Four people have died and a further 200 are injured after an earthquake hit the popular tourist city of Hualien, Taiwan on Wednesday 7th February 2018.
Infrastructure has been badly damaged and around 800 residents have sought shelter in nearby community buildings. It is believed 143 people are missing, and are thought to still be inside the Yunman City building and rescuers are working to try and find them.
Earthquakes are not uncommon in Taiwan, but with a magnitude of 6.4 – this one has shocked residents and tourists.
Understandably, those who are looking to travel to Taiwan may now want to cancel their holiday and tourists already in the city may wish to come home early – so what cover can you expect from your travel insurance?
Unless your policy includes cover for force majeure or for ‘cancellation for any cause beyond your reasonable control’, it is not likely you will be covered for cancellation due to the earthquake. It is worth noting, cancellation cover will only be available if your accommodation or travel plans have been affected but not for disinclination to travel.
Tourists already in the city should speak to their tour operator or travel agent if their accommodation or travel plans have been disrupted. If you have booked your trip independently and have cover for force majeure, your travel insurance may arrange alternative transport or accommodation. You will not be covered for curtailment (cutting your trip short) unless it is medical necessary.
Policies purchased from Wednesday onwards will not provide cover for force majeure related to the earthquake or after effects as it is a ‘known event’.