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Hawaii's Volcano Eruption May Not Be Covered Under Travel Insurance

If you're thinking about canceling your trip to the Big Island, your travel insurance policy may not back you up

The Kilauea volcano erupted on Hawaii's Big Island last week following a magnitude 5.0 earthquake.

Since that eruption, the volcano has been shooting out fountains of lava, destroying more than 30 homes and forcing more than 1,700 people to evacuate.

Scientists say it's unclear how long the eruption will continue and that's leaving many travelers in a panic.

If you're thinking about canceling your trip to the Big Island, your travel insurance policy may not back you up.

According to Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison site, the volcano isn't in an area where many tourists frequent and hotels and resorts shouldn't be affected.

But what if there's a travel advisory? 

For example, American Airlines issued a travel advisory for people traveling to Hilo or Kona, Hawaii.  If you're scheduled to travel between May 5 and May 13, American Airlines will waive the change fee.

Squaremouth said this advisory would not qualify for a trip cancellation benefit under a travel insurance policy.

We're told canceling a trip by choice typically isn't covered.

In order for an insurance policy to reimburse the cost of the trip, the traveler must have been prevented from going.

If you're simply afraid to go to the Big Island and the thought of the volcano is putting a damper on your vacation vibes, unfortunately, fear of enjoyment is not covered either.

Unless there's an evacuation notice in the city you're traveling to, you will likely be on the hook if you cancel.

So what does your travel insurance cover?

Family or medical emergencies are standard.

Premium insurance policies are more expensive, but many allow you to cancel for any reason, so you may want to consider that option.

Do your research on the policy. Travel agents may have preferred relationships with only a couple of insurance providers, but there could be better ones out there.

You can visit comparison sites like squaremouth.com. There you will find more than a hundred policies from many companies.

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