The impact of the Japan quake on travelMarch 11th, 2011
Following the news of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan today, certainly, our first thoughts have been for the people of Japan and for all those traveling within the country. As we continue to stay updated on the news coming out of that region, and attempt to reach out to customers who may be affected, we’re also aware of the broader impact of these events on the state of general travel.
As the day progresses, news of delays and cancellations at airports, train stations, and ports of call in several locations has mounted. Travelers whose plans include departures, arrivals, or connections through affected areas such as Tokyo and Honolulu should double-check their travel insurance coverage to be sure that they fully understand the benefits provided in case of a delay. In general, travel delay coverage becomes effective after 6 hours and can provide reimbursement for incidentals such as food and lodging; some policies may also help with rebooking fees, though in this instance, many of the major carriers appear to be waiving those fees for passengers whose plans are impacted by the quake and/or tsunami.
In addition to delays and cancellations resulting from these events, travelers who plan to depart for Japan within the next few months may be concerned about damage to hotels and transportation hubs. If you purchased a travel insurance policy prior to the earthquake, you may be covered for some of those damages. For example, if your accommodations are still uninhabitable at the time of your scheduled trip, many insurance policies will allow you to cancel your travel plans.
As always, we encourage travelers who have questions about their specific policies to call our Customer Care Center at 800-487-4722.