Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Are Natural Disasters Covered By Travel Insurance

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Travel Insurance For Natural Disasters

Consumer Reports: Should you buy travel insurance?

Natural disasters are an inevitable fact of life and although InsureandGo cannot prevent them, we can make sure you are covered in the unfortunate event that one should occur before or during your holidays.

Natural disasters can occur with little or no warning and their impacts on your travel plans as well as your health could end up costing you dearly should you find yourself without quality travel insurance for natural disasters. They are just one more reason why travel insurance is so important.

Protect yourself from natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, volcanic eruptions, atypical cyclonic storms, and other extraordinary natural phenomenon. Having quality travel insurance with natural disaster coverage means you could recover some of the costs associated with your travels such as cancelling your trip, cutting your trip short, or emergency medical expenses due to the occurrence of a natural disaster.

Can I Cancel My Trip Because Of A Natural Disaster Like A Hurricane

Your Caribbean trip is booked and paid for. Then you see a news item about a natural disaster affecting the region youll be visiting. What do you do? Within 48 hours of hearing the news, contact your travel agent to find out what alternatives are available. Thenespecially if those alternatives arent convenient for youcontact your insurer to open a claim file and confirm the conditions for reimbursement. If the only convenient solution for you is to cancel your trip, the insurer will expect you to do so promptly. The 48-hour time limit applies for most travel insurance contracts.

What Would Happen If I Am Caught Overseas During A Natural Disaster

First of all, stay calm and try to move to a safe place to seek shelter or medical care. Secondly, contact your travel insurer if you need assistance and if needed you can also ring the following Consular Emergency Centre number from anywhere in the world: +61 2 6261 3305 theyll be able to direct you to the nearest English-speaking hospital and contact your family and friends on your behalf.

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How Dangerous Can A Storm Really Be

You should never underestimate the powerful impact of a storm. A storm can combine all the very worst weather conditions and wreak havoc on those unlucky enough to find themselves in its eye. The following weather conditions can prove incredibly dangerous and should be treated with utmost caution:

  • Lightning: Lightning strikes are rare enough to be uncommon – but common enough to pose a threat. Each year 10 people die in Australia as a consequence of lightning strikes in addition to over 100 injuries. When lightning approaches, seek shelter and stay away from anything that might attract a strike.
  • High winds: Getting blown away by a high wind is fairly unlikely, but getting struck by a falling object as a result of high winds is a significant risk. If you are caught in a storm, seek shelter as quickly as possible. If you are already inside, stay there and stay away from windows.
  • Flash floods: When heavy rain meets an overworked urban drainage system or saturated high ground, all that water has to flow somewhere. Flash flooding can be destructive and dangerous to boot. When floods occur It’s advisable to find shelter immediately and dont be tempted to wade into this often filthy, disease-ridden water. Do you notice the pattern here? If a storm hits, stay inside!

Check Your Insurance Plan

Are natural disasters covered by Home Insurance?

Unexpected disasters are exactly what insurance is meant to protect you against, so make sure youre covered well on your trip. Although travel insurance is important, there are other types of coverage you should keep in mind. Each will affect the other.

  • Travel insurance. This is actually an umbrella term for several types of short-term insurance coverage, including emergency room visits and missing baggage, that can affect your trip. Choose a travel insurance plan that will cover the biggest liabilities in the event of a disaster. Note: You can get cancel for any reason insurance that will allow last-minute changes to your itinerary, but it might be redundant if you already have flexible tickets.

  • Health insurance. If youre traveling domestically, make sure your health insurance provides meaningful coverage for out-of-network care, especially if the restrictions on in-network are highly local. Many health insurance plans, including Medicare, do not cover international travel, so supplementary travel insurance health coverage may be your best bet for overseas trips.

  • Rental car insurance. Will you be held liable if your rental car is damaged by gale-force winds? Make sure your rental is covered by insurance provided by the rental car company, as part of your travel insurance package or through a .

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Where Do Volcanoes Occur

Volcanoes occur at the edge of tectonic plates. These plates are always moving, causing a large amount of friction where two plates meet. Often, one plate is forced beneath the other in what is known as a subduction zone. This process creates enormous amounts of heat and pressure, melting the rock beneath the Earth’s surface, which is then expelled via an eruption. The fault lines of the Pacific rim have created some of the world’s most famous – and infamous – volcanoes, included those found on the west coast of South America and in Krakatoa in Indonesia.Pleased note, the information in the map below is provided as a general guide only. Please refer to volcanodiscovery.com for up-to-date information.

Can I Predict The Unpredictable

The answer, of course, is no. Before you book a trip, however, you should always check that everything is in order in the country you want to visit. For example, if the federal government issues an advisory that warns against travel for a specific reason, few insurers will agree to cover you if you cancel your planned travel. Why? Because the situation that might prevent you from travelling, or prompt you to cut your trip short, is one that is known before you purchase your trip. Some insurers will even refuse to cover medical care required at destination, especially if it is related to the situation that led the government to issue its advisory.

