The amount of ash in the air from the volcanic eruption under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland has caused flight delays in Europe.
If travel insurance was purchased before 4/13/10, 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.
Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption: Both cancellation, before the trip, and interruption, during the trip, must be for a covered reason listed in the policy. Though it varies between plans, coverage is available for a natural disaster that delays the trip arrival, damages your home, place of work or lodging at the destination. Unused and non refundable expenses of the trip will be reimbursed in a paid claim for trip cancellation or trip interruption.
Travel Delay: This benefit also 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. Coverage is only available after a set amount of time has passed, anywhere from 3-12 hours.
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 of insurance to learn exactly what coverage is available.