The earthquake and tsunami in Japan has many travelers wondering how they are covered by their travel insurance policy. Insurance providers will give additional information when such current events may affect coverage. The following is a list of frequently asked questions and answers from Travel Guard.
The below questions and answers apply to plans purchased through Travel Guard Group, Inc. USA (Travel Guard).
Question: Would there be coverage for this specific event under any Travel Guard plans?
Answer: Insurance would have had to have been purchased on or before Thursday, March 10, 2011 in order for coverage to be effective. Coverage will be provided for Trip Cancellation due to this earthquake if the following is a covered reason for Trip Cancellation: “The Insured’s Primary Residence or Destination being made Uninhabitable by Natural Disaster, vandalism, or burglary.”
Question: “Would people who travel to Japan for family or aid worker reasons be covered for Medical & Medical Evacuation?”
Answer: Insured travelers would have coverage available for these benefits (plan must include these benefits for coverage to be available; coverage may vary by plan). The plan must have been purchased on or before March 10, 2011.
Question: “My client is scheduled for future travel and purchased an insurance plan prior to the earthquake. If there are additional aftershocks that cause future travel plans to be disrupted, would coverage apply?”
Answer: Under most of Travel Guard’s U.S. products, the insured would be covered based on the purchase date being prior to March 10, 2011, subject to plan terms and conditions.
Question: “My client is scheduled to travel this summer and has not yet purchased a plan. If I purchase a plan for her today and another earthquake occurs, would she be covered?”
Answer: Any new earthquake would be considered a new event under our U.S. plans. Coverage would be administered according to the product purchased (based on limits and exclusions). Contact our 24/7 Service Center or your Travel Guard sales representatives with additional questions as coverage and benefits vary by product.
Question: “My client has insurance and is scheduled to fly to an affected region next week. What should she do if her flight is cancelled?”
Answer: The first call she should make is to the air carrier, as all airlines have made rebooking passengers impacted by this event a priority. That said, she should contact Travel Guard for additional assistance, both for flight rebooking and to initiate a claim if applicable.
Question: “What is the coverage cut-off date for the current Japan earthquake event?”
Answer: Eligible U.S. plans would need to have been purchased on or before March 10, 2011.
Question: “My customers are stranded away from home. What can you do to help them?”
Answer: Travel Guard’s 24/7 assistance centers stand ready to help you and your customers. Our services include flight rebooking, hotel rebooking, cash wire transfers, translation services, message relay and more.
Question: If my customer is now afraid to travel to a specific area because of the disasters that have occurred, would he have coverage for Trip Cancellation?
Answer: Travelers who purchase a Travel Guard North America retail travel insurance plan with “cancel for any reason” coverage are eligible for reimbursement of forfeited pre-paid, non-refundable expenses if they cancel their trip within 48 hours prior to departure up to the maximum benefit limit for the plan purchased.