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Recent Volcanic Eruptions May Cause Travel Insurance Questions

Recent Volcanic Eruptions May Cause Travel Insurance Questions

Recent volcanic eruptions in the Philippines and New Zealand highlight the impact that unexpected events can have on travelers.


All travel insurance policies include natural disasters, such as volcanic eruptions, as covered reasons to cancel a trip and be reimbursed for the trip cost, including flights, accommodations and missed tours. I thought you might be interested in Squaremouth’s explanation on coverage for travelers planning an upcoming visit to a destination with nearby volcanoes.


Policies Available Until Eruption Is Foreseen

Travel insurance policies are designed to cover unforeseen events and travelers are able to purchase a policy up until an event becomes expected. Once an eruption is considered imminent, new policies will no longer include coverage for that eruption. Purchasing a policy early ensures the longest period of coverage and only travelers who bought a policy before an eruption is expected may be covered if their travel plans are impacted.


Flights Affected By Air Conditions

Volcanic eruptions can affect air travel, causing flight delays or cancellations, due to ash, debris and toxic gas being spewed into the air. If an eruption causes a traveler’s flight to be delayed for a specific amount of time, or even canceled completely, they may be covered to cancel their trip and be reimbursed for any prepaid, nonrefundable costs.


Destination Under Mandatory Evacuation Orders

Travelers who purchased a policy before an eruption became foreseen may be able to cancel their trip or return home early if a destination on their itinerary falls under a mandatory evacuation order. If a traveler is already in the destination when the evacuation order is issued and they must leave, they can be refunded for any additional expenses incurred by moving to a safe location.


Accommodations Are Unsafe and Uninhabitable 

If a traveler’s accommodation has been deemed uninhabitable because of the volcanic eruption, lava flow or even a tsunami that occurs as a result of the eruption, they may be covered to cancel their trip. An accommodation may be deemed uninhabitable if there is significant structural damage, loss of power or water or the roads leading to it are closed.