Extreme Weather

Nepal Earthquake May Not Always Trigger Travel Insurance

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ST. PETERSBURG, FL April 28, 2015 – As a result of Saturday’s earthquake in Nepal, travelers with upcoming trips to the destination may be rethinking their plans. While travel insurance benefits typically include cancellation coverage for earthquakes, it isn’t always enough for an earthquake to occur. Squaremouth, America’s fastest growing travel insurance comparison site, explains how travel insurance applies to the earthquake in Nepal.

Before travelers can cancel their trip due to the earthquake, specific triggers must be met.

Coverage if Your Plane Won’t Fly
One trigger requires their common carrier to be delayed for a specific amount of time, typically ranging between 12 and 48 hours. Travelers who purchased a policy prior to the earthquake, and whose airlines have cancelled or delayed flights to Nepal for the required period of time, may be covered to cancel their trip.

Coverage if Your Destination is Evacuated
A second trigger requires a mandatory evacuation be issued for a traveler’s destination by the local authorities, or the U.S. Department of State, before they can cancel their trip.

Currently, the U.S. Department of State has issued a Travel Alert for Nepal. Travelers who have previously purchased a policy should contact their insurance providers to confirm if this alert suffices as a reason to cancel their trip.

Coverage if Your Accommodations are Uninhabitable
A third trigger requires the traveler’s accommodation at their destination be rendered uninhabitable. In areas where there has been major structural damage, including loss of running water or electricity, travelers may be covered to cancel their trip.

“We have confirmed with some of our providers that the term “uninhabitable” will be looked at on a case-by-case basis,” explains Squaremouth Director of Marketing, Megan Moncrief. “In areas like Kathmandu, where widespread damage has been reported, the traveler’s accommodations may not necessarily need to be destroyed, as long as the area itself has been greatly damaged.”

No Coverage if You’re Too Scared to Travel
Travelers must meet at least one trigger in order to qualify for the Trip Cancellation benefit. Requiring at least one trigger rules out those who want to cancel because they no longer want, or are too scared, to travel to Nepal. The only option for travelers who want this option, is to purchase the Cancel for Any Reason upgrade.

No Coverage if You Haven’t Purchased Yet
All travel insurance providers require the policy be purchased prior to the earthquake, in order to have coverage related to the event.

Moncrief adds, “Travelers who purchase a policy after the morning of Saturday, April 25th,  and want to cancel a trip to Nepal because of the earthquake, will not be covered.”

Squaremouth is an online company that compares travel insurance products from virtually every major travel insurance provider in the United States. Using Squaremouth’s comparison engine and third party customer reviews, travelers can research and compare insurance products side-by-side. More information can be found at www.squaremouth.com.

Megan Moncrief
(727) 378-0983