Over the past two weeks, over 80% of Venice has seen record-breaking floods, and 2.5 million acres in Australia are ablaze. Amid these catastrophic events, travel insurance comparison site, Squaremouth, is already hearing from travelers with impacted trips to these popular tourist destinations.
Travel insurance covers the unexpected, but can you also plan for the completely unthinkable?
To help travelers with future trips to these and other popular destinations, Squaremouth answers travelers main “what ifs” when the unthinkable happens at their destination.
What If I Can’t Get to My Destination?
If travelers are unable to reach their destination safely, most policies provide coverage to cancel or shorten their trip. This can include coverage for grounded flights due to local smoke, closed roads due to flooding, and other impacts of natural disasters that render their destination inaccessible.
What If I Have Nowhere to Stay?
If a traveler has to cancel their trip because their accommodation was damaged or destroyed by flooding or fires, they can be refunded up to their entire trip cost including flights, hotel and prepaid tours.
What If My Activities Are Canceled?
While flooded streets and closed attractions may throw a wrench in vacation plans, standard travel insurance policies never cover disappointment or “loss of enjoyment”. As long as a traveler can reach their destination safely and their accommodation is inhabitable, they will not be refunded if they choose to cancel their trip.
What if I Want to Cancel My Trip?
Travelers with a standard Trip Cancellation-style policy, must meet one of that policy’s covered reasons to cancel in order to be fully refunded. Most notably, this includes an extended airline delay or their accommodation becoming uninhabitable due to fire or flood. Most cancellation-style policies also include coverage if the city listed on a traveler’s itinerary is under a mandatory evacuation order. However, travelers with the more lenient, Cancel For Any Reason upgraded policy, don’t need to meet such requirements, and can likely cancel outright, for a portion of their expenses refunded.
What If I Don’t Have a Policy?
In order to be covered for any event, travel insurance must be purchased before the event occurs. If a traveler does not already have a policy in place, it is too late to buy one now for both the fires in Australia or floods in Venice. Travelers should keep in mind that by the time an event is on the news, it is too late to buy a travel insurance policy to be covered for that event. Squaremouth reports that some policies are using November 12th as the cutoff date for coverage related to the floods in Venice.
Squaremouth has launched the Australian Wildfires Information Center and Venice Flooding Information Center to explain travel insurance coverage for these events, and they will be updated as events unfold.