Travel Insurance and the Volcano

If you purchased holiday insurance protection before moving Icelandic volcanic ash began interring with international flights, you might be thinking what journey costs it will protect. Meanwhile, if you have not purchased it yet, you may be thinking whether you want insurance protection for next season's journey and whatever natural trend could string you then or keep you trapped at house.

To provide some guidance, we turned to Jim Elegance, the chief executive of the US Travel Insurance Association and chief executive of, a Web site that aggregates holiday insurance protection offers. According to Mr. Elegance, the common holiday plan is usually a bundle of different types of protection. It might consist of protection for medical evacuation, missing hand baggage, compensation of certain expenditures relevant to journey termination before leaving for unexpected factors, or disruption of a journey for the same unexpected factors.

Among the unexpected reasons: climate, injury, terrorism or bankruptcy of the journey organization. See more about what holiday insurance protection generally contains here and here. Generally, such a plan could price 4 to 8 % of a trip’s expenditures, depending on how much protection you buy. A 4 % plan, for instance, would protect only about $500 for missing hand baggage, while an 8 % plan could protect up to $2,500.

So what does this mean for volcano-related journey disruptions or others like it? Mr. Elegance said journey disruptions relevant to the moving Icelandic volcanic ash were usually being handled as weather-related journey cancellations for those who had not began their trips, and as weather-related journey disruptions for those who were trapped. In fact, according to this article in The New York Times on Thursday, some holiday insurance protection experts anticipate volcano-related claims to total huge sum of money.

According to Mr. Elegance, holiday insurance protection providers will generally compensate any nonrefundable, prepaid journey costs, like resort, tour, cruise or airfare charges, up to the amount of protection you purchased. They will also protect the additional journey expenditures of getting you house again, up to 150 % of the original journey price. Moreover, for those trapped, the common plan also provides a journey delay stipend of anywhere from $150 to $250 a day to protect the expenditures of resort and food you may have while you are trapped and trying to create other routes.

No matter how long you are trapped, however, the plan may have a cap of about $1,500 on what it will pay for the stipend on any given journey. Given London resort prices, some trapped tourists may already be running up against that limit. Still, the question of exactly what journey expenditures will be protected depends on the details of your particular journey and the wording of the plan. For this purpose, if you have insurance protection and are trapped under the present ash reasoning, Mr. Elegance suggests calling the assistance phone lines most journey providers provide before spending a lot of money in an attempt to get house.

Associates at the plan organization can often help you book a journey house and confirm that it will be protected by the plan. If you are planning a journey and are thinking whether to buy holiday insurance protection, you should keep in mind that if you buy the most basic plan described above, it will not protect termination and disruption expenditures relevant to the present eruption. That is because it is no longer an unexpected occurrence.

Still, if journey returns to normal for a while, any future volcano-related disruption may be handled as a new unexpected occurrence, Mr. Elegance said, especially if experts consider it a new eruption or if it is coming from a different nearby volcanic. Moreover, you can buy a more expensive journey plan that has a participant that would usually allow you to terminate a journey for any purpose. Such a plan usually expenditures 6 to 12 % of the price of the journey and would, in most cases, allow you to a terminates a journey for a volcano-related purpose.

You have to buy such policies, however, within seven to 14 days of paying for your journey, and you would have to terminate your journey at least 48 hours before leaving. The caveat: two out of the dozen or so providers that provide the cancel-for-any purpose participant do not consist of predicted events among the permitted factors for eliminating a journey.

Before opting for any kind of holiday plan, create sure to talk with the agent or organization about what is protected. It’s really important to speak to the organization, explain to them your situation and what you are looking for in protection to create sure your plan is covering what you anticipate, Mr. Elegance said. Have you been impacted by the volcano? What has holiday insurance protection protected and not protected for you?
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