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Americans Spent R22 Trillion In 2021 To Fix Homes Damaged By Weather

    • Weather disasters are burning a hole in Americans’ wallets.
    • In 2021, 20 separate natural disaster events hit the US, totalling $145 billion in damages, the equivalent of R2.2 trillion.
    • The country’s Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration claims 2021 marked the third-most costly on record for natural disaster events.
    • For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

    2021 marked the third most costly for natural disaster events in the USA in the more than 200 years that country’s Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has been tracking.

    The US was hit with 20 separate billion-dollar climate events, totalling $145 billion in damages, the equivalent of some R2.2 trillion. The US is expected to experience even more natural disasters in the years to come, driving costs even higher.

    “We can expect a significant jump in extreme weather over the next 20 or 30 years,” Piers Forster, a climate scientist told the New York Times. “Things are unfortunately likely to get worse than they are today.”

    Impacts of the climate crisis will intensify, causing financial losses to trend upward, and homeowners, insurance companies, taxpayers and the government will all have to foot the bill. This means more homeowners falling behind on their mortgage as insurance doesn’t always cover damage costs. America’s Biden administration has said government aid will be necessary to ease costs on Americans as the climate crisis is likely to have a lasting presence.

    Flooding Isn’t Covered By Homeowners Insurance

    Natural disasters cause home premiums to rise by more than 10 per cent

    In general, damage caused by wind, wind-driven rain and water that comes into your home through the roof, windows, doors or holes in the walls is covered by homeowners insurance. But damage from flooding or water that rises from the bottom up–from the overflow of a body of water, for example, or a storm surge–is not covered. A lot of the damage in Houston from Hurricane Harvey was from flooding and was only covered if you had flood insurance, such as through the FloodSmart.gov National Flood Insurance Program or a private flood insurer. But even if you didn’t have flood insurance, it’s still worthwhile to contact your home insurance company to see whether some of your expenses will be covered, such as wind damage to your roof or the additional living expenses you incurred while you were out of your house. See Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Wind Damage vs. Flood Damage fact sheet.

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    Insurance And Disaster Financial Assistance

    After an extreme weather event, a province or territory may declare the event to be eligible for disaster assistance, with funding available from the province via Disaster Financial Assistance . DFA is available to property owners and communities for losses that are not covered by insurance companies DFA does not pay for losses for which insurance is reasonably and readily available.

    Prior to the flooding events in both Calgary and Toronto in 2013, Canadian homeowners could not buy insurance for overland water damage, but now most insurers offer some level of flood insurance, except in very high-risk areas.

    This introduces inequity among homeowners those who live in the highest risk areas cannot purchase insurance and therefore can receive DFA after a loss, but those living in moderate to high-risk areas where insurance is reasonably and readily available may not be able to afford coverage and therefore not be eligible to receive DFA.

    Because the term reasonably and readily is not well-defined, ambiguity exists regarding who can receive DFA and who cannot. If the limitations around DFA are not fully understood by property owners, or if governments do not clearly define reasonably and readily, the incentive to purchase flood insurance is reduced.

    Property owners need information regarding the value of purchasing flood insurance and insurers can provide important information about how to mitigate losses from flooding.

    Medical Costs In Countries With A Reciprocal Healthcare Agreement

    Australia has a reciprocal healthcare agreement with 11 countries. They are:

    In these countries, Australian travellers can access medically necessary health services in an emergency and for illnesses and injuries that cant wait until you get home. Travellers from those countries also get help with their medical services when they visit Australia. For more information, visit servicesaustralia.gov.au. You still may have to pay some fees for treatment and medication. And its important to remember the agreement isnt a replacement for travel insurance.

    For example, in New Zealand reciprocal health care doesnt cover you for free or subsidised care by a general practitioner or ambulance. Also, if you get seriously ill while overseas, medical repatriation is very expensive and only covered by travel insurance.

    Remember to take your Medicare card with you. Youll need it, along with your passport, to prove that youre eligible.

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    How Can I Find Out If Its Safe For Me To Travel

    Before booking your holiday and taking out your travel insurance policy, you should check whether your destination is safe to visit. Keep eyes and ears open for travel warnings from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the World Health Organisation , as well as the press and local government communications. You can also check the FCDO website for destinations listed as unsafe.

    If the FCDO has advised against any or all-but-essential travel to your destination before you book the holiday, your insurer wont cover you but if your destination is listed after youve booked and taken out travel insurance you should be able to claim for cancellation.

    What We Cover Against

    Travel insurance for natural disasters: What does it cover ...

    Natural Disaster Cover makes sure youre covered in the event of a disaster. We protect against the following natural catastrophes:

    Want to find out more about our cover? Read our faq

    It’s important to know.

    Our products are available for UK residents only.

    You must be 18 years or over to purchase a policy.

    Upper age limits may apply, depending on the product selected.

    Our insurance policies do not cover undisclosed pre-existing medical conditions, or travel to or through Afghanistan, Cuba, Liberia and Sudan, or countries where the Foreign Office has warned against all but essential travel. Other exclusions and conditions may apply so please check the Policy Wording for details.

