What Travel Insurance Covers: Three Common Natural Exclusions

What will travel insurance cover? These situations may be off the list.

Do you know what travel insurance covers in the case of a known event?

When many international travelers buy a travel insurance policy, they feel comfortable in what travel insurance covers. Through a simple purchase, every traveler can go forth with confidence that their insurance provider will help them in many common situations, from trip cancellation scenarios to lost luggage while flying around the world.

However, what many travelers are not aware of is the fact that travel insurance also comes with a number of exclusions. What travel insurance won't cover are events that can be "reasonably foreseen," or those disasters that have a higher propensity of taking place after an initial outbreak. Travelers who purchase their insurance policy after a "known event" takes place are often disappointed to find their travel insurance is rather limited in their overall coverage. 

Before planning a trip in the wake of an international incident, travelers must consider what travel insurance covers, and where it falls short. Here are three situations where travel insurance may not cover travelers who purchase after an event takes place.

Will Travel Insurance Cover Airline Strikes?

Throughout the last two years, labor strikes in France and Germany have cost carriers hundreds of thousands of dollars, while stranding passengers across Europe trying to get to their final destination. The situation has gotten so bad that lawmakers are now calling on the unions and striking workers to announce their plans well ahead of time, as well as pay for their disruptions. 

Because the unions often elect to announce their strike dates days before walking off the job, travel insurance companies may not cover plans purchased after the announced dates. Labor disruptions are one of the common situations that become a "known event," and travel insurance may not cover it when purchased after a st

Travelers who are concerned about what travel insurance covers should carefully consider purchasing their travel insurance plan at the onset of their planning phase, in order to benefit from flexible plan benefits like Cancel for Any Reason. Otherwise, travelers could be stuck if strikes stop their trip abruptly.

Will Travel Insurance Cover Natural Disasters?

In 2015, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake shook Nepal to its core, killing thousands of people and wounding many more. In the days afterward, travelers who were visiting the historic country attempted to flee through all possible venues, only to be frustrated by a lack of options and opportunities to exit. 

Certain natural disasters, such as volcano eruptions and earthquakes, are hard to predict and nearly impossible to prevent. On the converse, hurricanes often develop early and come with plenty of warning. Regardless of how a natural disaster takes place, the outcome is often the same: once named, insurance providers consider it a "known event." While travel insurance often covers these situations, it will not extend to aftermath events tied to the original natural disaster.

Those who are concerned about a natural disaster or storm affecting their plans should consider purchasing a travel insurance policy well ahead of their planned travel. When purchased ahead of time, travel insurance will provide full coverage on trip cancellation or trip interruption. When purchased afterward, travel insurance will often exclude any claims made as a result of their natural disaster. 

Will Travel Insurance Cover Acts of Terrorism?

Over the last year, travelers have been on the front lines of many horrible acts of terror in cities around the world. From attacks in France, to "active shooter" events in the United States, travelers often look to travel insurance to help them in the worst situations of all. 

Although many believe they understand what travel insurance covers, they may also be frustrated when their policies have provisions for terrorism as well. While travel insurance will often cover the aftermath of terrorism, such as evacuation and medical care, some providers will count an act of terrorism as a "known event." Therefore, travelers destined for a country after an attack may not receive coverage for another attack if they purchase their insurance after an attack takes place. 

Those who are traveling to politically sensitive parts of the world (such as Egypt or Turkey), or are traveling to a nation which has previously been rocked by terrorism, should consider purchasing their travel insurance plans early. Those who wait until the last minute may be limited by their coverage options 

By understanding what qualifies as a "known event," travelers can make better decisions about what travel insurance covers, and when to purchase their travel insurance policy. In many situations, buying a plan sooner rather than later can save money and frustration in the worst case scenario.