For information relating to policies purchased prior to 17 June 2021, please check the Policy Wording provided with your purchase. You can contact us if you need this sent to you again. For policies purchased from 17 June 2021 please see below.
Yes, cover is available if a natural catastrophe such as an earthquake, cyclone, flood, volcano, or tsunami affects your travel plans and/or injures you.
However, you need to have purchased your policy before these powerful forces of nature become a known event. So if you’ve done that, we’ll do everything we can to help you.
What is a ‘natural catastrophe’?
While the last thing we want to do is to talk about all the nasty weather that could come your way, it’s important for you to know what we define as a ‘natural catastrophe’ in our policy. The following are considered natural catastrophes: hurricane, tornado, tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption, storm, flood, landslide, avalanche, fire, high water or explosion.
Please be sure to read your policy carefully, as epidemics/pandemics are not considered a natural catastrophe in our policy coverage. If you’re looking for information on our Coronavirus (COVID-19) cover, check out our What’s covered for Coronavirus article which includes the terms, benefits and exclusions.
Does World Nomads travel insurance cover medical expenses of a natural catastrophe?
Yes. You’ll first need to contact your private medical insurance (PMI) provider (if applicable) and follow their emergency medical procedures and their claims procedures. Cover available under this travel insurance policy is in excess of any cover provided by your PMI. Also, provide us with details of your PMI provider to help us coordinate your care. Where your PMI provider does not cover you, contact our 24/7 Emergency Assistance team before incurring medical costs. You must let us know how you are going and keep in contact with our EA team until you no longer require treatment or assistance.
If you’re unlucky enough to be injured by a natural catastrophe, our Emergency Assistance team can help you get to the nearest medical centre, so you can receive the medical attention you need. If you’re so badly hurt that the Emergency Assistance team decides you need to go home, they can organise to transport you home. However, once you’re home, we’re not able to cover ongoing medical costs. You can find out further information here on how we help travellers with overseas medical treatment.
Does World Nomads travel insurance cover pre-trip cancellation if a natural catastrophe affects the area where I’m travelling to?
Unfortunately, there’s no cover on the Standard Plan policy for cancellation expenses if your trip is cancelled before you get to travel. However, if you’re on the Explorer Plan policy and the Travel Advice Unit of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or a similar body issues a warning advising against all travel or all but essential travel to the country or specific area or event to which you were booked to travel, then cover is available as long as the policy and the affected travel arrangements were bought before the event.
If my trip is interrupted, what can I claim for?
If you’re travelling on the Explorer Plan, and you’re caught up in a natural catastrophe, we can help you get out of the area you’re in and to the nearest safe location when the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or similar body recommends evacuation from that area, as long as the policy and the affected travel arrangements were bought before the event.
If I come home early, can I get a refund on the rest of my policy?
As the policy is outside of its cooling-off period and you’ve travelled on it, you’re eligible for a refund for only that part of the premium for the unused period of insurance, provided that you are not making any claims on the policy. You are welcome to make a claim for any additional expenses you might have incurred; however, no refund will be provided.
How do I claim?
Funnily, we get asked this a lot, so here’s something we prepared earlier: a step by step guide on how to claim. If you have questions about a claim, contact our Claims team.
How do I get help?
It’s important that you contact the Emergency Assistance team as soon as you can so that they can help you out. Their details can also be found on your Certificate of Insurance.
How to keep safe following a natural catastrophe?
Here are some tips that may help if you’re in a natural catastrophe:
- Follow the advice of the local authorities and emergency services on the ground.
- Avoid downed power lines and disaster-caused hazards.
- Use battery-powered flashlights and lanterns rather than candles, gas lanterns or torches.
- Following a disaster, there may be rapidly moving water that can carry infections.
- Disasters resulting in massive structural damage can also result in exposure to chemical or biological or other contaminants (e.g. asbestos).
- In the case of earthquakes, do not return to your hotel/accommodation, or any building, if they are in any way damaged, as aftershocks could cause a collapse.
- Move to the nearest open area (oval, park) away from damaged buildings, trees or roads where power lines may have fallen.
- If you are in an area prone to landslides and mudslides (e.g. very steep slopes, canyons, high rainfall zones), be aware of any sudden increase or decrease in water level of a stream or creek that might indicate debris flow upstream. A trickle of flowing mud may precede a larger flow. Look for tilted trees, telephone poles, fences, or walls, and for new holes or bare spots on hillsides. Listen for rumbling sounds that might indicate an approaching landslide or mudflow.
How to avoid disease following a natural catastrophe?
Diseases can spread very quickly post-disaster, so ensure you protect against injuries and infections by wearing sturdy footwear. Tetanus is a potential health threat for cuts and grazes, so make sure you see your doctor before you travel and update your preventative medications.
Frequent handwashing helps keep germs at bay. (If a traveller becomes unwell within six weeks of returning home and has fever, rash, respiratory illness or any other unusual symptoms, advise a physician of having just returned from a disaster-affected region.)
Drink only sealed, bottled, boiled or disinfected water. For more information refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
In the event of diarrhoea, replace lost fluids with clean drinking water or oral rehydration solutions.
The policy isn’t designed to cover everything, so take the time to read the terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions in the Policy Wording for full details so that there are no surprises if you need to use it. If you’re not sure if something is covered, get in touch.