Natural Disasters - Does your Travel Insurance Cover You?

by : Keith McGregor

Whilst the FCO will be giving out important travel advice and, in extremis, will have contingency plans in place to extract British nationals should it ever be deemed necessary, as occurred in 2006 in the Lebanon, most of us will have to rely on tour operators and local representatives to look after us when on holiday. This is where a good travel insurance policy comes into play which, when it all starts to go wrong on holiday, you can fall back on to get you out of trouble.

Returning to the fires raging in Greece, and this applies to any natural disaster in other regions of the world, most travel insurance policies will provide a level of specific cover that can be used to lessen the impact on the insured holiday maker. This cover will range from paying for alternative accommodation should the existing accommodation become uninhabitable to cancelling your trip before you travel or curtailing the trip once away. Before making such a claim, it would be normal for your travel insurance provider to expect the tour operator to provide alternative accommodation free of any extra charges or offer a refund before making any settlement.

Cover should also extend, but do check the small print as policies do differ, to providing emergency medical cover and repatriation in the event that you or your travelling companions are injured or worse. This is no different from suffering a road traffic accident but becomes more complex when incidents are caused as a result of civil commotion and unrest or, say, a terrorist attack. Some policies provide cover for all eventualities but you will have to pay a hefty premium for this and you will have to weigh up the risks of it happening and whether you should really be there in the first place if looking for cover at this end of the travel insurance spectrum.