Travel insurance plans with trip cancellation and trip interruption require that it be for a covered reason specifically listed in the policy. These reasons are unforeseeable events that are out of your control. However, man made disasters are not typically listed as one of these reasons. This means that the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico would not be a reason to cancel or interrupt the trip.
Cancel for any reason coverage does not require that a reason be provided in order for the traveler to cancel the trip. This will not reimburse the full 100% of trip cost like trip cancellation, normally it will reimburse about 75% or 80%. In order to cancel for any reason, the trip must be cancelled at least 48 hours prior to departure. Lastly, this benefit is only an option if the policy is purchased within a short time from the initial trip deposit date, normally about 14, 21 or 30 days.
Travel delay coverage can apply when there are common carrier delays, regardless of why. This means that a man made disaster that causes the trip to be delayed, such as the oil spill, can be eligible for coverage. Travel delay does not reimburse unused trip costs, rather, the costs of lodging, meals and local transportation while you are delayed.
Always refer to the certificate of insurance for details.