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Are natural disasters covered by travel insurance?

No matter how prepared you are, natural disasters and bad weather can wreak havoc on your plans, forcing you to cancel an upcoming trip, evacuate your vacation destination, or worse, cause injuries that require medical treatment or medical evacuation.

Whether it’s a volcanic eruption that shuts down air travel, a California wildfire engulfing your favorite getaway destination, or a hurricane that comes dangerously close to the beach you’re visiting, natural disasters can turn dream vacations into nightmares.

But there is one thing you can do: purchase a travel insurance policy for every trip. Flexible travel insurance from an insurance company like battleface, can provide the help you need in all kinds of natural disaster scenarios. Here are just a few examples of times you’ll be glad you opted for travel protection:

  • Due to an earthquake, the local airport has canceled all flights, so you have to wait for days (or weeks) to get home, which means extra nights of lodging and other expenses to pay for.
  • An avalanche cuts your ski trip short, so you have to pay to change your flight home.
  • A wildfire threatens the mountain resort you’re staying at, and you have to evacuate immediately and leave your belongings behind.

What types of natural disasters are covered?

Which specific natural disasters are covered depends on your specific travel insurance policy and insurance company, but the most commonly covered disasters include floods (due to natural causes), tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, mudslides, avalanches, landslides, volcanic eruptions, sandstorms, sinkholes, wildfires, and blizzards.

Does travel insurance cover bad weather?

Severe weather can be a covered event, depending on the terms of your policy. For example, while a severe thunderstorm isn’t a natural disaster, if it prevents your flight from departing and you need to stay in a hotel overnight, you may receive reimbursement. Or, if a hail storm damages your rental car, your travel insurance may cover you.

What happens if I have to cancel my upcoming trip because of a natural disaster at my destination?

Picture this: you have an idyllic two-week honeymoon planned to your favorite Caribbean island, but as you’re packing to leave, a hurricane descends on your destination and makes the island uninhabitable or inaccessible and you’re forced to cancel your trip. A travel insurance policy with trip cancellation coverage will allow you to recoup non-refundable travel expenses, including flight and accommodation costs, up to a set dollar amount.

What if a natural disaster occurs while you’re en route to your destination? That’s where trip delay coverage kicks in. Trip delay coverage pays for expenses you accrue while returning home or attempting to reach your destination, including meals, essential telephone calls, local transportation, parking costs, Internet usage fees, and lodging, up to a certain maximum set by your policy.

What happens if a natural disaster happens at home before my trip?

Natural disasters can happen anytime, anywhere, and unexpected events at home can complicate your travel plans. Luckily, most travel insurance policies provide coverage if you have to cancel an upcoming trip because of a natural disaster that happens at your primary residence. If a natural disaster happens while you’re at the point of departure, you can file a claim for reimbursement of some expenses with trip delay coverage.

What happens if a natural disaster happens while I’m on my trip?

Vacations are supposed to be relaxing, but nothing ruins a good time faster than a natural disaster. When disaster strikes, you’ll be glad to have travel insurance, as your policy will likely cover everything from emergency medical treatments to medical evacuation, all with 24/7 assistance with rescheduling flights, tracking down or replacing lost bags and personal items, and much more.

Trip interruption

The first part of your policy that you’ll use in case of a natural disaster that happens on vacation is called trip interruption. You’ll receive benefits from your insurance company if a natural disaster makes your destination inaccessible or uninhabitable and you need to end your trip early.

Some policies, like the ones offered by battleface, even offer trip interruption up to 150% of your trip cost, since you will likely incur extra expenses while trying to get home.

Emergency medical coverage

What if you get injured due to a natural disaster event and require medical treatment? If your travel insurance policy includes travel medical insurance, you can ask for a referral to competent local medical specialists, seek the emergency medical care you need, and then file a claim when you get home.

Some travel insurance plans are “primary,” which means they pay first, while others are secondary, meaning they will pay whatever your primary health insurer doesn’t pay. Make sure you understand if your travel medical coverage is primary or secondary. If you’re seriously injured and need to be evacuated, emergency medical evacuation coverage can cover the cost of transporting you to the nearest adequate medical facility.

When you have a travel insurance plan with battleface, you can contact our 24/7 assistance line, and our expert team will make emergency evacuation arrangements on your behalf. You can even opt into pet medical coverage, in case Fido is injured in a natural disaster while traveling with you.

Lost or damaged belongings

If you’re lucky enough to escape a volcano, blizzard, storm event, fire, flood, earthquake or other natural disaster or weather event unscathed, but your belongings aren’t so lucky, you’ll be glad you’ve opted into baggage and personal effects coverage. Baggage loss coverage will pay for lost or damaged luggage, personal effects, and sporting equipment, up to a pre-set limit.

What is not included in natural disaster coverage?

Travel insurance plans vary, as do their coverage exclusions. Insurance is designed to cover unforeseeable events, so if a hurricane is headed towards your destination, it may be too late to purchase insurance. Before you make a purchase, and before a natural disaster occurs, be sure to read your policy from start to finish. There are certain limitations in effect for particular natural disasters, like hurricanes. Additionally, if you knowingly put yourself in harm’s way—for example, traveling toward an area in the path of an already-named hurricane or visiting a location that has just experienced a natural disaster—you may not be covered.