Updated Statement from Travelex on the Volcanic Ash

Published by June 9, 2010

When catastrophic events occur, travel insurance carriers release position statements explaining how coverage is affected.  Policies purchased after an event is considered foreseeable will not cover situations related to that event.   Travelex offers plans underwritten by two different companies:  Old Republic and Nationwide.  The following are statements from Travelex addressing plans for each underwriter as it pertains to the volcanic ash in Europe.

Old Republic

Until further notice our position with respect to this situation is as follows:

Any events related to volcanic activity in Iceland will not be covered for any polices purchased after April 14, 2010.

Also, please see information below that we have circulated to our staff.  This information would be in addition to the previous communication sent to you by Laura Benkandil on April 16th.   If you have any further questions, please let me know.

We are considering this a weather event.  Benefits available are as follows:

Transfer of Dates

For travelers who have not yet embarked on their trip and have been issued a credit to use at a different time, we will transfer the dates of your unused policy to the rescheduled dates.  If the new trip is of greater duration or higher cost a premium adjustment may be necessary.  Travellers should understand that coverage for a pre-existing medical condition will apply to the dates of the new trip.

Future Insurance Purchases

As major news has been reporting in the last several hours, there has been another eruption from the volcano in Iceland and further eruptions are possible.  The most recent incident has not erupted as high into the atmosphere, therefore  impact on transatlantic  air travel is not fully known at this time.  Current information indicates that limited air travel is resuming in Europe,  but airlines are not able to predict when they will return to any normal schedules.

There is significant information being reported through media concerning the volcano in Iceland and the fact it may remain active for many months.  Future flight disruptions are therefore likely and hence considered foreseeable.

To provide clarity in what is a very fluid situation, anyone  purchasing insurance including the Ultimate Upgrade/All Events Upgrade after April 14, 2010 for any future travel will not have coverage for  delay, cancellation or interruption benefits for losses caused by volcanic eruptions in Iceland as it is presently defined as being a foreseeable event.

We will continue to monitor this situation closely so that we can reinstate coverage specific to this event, but we are not in a position to provide an expected time frame at this point in time.  Anyone who booked their trip and purchased coverage prior to April 14, 2010 will have coverage for future travel owing to this situation.

To recap previous communications on other benefits:

Trip Delay

For those Insureds who have not yet left home, we are allowing them to monitor the situation from home – in the case of connecting flights they do not have to depart on their trip knowing that they will become stranded waiting for an overseas connection.

Anyone currently travelling has coverage up to the limits of their policy for delay benefits.

Trip Cancellation & Interruption

Subject to refunds or credits for future travel which are issued by travel suppliers, claims will be handled in accordance with the policy wording and benefits purchased in the following manner:

New Policy

  • We will consider claims for anyone whose common carrier has delayed the departure of their covered trip for 24 hours
  • We will consider claims for anyone who has missed 50% of their trip (not available on old policy)
  • Anyone covered by the All Events Upgrade may cancel or interrupt

Automatic Extension of Coverage

We will waive the 72 hour period and cover people at no extra premium up to the coverage limits in their policy until they can return home providing they do so at the first available opportunity.

Nationwide

Ash clouds from the volcanic eruption in Iceland have caused flight delays in major European airports and beyond. While most airports have recovered from the event and are maintaining normal flight schedules, Travelex Insurance Services is pleased to provide our travelers coverage should they experience a upcoming travel disruption.

Travelers are eligible for coverage on any future travel issues occur due to the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull.  This will protect a traveler for any new eruptions to the same volcano or neighboring volcano, as well as any travel disruptions due to the current ash cloud produced by Eyjafjallajokull.

The Travelex Insurance Services protection plan must have been purchased on or before April 14th, 2010 OR on or after May 5th, 2010 to be eligible for coverage.  Resulting volcanic ash clouds will be considered a covered reason due to weather and loss due to the physical eruption of a volcano will be considered a covered reason under natural disaster.  Coverage is subject to the terms and conditions of the policy.  Benefits available include:

Trip Cancellation / Trip Interruption Coverage

  • Weather that causes complete cessation of services of the common carrier for at least 24 consecutive hours.*
  • Delayed arrival due to a covered reason (defined under Trip Delay) causing 50% ore more of the covered trip to be missed. (Does not apply to Travel Select for residents of NY or WA or Travel Basic).
  • Natural disaster at the site of Your destination that renders the destination accommodations uninhabitable.

Trip Delay Coverage

  • Delay while enroute to or from final destination for at least 5 hours or more due to a covered reason, such as delay of common carrier or due to a natural disaster.*

Extended Coverage

  • Common carrier delay causes the covered trip to be prolonged beyond the scheduled return date.

24 Hour Travel Assistance Services

  • Travelers stranded abroad can receive assistance ranging from emergency travel arrangements and money transfers to message relay services.  Simply call the travel assistance phone number listed on your Confirmation of Coverage.

Travelex policy holders who purchased a protection plan on and between April 15th and May 4th are not eligible for coverage for known events due to the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull and the resulting ash cloud.

This update only affects Travelex Protection Plans underwritten by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and affiliated companies and United States Fire Insurance Company.  Plans underwritten by Old Republic Insurance Company will only offer coverage related to this event, provided the plan holder purchased the plan prior to and including April 14th, 2010.

*Notice WA residents: special limitations, terms and conditions apply to Travel Select benefits.