ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. June 12, 2018 – Volcanic eruptions in Guatemala and Hawaii made recent headlines, prompting many people to look into travel insurance. However, just because there’s an eruption, it doesn’t always mean there’s coverage. Leading travel insurance comparison site, Squaremouth, breaks down what travel insurance actually covers, including the fine print travelers need to know, when a volcano affects their travel plans.
Travelers whose specific destinations are under a mandatory evacuation can have coverage.
- Travelers can cancel or end their trip early and be paid back for their unused trip costs if a city or town listed on their itinerary is under a mandatory evacuation due to flowing lava, spewing rock, toxic gas emissions or other reasons determined by local authorities.
Hotel is Uninhabitable
Travelers can be covered if their hotel is damaged by lava, ash, or other debris.
- If a hotel is deemed ‘uninhabitable’ by hotel management and local authorities, travelers can cancel or end their trip early and be paid back for their unused trip expenses.
A hotel will often be deemed ‘uninhabitable’ if the local roads leading to the hotel are impassable, there is significant structural damage, nonworking electricity or running water.
Home is at Risk
While a less common concern, travelers who live near a volcano can actually have coverage if their home is damaged.
- If a traveler’s home is declared ‘uninhabitable’ by local authorities due to significant volcanic damage, travelers may be able to cancel their trip and get their money back. Additionally, some policies allow travelers to end their trip early and can pay travelers back for their unused trip costs and return flight so they can handle their responsibilities at home.
Delayed or Canceled Flight
Volcanic activity can affect air travel, delaying or even cancelling flights if hot gas, ash or other volcanic matter is in the air.
- If a flight is significantly delayed or cancelled, travelers can cancel or end their trip early and get their money back.
- Each policy will specify how many hours a flight must be delayed before coverage begins.
When Should I Buy a Travel Insurance Policy?
Policies can be purchased up until the day before the traveler leaves for their trip, however, Squaremouth recommends purchasing a policy as soon as travelers begin to make their earliest travel arrangements, such as booking hotels or flights.
Why Should I Purchase a Policy So Early?
Travel insurance is designed to cover the unexpected; a policy that is purchased after the volcanic activity has already occurred, will not provide any coverage related to that volcano.