Can I cancel my trip if my airline stops traveling to my destination due to the Icelandic volcano?

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The Current Event Information Centers are designed to keep travelers informed about current events that may affect international travel and the travel insurance industry. The Information Centers are populated with provider position statements, FAQ’s, and travel warnings and are updated by Squaremouth’s team of industry experts.

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Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano erupted on Saturday, August 30, 2014. Any travel insurance policies purchased on or after that date, will not have coverage under the regular trip cancellation or interruption benefits.

Travelers who purchased a policy prior to the eruption, may have coverage if an event related to the volcano causes airlines to cancel flights.

Depending on the policy, travelers may be able to claim for cancellation due to natural disaster or inclement weather. In order for an eruption to be covered, the event must meet the policies requirements under the cancellation benefit and the policy must be purchased before the eruption. After that time, it would no longer be considered "unforeseen".

Additionally, some policies have an optional benefit called, "all events upgrade". While there are some limitations, this benefit provides 95% reimbursement if the trip is cancelled for a reason out of the traveler's control. This may be applied to travelers who are unable to reach their destination due to an unforeseen cancellation by the travel supplier.

This benefit differs from the cancel for any reason upgrade because it requires travelers to provide a reason that is out of their control. It will not cover travelers who cancel out of fear. Travelers must purchase a policy within 21 days of their first trip deposit in order to be eligible for this coverage.

Specific exclusions apply to the all events upgrade benefit, including “a governmental regulation or prohibition”. While a general travel warning may not fall under this exclusion, an official restriction by the FAA, may be excluded.

Canceling a trip due to the fear of eruption of Bardarbunga is not a covered reason under travel insurance cancellation benefits. If a traveler is worried about visiting a country currently experiencing volcanic tremors, Squaremouth recommends purchasing the cancel for any reason benefit.

*Allianz restricts coverage for the Bardarbunga volcano for any policies purchased on or after August 22nd, 2014. Read Allianz's official position statement here:

*Answers to travel insurance FAQs included in this Information Center are subject to change at any time as conditions related to the volcano change.

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Written by:
Holly Valenty
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