Following the recent devastation left by the Hurricane Dorian in Florida and Typhoon Hagibis in Japan, it’s a reminder to travellers to check their Travel Insurance before travel to see if disruptions caused by Natural Catastrophe(s) is covered by their Policy.
Also with the Volcanic eruption on White Island in New Zealand a few days ago, this article is more relevant than ever.
This information provides key pointers on issues relating to Natural Catastrophes and what protection JS Travel Insurance can offer.
What is a Natural Catastrophe ?
Examples include: Avalanche, Blizzard, Earthquake, Flood, Forest Fire, Hurricane, Infectious Disease Outbreak, Lightening, Tornado, Tsunami, Typhoon or Volcanic Eruption. Due to Global Warming, the world is experiencing a higher frequency of these events so getting the right protection in place is important.
Before you book your trip, check to see if the destination and selected months are prone to Natural Catastrophes. For example,
- California has a high number of earthquakes all year round, particularly near the San Andreas fault.
- The Alps can sometimes get increased snow over winter which increases the risk of Avalanches.
- Monsoon Season in Asia becomes a breeding ground for Infectious Diseases (so make sure you get your NHS recommended vaccinations too !).
What to do if your Destination has been affected by a Natural Catastrophe ?
- Before you book your trip or depart, check the Foreign Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) Travel Advice website to see if it’s safe to travel to your chosen destination.
- If the FCO issues a warning against travel, check your Policy Wording to see if it covers Cancellation or Curtailment Claims relating to Natural Catastrophes. Policies vary: some exclude cover, whilst others may include but with certain restrictions. If you still choose to travel from the United Kingdom after a warning has been issued, you’re likely to invalidate your Policy.
- If you haven’t yet purchased Travel Insurance for your trip but a known Natural Catastrophe has occurred, we will not be able to provide any Cancellation or Curtailment cover since it’s now a foreseen event.
- If you are on holiday and need medical treatment, all policies provided by JS Travel Insurance will cover your Emergency Medical Expenses and Repatriation.
What levels of Natural Catastrophe Cover does JS Travel Insurance offer ?
JS Travel Insurance offers three levels of cover: (1) Catastrophe (2) Natural Catastrophe Extension and (3) Cover against FCO Warnings
(1) Catastrophe Cover (automatically included)
This Benefit will cover up to £250 on JS Silver or £1,000 on JS Gold or JS Platinum and no claims excess. Here’s what it covers:
Reasonable additional costs of travel and accommodation, within a 20 mile radius, to the same standard as those on your booking to enable you to continue your trip close to that originally booked if the pre booked accommodation has been damaged by a Natural Catastrophe.
(2) Natural Catastrophe Extension
This is available with our Specialist Provider for an Additional Premium and applicable to those trips outside of the United Kingdom or Channel Islands.
This extension means cover is provided where the FCO advises against travel due to a Natural Catastrophe, and the customer cannot claim back the costs from a tour operator, public transport operator, accommodation provider, holiday service provider or any other source.
- Up to £1,500 for Cancellations claims if part of your outward or onward or return journey or whole trip is cancelled due to a Natural Catastrophe.
- Or if you’ve already travelled:
(a) up to £150 per 24 hours up to £1,500 in total to cover the cost of additional accommodation (room only) and transports costs to return you home safely.
(b) up to £1,500 to cover the cost of replacement transportation if yours was cancelled or delayed with no alternative provided within 24 hours, or for connecting transport if an alternative is not provided to allow you to continue with your original itinerary.