At least 25 are dead and hundreds more injured after a volcano erupted in Guatemala on Sunday 3rd June 2018.
Volcan de Fuego (Volcano of Fire) is one of Central America’s most active volcanos and this is the deadliest eruption in decades.
Guatemala’s President, Jimmy Morales, has declared three days of national mourning.
The volcano, located 25 miles southwest of the capital, Guatemala City, is close to popular tourist destinations. Both residents and tourists have been advised to wear face masks to protect against the falling ash and smoke.
Holidaymakers intending to travel to and from Guatemala should be aware that the main airport, La Aurora, is closed due to the ashfall. The UK Foreign Office is advising Brits to listen to the news and recent broadcasts for the latest travel updates.
So, what cover can you expect from your travel insurance?
Those travelling to Guatemala should check their flight schedule before heading to the airport as cancellations are likely due to the airport closure. If your flight has been cancelled, it is the airlines responsibility to reschedule your flight.
If you are already abroad and your flight home has been cancelled, although it is the airlines responsibility to reschedule the flight, your travel insurance may cover the cost of additional accommodation and expenses until you are able to return home – as long as the policy offers Force Majeure cover.
The Force Majeure section in your travel insurance policy wording covers for climatic conditions, such as a volcano eruption. Most travel insurance policies will not cover force majeure as standard so, it’s worth keeping an eye open for one that will or alternatively a policy that offers a Force Majeure extension.
If you wish to cancel your holiday you should make sure your travel insurance policy covers for ‘cancellation for any cause beyond reasonable control’. It is important to note; travel insurance will not cover cancellation because you no longer wish to travel to Guatemala – this is seen as a ‘disinclination to travel’.
Travel insurance policies purchased after Sunday 3rd June 2018 will not offer Force Majeure cover for this particular volcanic eruption as is now a ‘known event’.