Natural disasters such as wildfires, earthquakes and floods show no signs of lessening because of human-caused global warming and climate change. Whatever your thoughts on the subject what we should note is the number of natural disasters that are on the rise each year. The top three natural disasters in 2022 were floods, storms, and earthquakes.
Over time, we’ve learned where and when different types of natural disasters take place. For example, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur around the rim of the Pacific Ocean (the ring of fire). Also, hurricanes and tropical storms not only arise across the Southern Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. They occur during during hurricane season between June – November. So, it’s advisable to travel in a different direction. Although, if your U-Turn takes you to a Greek Island, Italy, Spain, or Turkey during the summer holidays you may be confronted with a heatwave.
Today, scientists forecast that the record-breaking heatwaves experienced this July in Southern Europe will become the norm for summer -by 2035- for future years to come. Sadly, as extreme temperatures in Europe arise in naturally dry environments there is a higher chance of wildfires taking place.
In response, sun worshipers should take precautions. People 65+ living with medication conditions – or not – should consider cooler destinations like the beautiful beaches in the Baltics. Also, we should all refer to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) website for up-to-date travel advice, to pinpoint a suitable holiday destination. Contacting our tour operator when a natural disaster appears is another wise move before we leave home.
On balance, as the planet heats up and the number of natural disasters increase, we need to know which travel insurance policies can give us the freedom to travel, with confidence.
Is cover provided if I cancel my holiday due to a natural disaster?
Disinclination to travel would not be covered. However, booking package holidays and last-minuet trips do have benefits…
The tour operator you booked a package holiday with will deal with ‘package’ travellers’ costs. Whether the holiday was booked in advance or last-minute, all-inclusive holidays and package trips provide legal protection.
Last-minute holidays and flexible flights
If you did book a last-minute holiday with a flexible airline/tour operator any ‘flexi flights’ or ‘open tickets’ purchased can be altered because they allow you to make changes or cancellations post purchase. Although, do check if there is a small fee to pay.
Plus, the travel operator will know what last-minute holidays are still available to replace the original holiday. With reference to travel insurance, you may be able to change the dates and destinations on a single trip policy – if no claim was made – after booking a new trip.
Independent travellers might be faced with costs if their hotels and transportation were booked separately – if they’re not picked up by the local authority or tour operators. This may be because the flights are still running, and the accommodation is still open for visitors.
How does travel insurance provide cover?
Many policies include some form of natural disaster/catastrophe cover.
Each policy will vary, but many are likely to pick up the following:
- Cancellation/Curtailment costs (associated with fire) should include pre-booked accommodation.
- While abroad, additional travel and accommodation costs.
What is a natural disaster?
From referring to the policy wordings for P J Hayman’s Travel Plus and Free Spirit products a natural disaster is an event such as:
- Forest fire
- Volcanic eruption
What cover does travel insurance provide for a natural disaster?
Travel Risks (section L) cover:
- The limits on our Travel Plus Policy are up to £750 Premier cover or £1,500 Premier Plus cover for these additional expenses.
- The limits on our Free Spirit policy are up to £750 for these additional expenses.
Cancellation & Curtailment Cover (section A & D) under both policies:
- Free Spirit: £2,500 Super / £5,000 Super Duper
- Travel Plus: £5,000 Premier / £10,000 Premier Plus
Unrecoverable costs are covered – if you’re forced to cancel your trip before it starts or curtail your trip after you left because the following happens, which could not have been foreseen:
Extended Journey Disruption Cover (section I) if any of the following happens:
You’ve had to move to other accommodation on arrival or at any other time during the trip because you can’t use your booked accommodation due to a natural disaster, landslide, or an outbreak of food poisoning.
Travel Plus (Premier & Premier Plus) and Free Spirit (Super Duper) policy will pay up to £1,000 for additional accommodation (room only) and transport costs that incurred up to the standard of your original booking, which you cannot recover from any other source.
What should I do if I’m on holiday and I’m affected by a natural disaster?
- Contact your travel operator, airline, or travel provider for assistance. They should help you return home to the UK.
- Remember that if a natural disaster/event is under the catastrophe section cover will be provided. However, the policy wording on each policy may differ – so check to understand what cover can be provided.
- Understand that an insurance policy is only designed to consider costs that cannot be reclaimed through other means – there is no cover for any amounts recoverable or refundable from any source.
- Remember that travel insurance covers only unforeseen and unknown risks at the time of booking a trip.
Medical Emergencies Caused by Natural Disasters
Whichever policy you hold, if you need medical assistance due to a natural disaster, call the emergency telephone number with the policy wording.
- The limit on our Travel Plus policy for both Premier and Premier Plus cover levels is £10,000,000.
- The limit on our Free Spirit policy for Super cover is £5,000,000. For Super Duper cover is £10,000,000.
P J Hayman policy wordings
Travel Plus is a unique policy that offers more!
Find all the features and cover levels on a Travel Plus policy.
Read the policy wording in full.
Free Spirit is designed for people living with medical conditions and disabilities.
Discover all the benefits and view the cover levels with a Free Spirit policy.
Download the policy wording in full.