Following the recent earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador, more travelers are asking about what is covered by travel insurance if an earthquake occurs at their destination.
Squaremouth, a leading travel insurance comparison site, created a fact sheet about travel insurance coverage if an earthquake occurs at a traveler’s destination before or during their trip.
Key Facts About Travel Insurance Coverage for Earthquakes
Availability of Travel Insurance Coverage for Earthquakes
- Most travel insurance policies include coverage for earthquakes.
- Travelers must purchase their policy before an earthquake occurs to be covered for losses related to that earthquake.
Canceling a Trip Due to an Earthquake
- An earthquake alone is not enough to trigger standard Trip Cancellation coverage.
- Travelers may be covered to cancel their trip if the earthquake results in:
- Delayed or canceled flights: If an earthquake causes a traveler’s flight or other ticketed transportation to be canceled or delayed for a certain amount of time, typically at least 12-48 hours
- Damaged accommodations: If the earthquake causes a traveler’s accommodations to be deemed uninhabitable
- Mandatory evacuation: If there is a mandatory evacuation at the traveler’s destination – some restrictions may apply
Travelers Who Want More Options to Cancel
- Travelers who do not meet the requirements for standard cancellation can cancel their trip because of an earthquake if they have the Cancel For Any Reason upgrade.
- This optional upgrade significantly increases the cost of a policy, typically by 40%.
- Cancel For Any Reason only reimburses up to 75% of the trip cost and requires the traveler to cancel their trip at least 2-3 days before their departure date.
- The upgrade is only available within 14-30 days of the first booking for trip and the traveler must insure 100% of their trip cost.
Coverage if an Earthquake Occurs During Your Trip
- Emergency Medical: If a traveler is hurt in an earthquake and needs medical attention, the Emergency Medical benefit can cover their treatment.
- Medical Evacuation: If a traveler is injured in an earthquake, the Medical Evacuation benefit can cover transportation to an appropriate medical facility.
- Non-Medical Evacuation: Some policies include coverage to transport a traveler home or to the nearest safe place if they must be evacuated after a natural disaster.
- Trip Interruption: Travelers may be covered to return home early from their trip if an earthquake occurs at their destination and renders their accommodations uninhabitable, or triggers a mandatory evacuation.
- Travel Delay: If an earthquake causes a delay to a traveler’s flight out of the destination, they may be reimbursed for expenses during the delay, such as meals and accommodations. If the traveler misses a connecting flight or part of their trip, the Missed Connection benefit may reimburse their lost expenses and the additional costs to catch up to their trip.
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.
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