|// (c) 2011 U.S. Travel Insurance Association|
The 6,000-mile long ash cloud caused by eruptions from Chile’s Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic chain continues to affect travelers from Argentina to Australia. With airports in several countries closed, hundreds of flights have been cancelled in South America, Australia and New Zealand. The US Travel Insurance Association (UStiA) advises that in situations such as the current volcanic ash cloud--and the Iceland volcanic cloud that stranded thousands of travelers in April, 2010--travel insurance can help.
The UStiA noted: · Most travel insurance policies provide reimbursement up to a set amount for overnight accommodations and necessities if your trip is delayed or interrupted due to airport closure, or flight cancellation because of weather-related events.
If you have a connecting flight and your checked baggage is delayed beyond a specified period of time, many travel insurance policies will reimburse for necessities purchased to tide you over.
If you miss a cruise departure, or a tour, hotel or resort stay because of weather-caused flight delays or airport closures, travel insurance will typically reimburse the nonrefundable portion of your payments.
If you need to reschedule your flight, find emergency hotel accommodations, or even notify folks back home, the 24 hour helpline that comes with most comprehensive travel insurance policies can assist you with these and other services. Weather and natural conditions can be volatile and can affect travelers at any time.
The UStiA advised travelers to be prepared for unforeseen events that can play havoc with travel plans. The association also advised that travelers must purchase their policy prior to the natural or weather event in order to be covered. So it’s always wise to include travel insurance when making your original trip arrangements.