volcanicashOur trip to the UK is around the corner.  When we found out that the airports in the UK closed on Sunday, we became concerned about our upcoming travels.  Thankfully, most have reopened, but the disruption to European travel continues as the ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano makes its way around Britain.

However, our concern about future flight disruptions is far from over.  We’re flying in and out of Manchester Airport, which did reopen today, but you never know which way the volcanic ash will blow.  The last thing we want to do is get stuck somewhere and have to sleep in an airport like millions who have since this all started last month.

According to blogofasaneperson, the last time the volcano erupted in the 1800s, it was active for 14 months.  Today air travel could be disrupted for a lot longer, in which case we will all be left in limbo whenever we plan to go abroad.  We’ll all be wondering if everything will go according to plan.  And when you are traveling with kids, you have to plan, plan, plan. 

We’re going away for three weeks, and we’re going far.  We are starting in England and heading to Israel.  We would hate to have any major disruptions on our trip.  Plus, we are coming back the day before our daughter’s dance recital, so it is crucial that we get back when we are planning to.

As with every other trip we have taken abroad, particularly with children, we are getting travel insurance.  Unfortunately, since the eruption has already occurred and is considered a “known event,” we are not likely to be covered for any future claims.  Even with the new ash cloud leaving flights grounded as I write this post, we may not be covered. 

It’s very important to check the small print before you go as policies and insurance companies vary in terms of the events that they cover.  Most insurance policies cover adverse weather events but not natural disasters.  According to PeterGreenberg.com, most insurers have decided that the wind carrying the ash should be considered as adverse weather, so you should be covered by your insurance in circumstances of this nature.  However, the site also states that many companies have determined that policies purchased on or after April 13, 2010—when the effects of the volcanic ash became a “foreseen event”—are not are eligible for trip cancellation, trip interruption or travel delay benefits.

According to my husband, he paid $190 for our insurance at insuremytrip.com, and it will only cover delays.  The fine print on the travel insurance we took out reads:

“Volcanic ash has caused a halt to air travel in much of Europe.  If you have purchased a travel insurance policy prior to the eruption and your flight has been canceled or your accommodation at your destination has been made uninhabitable because of the volcanic eruption, then you may have coverage under pre-departure trip cancellation or post-departure trip interruption.  There may also be coverage under travel delay to reimburse you for additional expenses such as temporary accommodations and meals due to the current situation.”

I doubt that London or Tel Aviv will become “inhabitable” due to the volcanic ash.  It would have to be apocolyptic.  Thankfully, we have family in both places, but we don’t necessarily want to camp out with them for an extended period.  We also have to make it back for the recital. 

Hopefully, the winds will blow in our favor.