Travel Insurance & Earthquakes: What You Need to Know

earthquakes and travel insurance

Over the past years, it’s felt like there have been more natural disasters than usual in the Western hemisphere. This actually isn’t the case, though the magnitude of the occurring storms and earthquakes have been greater than average. Regardless of the data, these disasters have been incredibly jarring and painful for many.

It’s easy to get scared and to avoid travel to parts of the world prone to natural disasters. The problem is, that idea rules out most of the world for various reasons. And what’s more, it’s really not necessary – we know the frequency of natural disasters isn’t actually increasing, and the odds of you being in a place where disaster strikes is incredibly slim.

Rather than swearing off travel, we highly recommend you choose to plan carefully instead for your next trip. We only have so much time to take in the world and experience different cultures and perspectives – it would be a shame to miss out because of (very likely unnecessary) fear. Get expert travel insurance tips for traveling to earthquake-prone destinations below.

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Purchase Travel Insurance

One of the most important ways you can prepare to go to a region of the world that experiences earthquakes is to purchase travel insurance. At the bare minimum, it will give you peace of mind –and the ability to cancel without losing money. Worth it! In the unlikely event of a natural disaster, you’ll be glad you took the extra precautions with travel insurance. To start, here’s what you need to know about earthquakes before you plan your travel:

1) While they can strike anywhere, it is much more likely that they will strike near a fault line, in areas like New Zealand, Japan, and Indonesia.

2) Significant earthquakes generally only happen a few times each year, so the odds of experiencing one are very low. We’re here to help you select which travel insurance policy is right for your trip.

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Types of coverage you’ll want to have and why:

1. Trip Cancellation Due to Natural Disasters

If you’d like the flexibility of cancelling for any reason of your choosing, even foreseen events, Cancel for Any Reason coverage would reimburse you for a good portion of your trip if you decide to cancel your trip and stay home.This is a big one people often opt out of, yet it’s especially important when traveling to an earthquake prone region. Make sure your policy includes cancellation coverage for if a Natural Disaster or emergency, such as an earthquake, occurs at your destination.

2. Emergency Medical Expense & Medical Evacuation Coverage

Many don’t know their health insurance likely won’t cover them while abroad, even in emergency situations. This means even if you sustain a minor injury while traveling, whether as a result of an earthquake or not, you could incur high medical bills due to lack of insurance coverage for emergency assistance. We recommend getting medical travel insurance no matter where you’re traveling to, but this is especially true when heading to earthquake prone regions.

3. Don’t Wait to Buy Insurance

If you purchase travel insurance before your trip and an unexpected earthquake strikes, you’ll likely be covered for what is considered an “unforeseen natural disaster”. If you wait until you’re on your trip, that may not be the case. And, of course, make sure earthquakes are covered under your travel insurance plan. Most cover them under natural disasters, but not all, so be sure to double check. If you only take one piece of advice from us, this might be the more important one: Don’t wait until the last minute to buy travel insurance. Why? Once an earthquake becomes a “known event,” any loss claim you make as a result of it will no longer be covered by insurance. This could happen once the earthquake takes place or even earlier, if they’re able to forecast it.

If an earthquake does hit while you’re abroad, and you need reimbursement for medical attention you received as a result, don’t forget these details to file a successful claim:

1) Contact your insurer before making purchases to ensure what you’re buying is covered by your insurance policy
2) Keep receipts for all purchases to increase your chances of being reimbursed and limit the amount of time the claim will take

To find the best travel insurance for you, check out our instant quote tool here. We’ll be able to look at where you’re headed and when you’re going. Based on these travel details, we’ll offer what kinds of coverage are recommended for your particular trip. And if you have any questions, we’re always here to support you as you make travel insurance decisions. Reach out to us at any time!

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