• Travel Insurance Blog

  • Monday, August 21, 2017

  • Ashes to Ashes: Travel Insurance and Volcanoes

    Filed Under: Blogging

The big news in the travel insurance industry is the volcanic ash over Europe, which has stranded thousands of passengers who are simply unable to make their scheduled trips. Thousands of flights have been cancelled, and confusion reigns supreme about how this should be treated in insurance plans. The U.S. insurance industry estimates that claims in the millions of dollars will be paid to travelers because of the volcanic ash.

If you are affected by this, you have likely been promised a refund by your airline. However, the airline might not pay for the expenses arising out of the change in schedule, such as accommodation and incidental expenses. Most travel insurance plans, however, provide coverage for daily expenses, up to a certain limit.

U.S. insurance companies are stepping up to the plate and have promised to settle claims according to the schedule of benefits. They are, for the most part, treating the volcanic ash as a weather-related event. To qualify, the plan will have to include trip cancellation benefits, or must be a separate trip cancellation insurance policy.

On the other side of the Atlantic, however, some insurance companies operating out of Britain indicate that they are treating the ash as an “Act of God.” That might exclude many plan holders from claiming benefits. You want to make sure that your plan covers adverse weather conditions and cancellation of flights.

Travel tip: Make a call to the airline, and then to your insurance company, before deciding to stay put at home. If your flight departs on a different route, and you are not on the flight, you might end up losing all the money.

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