Going abroad? Protect your trip with travel insurance

All About Natural Disaster Cover in Travel Insurance

By Laxita Gautam
  | Published: 26 August 2021

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Going abroad? Protect your trip with travel insurance

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You are finally going on that long-awaited trip you have been planning for a while now. Bags are packed, the flight is sorted, hotel booking is on point – you have taken care of everything and have a backup if things go south. But then your flight gets delayed because a tropical storm suddenly shows up unannounced. A natural disaster can easily and rather quickly put a damper on your plans. These are the ideal situations where your travel insurance can come in handy though. The travel insurance natural disaster cover is essentially a cover designed to compensate the policyholder in case an unannounced natural disaster leads to travel inconvenience, loss, or damages. Let’s acquire a deeper and clearer understanding of the same.

What is Travel Insurance Natural Disaster Cover?

Travel insurance covers several unfortunate losses that may surface during or before your trip. A travel insurance natural disaster cover is responsible to make up for those losses and damages that have risen because a natural disaster struck. Natural disaster covers are a part of comprehensive travel insurance plans. This means that you do not have to buy this cover separately like other add-on covers such as terrorism or adventure sports covers. But there can be several folds of terms and conditions when it comes to what is covered and excluded in a travel insurance natural disaster cover.

What is Defined as a Natural Disaster in Travel Insurance?

Before you can understand what is covered by a travel insurance natural disaster cover and to what extent, you must understand what is considered a natural disaster. Any natural, weather or geological events capable of causing huge damages that are out of mankind’s control are known as natural disasters. The most popular examples can be storms, earthquakes, floods, avalanches, etc. A travel insurance plan that covers natural disaster damages generally offers protection against most kinds of disasters. Since these are geological events, natural disasters can differ for each country and location. Tropical storms and landslides are common in the UAE but some others like Japan would be more susceptible to earthquakes. Depending on the situation and need at hand, the travel insurance natural disaster cover offers optimum protection and compensation.

What is an Announced Natural Disaster?

One of the most important things related to travel insurance natural disaster cover is the “announced natural disaster” or “known events”. While something like an earthquake comes to light after it has already struck, other natural disasters can be detected beforehand. Such disasters, when detected and notified of, are known as announced natural disasters. Natural disaster cover in travel insurance does not cover for damages that are caused by an announced natural disaster. However, not losses go uncovered even in these situations.

Let’s study an example. You have a flight to the Maldives in 4 days and suddenly the possibility of a thunderstorm gets announced. Here, if your flight gets canceled, travel insurance natural disaster cover will probably compensate you for the monetary loss. Let’s assume that the flights have not been cancelled but the weather department advised against traveling in such a situation. If you still choose to travel and happens to lose baggage, get stuck somewhere, or incur any other kind of loss due to the announced disaster, insurance will not cover it.

In short, the natural disaster cover will only cover potential natural disasters that may happen but show no sign or warning yet. For example, if a flood hits the country that you are visiting when you are already on the trip, the travel insurance will cover the necessary expenses and losses.

Inclusions of a Travel Insurance Natural Disaster Cover

Natural disaster insurance offers protection in almost all areas that generic comprehensive travel insurance generally covers. Following are the benefits that travel insurance natural disaster cover provides in the events of damages and loss incurred by a natural calamity:

  • Trip Cancellation Due to Natural Disaster: There can be several reasons for which you may have to cancel your trip. Following are some of the situations for which trip cancellation is covered by travel insurance natural disaster covers:
    • Trip cancellation due to damages incurred by your permanent or current resident in the UAE due to a natural disaster.
    • Trip cancellation because your accommodation arrangements fell through due to a natural disaster in the country you were visiting.
    • Trip cancellation because flights were canceled because of a sudden natural disaster in your country or the one that you were visiting.
  • Missed Connection Flights: If the country or area from which you need to board the connecting flight is struck by a calamity, you may miss your flight. The natural disaster offers compensation for such cases as well.
  • Trip Interruption or Delay and Natural Calamities: This benefit kicks in when you are already on your trip. Any reason that results in trip cancellation can also result in a trip interruption. If you have to cut your visit short due to a sudden natural disaster, the travel insurance natural disaster cover will offer compensation for the financial loss for the hotel bookings and other planned activities like a cruise. Some insurance companies may add further conditions to this benefit. The compensation is only offered if you have to miss out on at least 50% of your total trip duration.
  • Medical Treatment and Evacuation Due to a Natural Disaster: Any emergency medical expenses incurred due to a natural disaster when you are on the trip already are covered by this insurance. It can include hospitalization expenses, hospital cash benefits, and more. If the natural disaster and your medical condition require evacuation to the home country, the insurance plan will cover expenses for that as well.
  • Non-Medical Emergencies: There can be cases where evacuation is mandatory and urgent but not because of any medical reasons. The evacuation benefit also applies if the scale of a natural calamity requires emergency evacuation on the government’s orders. These benefits and situations are classified as non-medical emergencies.
  • Stay Extension: There can be scenarios where instead of evacuating the country, you may have to extend your stay because of a natural disaster. It could be that flights are canceled due to a storm but the country is safe to stay in. Here, if you have to spend additionally on accommodation due to a natural disaster, the travel insurance natural disaster cover will compensate.

Exclusions of Travel Insurance Natural Disaster Cover

  • Expenses incurred after the natural disaster become a known event. You will be covered for immediate loss and damages that you face right when the disaster strikes but not beyond that.
  • Any expenses beyond the assured sum or the daily limit/sub-limits of the plan benefits.
  • Voluntary cancellation of the trip by the policyholder
  • Cancellations due to weather conditions that are considered bad but not classified as a natural disaster.
  • Natural disasters that are not covered by your plan specifically. It is important to remember that not all travel insurance plans recognized natural disasters.

Conclusion

If you buy a travel insurance plan that does not cover the natural disaster, you may end up leaving a huge hole in the coverage. Insurance is essentially against unknown dangers and natural disasters are one of the biggest examples of the same. So, you must buy a travel insurance plan with natural disaster cover. Just make sure that you have studied all the terms and conditions that are applied to this particular cover and the rest of the policy as well. You must know exactly what damages and losses are covered by the travel insurance natural disaster cover and to what extent. Also examine the different natural disaster that your plan covers and match them with potential ones you may face. This way you can expertly plan your trip and save on a lot of excess expenses that can be avoided easily.

Laxita Gautam
Laxita Gautam137 Posts

Senior Content Writer | She functions on classic British fiction, Japanese manga, and strong americanos. Laxita is tailor-made to create engaging, interactive pieces that offer simplified insights into complex subjects.