The Philippine’s most active volcano, which has been spewing ash and lava since early last week, has erupted. A mushroom-shaped cloud can be seen above Mount Mayon and the surrounding communities have been covered by an ash cloud.
Following the eruption, The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology raised the alert to level 4. Locals, tourists and airlines have been advised to avoid the ‘danger zone’ which is now set at a 5 mile perimeter around Mount Mayon.
Those who are already in the Philippines must note that their travel insurance will not cover them to come home early (curtailment) following the eruption unless it is medically necessary.
However, if you didn’t know about the volcano eruption before you booked your holiday and provided the cancellation was wholly necessary and unavoidable, then yes, a claim would be considered under some policies – but, be aware that this cover is not standardly available so check your policy.
If your accommodation or flight has been affected by the eruption, we advise to check your policy wording carefully and look for ‘force majeure’ cover as you may be able to claim for cancellation. Some policies will offer cover for force majeure (climatic conditions and acts of nature) as standard whereas others may offer it as an ‘add on’ or ‘extension’.
Tourists who are looking to travel to the area should be aware that any travel insurance policy purchased after the eruption will not offer force majeure cover as the event has already taken place and is deemed ‘a known event’. Which does hi-light the importance of buying your travel insurance as soon as you book your holiday.
To ensure you are not caught out by an unforeseen event, like the Mount Mayon eruption, in the future we recommend looking for a policy that offers cover for not only force majeure but also, ‘cancellation for any cause beyond your reasonable control’.