If you’re planning on travel to Japan or other Pacific countries affected by the tsunami and you have travel insurance, check with your assistance service for help in activating coverage and rearranging your plans.
Most travel insurance trip cancellation/interruption policies will cover disrupted travel to the parts of Japan and the Pacific basin affected by the earthquake and tsunami, so long as your trip was undertaken before government warnings to “avoid non-essential travel” or “avoid all travel” to the area were issued. That means you should be covered for travel delays, cancelled reservations, or no-shows for prepaid reserved hotels or resorts affected by the disruptions. But you need to check with the assistance service designated by your insurer, and you also need to stay aware of warnings issued by your government.
If you have not yet begun your travels and you are heading into an area which has been designated by your government as an area to avoid, your travel insurance will most likely not be effective—either for cancellation/disruption benefits or for emergency medical services. Americans should check the US State Department website, while Canadians should consult travel.gc.ca. Or, visit our travel links page to find all these resources in one place.
Don’t wait. Hesitating to call your emergency assistance provider can cost you valuable time and potentially invalidate your coverage.