mudslides and historic flooding events. Additionally, the Southeastern United States will experience periods of unseasonably cold temperatures, while it will be warmer in the North and drier in the Midwestern Plains. El Niño is a global phenomenon that will affect temperatures and precipitation patterns throughout the world. Flooding and other extreme weather events are even predicted to occur in South America, Europe, Mexico and Australia. Therefore, it is imperative to purchase travel insurance during this period of unpredictable weather conditions.

During a normal year, a typical traveler may choose to decline trip protection because the perceived threat of an unforeseen weather event is low. However, during an El Niño year, there is a much greater risk of encountering severe weather while on a trip. Insurance experts are urging consumers to be proactive by securing trip insurance to safeguard their investment in seasonal travel. Now is a better time than ever to look for travel insurance that can offer a wide variety of coverage options to protect travelers from a multitude of unanticipated predicaments. Most experts agree that El Niño will have the severest impact during the winter and spring travel months.

According to new research from a leading travel industry analyst, nearly 60 percent of Americans are planning to postpone their travel plans to California during this year’s El Niño. Rather than cancel travel plans altogether, it would be more practical to simply purchase a travel protection plan to cover a planned trip or vacation. There are a wide array of coverage options that can be tailored to an individual traveler’s needs. For example, travel insurance can be purchased to cover missed flights, emergency evacuation, cancellation, baggage protection, and even medical expenses. While added travel protection may slightly increase the price of a vacation, it’s difficult to put a price on peace of mind.

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