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Winter Sun And Winter Sports
Be Prepared For Anything
Posted on 19. October, 2017

Idyllic island escapes recently became a nightmare for many due to hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Katrina and Maria, with evacuations, power outages, and extensive damage to buildings and infrastructure. Travellers and locals alike had to be rescued, lives were lost, and many people were injured.

Recovery in the worst-affected areas - such as Barbuda which had around 90% of its buildings damaged - will take an enormous amount of time and money, and it doesn’t account for the cost of cancelled travel plans, lost possessions, and travel delays.

Natural disasters are not something any of us like to think about; we never believe it can happen to us. It’s also one of those things that many people assume will be included in every travel insurance policy. Unfortunately, just like terrorism, that cover is often limited or excluded completely.

Our Fit-4-Travel policy includes, as an optional extra, specific Natural Catastrophe cover which protects you financially in case Mother Nature goes on the rampage.

That could be a fire, flood, earthquake, explosion, tsunami, volcanic eruption, landslide, avalanche, hurricane, cyclone, or storm. It costs only a few pounds to add this extra cover and will provide even more peace of mind.


How does Natural Catastrophe cover help?

If you have a policy that excludes natural disasters, and for example you were scheduled to travel to St Maarten but now your hotel is still closed and your flight has been cancelled, you would not be able to make a claim on your insurance.

If you had booked independently, you would have to hope that the airline and hotel would provide refunds, but this can’t be guaranteed. If you had booked through a travel agent, they would be responsible for arranging refunds or an alternative holiday.

Our Natural Catastrophe cover includes cancellation, additional expenses, replacement accommodation, and travel delays* if any part of your outward, onward or return journeys are delayed, cancelled, cut short or extended as the result of a natural catastrophe. Please read our Fit-4-Travel policy wording for full details: you’ll find the sums insured and policy excesses on page 9, under ‘Optional Benefits’ in the Table of Benefits.

This is something we hope you’ll never have to make a claim for, but if you do find yourself in a crisis, it can make a world of difference to your stress levels, not to mention your bank account.


When do I need this cover?

Natural catastrophes often can’t be anticipated – if we think about winter holidays, for example, travel can also be disrupted by avalanches. Natural Catastrophe cover certainly isn’t only for sunny islands or earthquake fault lines.

If you are river cruising, the flood cover will also protect you if the rivers become flooded and your cruise is disrupted.

If you are now planning a Caribbean break for next year that falls during hurricane season (June-October) then by buying this cover now, you will be fully protected if we have a repeat of this year’s events.

Remember those floods here in the UK in December 2015 with Storm Desmond? Thousands of homes were evacuated, and travel was a huge problem in the affected areas, so even if you’re just travelling a short way to visit friends or family for the Christmas holidays, if you’ve booked public transport or paid for accommodation it’s really worthwhile having this cover then too.

You’ll find that travel insurance for local trips is very cost-effective, and it’s really important to have – not only in case of natural catastrophes, but for other cover that it provides too. Contact us to find the policy that’s most appropriate for your next trip.  

 

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*Please note, this is a summary only. Natural Catastrophe cover may apply in the following cases, but please read our policy wording (visit our Fit-4-Travel page, then click on ‘View Policy Wording’ to download) for full terms, conditions and exclusions.

1. Cancellation – any irrecoverable unused travel and accommodation costs and holiday services if the public transport on which you are booked to travel is
cancelled and you are unable to use your travel and accommodation costs and holiday services;

2. Additional Expenses – additional accommodation (room only) costs and transport expenses necessarily incurred by you up to the standard of your original booking
in reaching your booked destination at any stage of your journey, including your return to your home location if:
a) the public transport on which you are booked is delayed for more than 24 hours and no reasonable alternative is offered by the transport company to
allow you to reach your destination; or
b) the public transport on which you are booked is cancelled and an alternative is not provided within 24 hours, or in the case of connecting transport not
provided within a time frame that allows you to continue with your original itinerary;

3. Replacement Accommodation – reimbursement of additional accommodation (room only) costs due to circumstance outside of your control;

4. Travel Delay – if the public transport on which you are booked to travel is delayed or cancelled at any international departure point from or to your home
location provided you have checked in at the airport, or if you checked in online you have already travelled to the airport and eventually continue with the
journey. This benefit provides assistance with expenses that you incur when delayed at the airport.
 
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