ST. PETE BEACH, FL December 6, 2011 – Holiday travelers are being warned to prepare for travel delays as a result of Iceland’s volcano Katla. With more than 500 tremors in and around the caldera of Katla in November 2011, scientists expect Katla to erupt any day now. According to Squaremouth.com, a site for comparing and purchasing travel insurance, travelers still have time to purchase a travel insurance policy and have coverage in the event Katla delays or ruins their trip.
Travelers should be warned if they buy a travel insurance policy after the eruption, they will most likely not be covered. “Travel Insurance policies generally do not cover events related to natural disasters that are in progress or have just happened,” warns Squaremouth’s CEO Chris Harvey. “Once an event is considered foreseen, it is too late to purchase a policy that will cover that event.”
When comparing policies, travelers should look for key benefits, such as Trip Cancellation and Interruption, Travel Delay and Missed Connection. Although most travel insurance policies are similar in that they reimburse the cost of food, lodging and local transportation, some policies tend to differ in the reasons a traveler can cancel and receive a refund.
“Policy language for canceling or interrupting a trip is very specific, there are rarely blanket statements that define coverage,” says Sarah Byrne, Marketing Manager at Squaremouth. Even if a traveler experiences something completely out of their control and entirely unforeseeable, if it is not clearly stated in the policy, coverage may not be available. It is always a good idea to review the covered reasons for trip cancellation and trip interruption to fully understand how the trip is protected.
Most travel insurance providers typically consider volcanic eruptions as natural disasters, however, some travel insurance providers defined last year’s ash cloud as a weather event, giving travelers more coverage.
It’s important to remember, airport closures and damaged roads or bridges from natural disasters are seldom covered reasons to cancel or interrupt a trip. There might be coverage if an airline stops servicing the destination for 24 or 48 hours, but normally only if caused by inclement weather. Few travel insurance policies provide coverage when a natural disaster causes a cancellation or interruption.
“CSA Travel Protection considers natural disasters and adverse weather to be separate categories of events,” explains Kathy Townend, Marketing Manager at CSA Travel Protection, a travel insurance provider. “Although they sometimes occur together or overlap, a natural disaster is not always caused by adverse weather, and adverse weather is not always accompanied by a natural disaster.”
If someone wants the option to cancel whether or not Katla erupts, Squaremouth recommends finding a policy that offers the Cancel for Any Reason benefit. Cancel for Any Reason allows someone to cancel the trip without explanation, and receive a refund up to 75 percent of the trip cost. However, to qualify for this benefit, travelers must purchase a travel insurance policy within 14-30 days of the initial deposit payment.
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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