    Get travel insurance

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    So What Are You Supposed To Do If You Are Caught In A Natural Disaster While You Are On Holiday

    First things first, is to do your best to stay safe with your loved ones and follow instructions given by the local emergency services!

    Good news, if you are on a package holiday and travel has been organised using a travel operator such as Thomas Cook, then you will need to contact your tour operator as soon as possible. Your tour operator will have a duty of care to you, to ensure, if necessary, that you get home safely and/or provide additional accommodation as required.

    If you have not booked your travel with a Tour Operator, then you are classed as an Independent Traveller. If this applies to you, then you should take reasonable and necessary steps to stay safe and you should also check your travel insurance policy to see if your circumstances are covered by your policy. If you believe that you are covered, call your Travel Insurance Emergency Assistance contact number, where advice will be given on the next steps to take.

    If you are an uninsured independent traveller, you can find advice on what to do from the FCO , here: Support for British Nationals Abroad: A Guide

    What Disasters Aren’t Covered By Homeowners Insurance

    Your homeowners insurance probably has notable exclusions for flooding and earth movements and depending on where you live, you might face limited coverage if hail damages your property. Fortunately, there are usually other coverage options available if you think you live in an area that’s more exposed to these types of natural disasters.

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    What Benefits Can Help Me After An Earthquake

    According to Squaremouth, there are five core benefits travelers can take advantage of in the aftermath of an earthquake. These include medical, evacuation, trip interruption, and trip delay benefits.

    In the moments after an earthquake, a travel insurance policy can help travelers get assistance at the nearest emergency room available. While a travel insurance policy may not cover the cost of treatment up front, the policy can provide guarantee of payment and reimbursement for expenses, allowing the traveler to receive coverage. If an air ambulance or medical evacuation is required, medical evacuation benefits can help travelers get to the nearest medical facility to treat their injuries.

    Many policies also include a natural disaster evacuation benefit, which allows travelers to evacuate to the nearest safe place and ultimately to their home country. In nations that are more prone to natural disasters, this benefit can be useful, as the U.S. embassy will not help travelers evacuate in the aftermath of a disaster.

    So It’s All Lava And Fire Right

    AAA Insurance – Travel Insurance

    Absolutely not! Volcanoes are like bumper-size picnic hampers full of just about everything Mother Nature can throw at you. Obviously it is the big, firework display pyrotechnics of volcanic eruptions that grab the headlines, but they account for only a fraction of the dangers posed by volcanoes. Ever heard of tephra? These nasty little things are pieces of volcanic rock and solidified clumps of ash that get blasted out of a volcano when it erupts. Add acid rain and pyroclastic flows to the mix and youve got yourself a recipe for extreme danger.

    But it is the clouds of noxious gases and ash released by a volcano that are likely to cause you the most hassle. Recent eruptions in Bali and Iceland sent disruptive clouds drifting for hundred miles, grounding flights and delaying thousands of frustrated travellers.

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    Does Travel Insurance Cover Natural Disaster

    Most travel insurers cover natural disaster as long as you bought the policy before it became a ‘known event’. Cover will vary between policies.

    All the policies in our international travel insurance reviews cover medical expenses in a natural disaster. But whether you’re travelling internationally or domestically, you’re more likely to need cover for cancellation expenses, for example if you’re unable to get to the airport due to bushfire, your flight is cancelled or delayed, or you’re stuck in transit.

    In our reviews there are several insurers that may not cover these scenarios so make sure you check.

    Known events

    Insurance is intended to protect you against the unknown, so once an event becomes known, it’s generally too late to buy insurance to cover you for that specific event. When an event becomes ‘known’ is a grey area, but generally it’s when it’s publicised in the media or on official government websites. Insurers’ definitions can vary so it’s best to check with your insurer on when they cut off cover for a specific event.

    How To Keep Safe Following A Natural Catastrophe

    Here are some tips that may help if youre in a natural catastrophe:

    • Follow the advice of the local authorities and emergency services on the ground.
    • Avoid downed power lines and disaster-caused hazards.
    • Use battery-powered flashlights and lanterns rather than candles, gas lanterns or torches.
    • Following a disaster, there may be rapidly moving water that can carry infections.
    • Disasters resulting in massive structural damage can also result in exposure to chemical or biological or other contaminants .
    • In the case of earthquakes, do not return to your hotel/accommodation, or any building, if they are in any way damaged, as aftershocks could cause a collapse.
    • Move to the nearest open area away from damaged buildings, trees or roads where power lines may have fallen.
    • If you are in an area prone to landslides and mudslides , be aware of any sudden increase or decrease in water level of a stream or creek that might indicate debris flow upstream. A trickle of flowing mud may precede a larger flow. Look for tilted trees, telephone poles, fences, or walls, and for new holes or bare spots on hillsides. Listen for rumbling sounds that might indicate an approaching landslide or mudflow.

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