ST PETE BEACH, FL April 16th, 2010 – Thousands of travelers in and out of Europe could be affected by airport closures due to the volcanic ash cancellations, warns Squaremouth.com, America’s fastest growing comparison website for travel insurance.
Everyone wants to know if travel insurance will continue to cover them in the wake the eruption. But Squaremouth advises not to buy travel insurance expecting to be covered for upcoming trips anywhere near the affected area.
“For most carriers, if you bought travel insurance after April 13th, it’s quite likely you won’t be covered,” warned Squaremouth’s Chief Executive Chris Harvey. “In general, travel insurance policies don’t cover events related to natural disasters that are in progress or that have just happened. Even an approaching hurricane wouldn’t be covered if officials have already given it a name,” Harvey explained.
If travel insurance was purchased before April 13th, check the policy wording to see what is covered. Volcanic eruptions are typically included in the definition of natural disaster or hazard, terms that appear in several coverage benefits.
Cover could also be provided by “Cancel for any Reason” coverage, a catch-all policy benefit that, if purchased within 14 to 30 days of an initial deposit payment, allows for cancellation of a trip without explanation. Cancel for any Reason benefits typically add about 40 percent to the price of insurance, and reimburse a maximum of 80 percent of the trip cost.
Customers who bought travel insurance before April 13th should also scan the fine print of their policy for key phrases, such as:
Trip Cancellation and Interruption: Some carriers consider this event to be adverse or inclement weather. Most policies with this wording should provide some cover for trip cancellation and interruption.
Travel Delay: This benefit lists specific causes for the delay that are eligible for coverage. Hazards and natural disasters are commonly covered events for travel delay. This will reimburse expenses for lodging, meals and local transportation during the delay. Claims are valid if you are delayed at least 3-12 hours or more.
Missed Connection: The cost of catching up to the trip, tour or cruise is covered under missed connection. Most policies list weather related delays as qualifying for coverage, however, few plans list natural disasters specifically with this benefit. In some cases, missed connection coverage is a part of travel delay or trip interruption, which means those covered reasons would apply.
Remember, any compensation from the airline or other common carrier will impact the amount paid by a travel insurance claim. It is important to check the official policy wording in the certificate to learn exactly what coverage is available.
Squaremouth is America’s fastest growing travel insurance comparison site, helping customers instantly quote, compare and buy policies from every major carrier. Squaremouth has web sites in the US and UK, and an extensive network of partner sites worldwide. The company is headquartered in St Pete Beach, FL., with offices in Fort Wayne, IN. Visit Squaremouth.com or Squaremouth.co.uk.
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