Popular holiday destinations; La Palma, Tenerife and Gran Canaria have been hit by 50 earthquakes over the last three days. So far, the earthquakes have measured between 1.5 and 2.7 on the Richter scale and have not been felt by tourists due to them occurring at around 17 miles below sea level.
There are fears the Cumbre Vieja Volcano situated in La Palma – the most active in the Canaries – may erupt.
It has not yet been confirmed but scientists have warned, should the Volcano erupt, it is likely to collapse into the sea and cause a Tsunami which would affect the Southern and Western Coasts of Spain – and possibly further afield.
With half term just around the corner it is no wonder people who have booked holidays to the Canaries are feeling anxious and may be looking to cancel their trip – but what cover can you expect from your travel insurance?
Travel Insurance Cover
For those travelling to the Canary Islands we recommend reading your policy wording carefully, as, depending on the cover you’ve purchased, you may be able to claim.
Many standard policies will not provide cover for Force Majeure* situations such as this, and so your ‘disinclination to travel’ to the Canaries because of these issues may not be covered. However, if you’ve purchased a travel insurance policy, you may be able to claim for the following;
Before you arrive at your Destination:
Under the Cancellation section of your policy you may have cover if the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against travel to your destination. The change in FCO advice must have occurred after you purchased your policy.
Alternatively you may have specific Force Majeure cover, which can cover you to cancel your trip if your outward journey is delayed by over 24 hours because of Force Majeure.
After you’ve arrived at your Destination:
If you are injured by or during a natural disaster, every travel insurance policy should provide cover for you to seek medical attention.
However it is worth noting that, unless medically necessary, your travel insurance is not likely to cover you to come home early following a natural disaster. In the event of a natural disaster during your trip, you should speak to your Tour Operator or local British Consulate Office to get advice on whether they’re evacuating tourists.
Force Majeure cover can also pay for reasonable accommodation and travel expenses, if your return journey is delayed over 24 hours due to Force Majeure.
Before travelling to Spain, or the Canary Islands, please visit the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for their latest travel advice.
*Force Majeure will cover for climatic conditions and acts of nature – the section in which the wildfires in California will fall into.