Alaska Volcano Disrupts Flights: Squaremouth Explains Travel Insurance for Affected Travelers

The eruption of Alaska´s Pavlof Volcano has caused flight delays and cancellations for thousands of travelers, according to Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison website.

Travelers whose flights have been canceled due to the eruption may be able to claim their full prepaid and non-refundable trip cost, depending on their policy. Most standard Trip Cancellation policies include coverage for volcanic eruptions that prevent travel.

In most cases, travelers must meet a minimum flight delay before they are covered to cancel, typically ranging between 12-48 hours. Travelers whose flights are canceled outright must meet their policy´s time requirement before they are able to make a Trip Cancellation claim.

Travelers who have already left home, and their connecting flight to Alaska has been delayed or canceled, may be covered to cancel the remainder of their trip.

Many policies include Trip Interruption coverage for inclement weather and natural disasters, which reimburses travelers for the prepaid portions of their trip that they missed. In order for this benefit to be triggered, most policies require the cessation of flights to the destination for at least 12-48 hours. The Trip Interruption benefit can also provide reimbursement for the additional flight expenses to return home early.

Travelers who choose to wait for a new flight to continue on with their trip may be eligible to recoup prepaid, nonrefundable expenses from the missed portion of their trip, such as prebooked tours or accommodations. In order to be eligible for reimbursement, the eruption must meet their policy´s requirements for weather or natural disaster coverage within the Trip Interruption benefit.

For travelers who are going to Alaska for a cruise or tour, additional transportation expenses to catch up to their trip may be covered under the Missed Connection benefit, which typically requires a minimum of a 3-6 hour delay.

For travelers stranded at an airport because of a delayed or canceled flight, the Travel Delay benefit may provide some relief. Travel Delay provides reimbursement for necessary additional expenses travelers incur during an unscheduled delay, including meals and accommodations. Most Travel Delay benefits cover any delay of a common carrier, this can include delays resulting from the eruption. In order for this benefit to be triggered, the traveler must meet a minimum length of delay, typically 3-12 hours.

Any travel insurance purchased on or after March 27, the day the Pavlof Volcano erupted, will not provide coverage for losses related to the eruption.

Squaremouth is an online company that compares travel insurance products from virtually every major travel insurance provider in the United States. Using Squaremouth´s comparison engine and third party customer reviews, travelers can research and compare insurance products side-by-side.