SOURCE: APRIL Travel Protection


September 30, 2014 16:16 ET

Unexpected Eruption of Japan's Mount Ontake Volcano Underscores Need for Travel Insurance, Says APRIL

MIAMI, FL--(Marketwired - September 30, 2014) - While the ongoing venting of Iceland's Bárðarbunga volcano was highly publicized throughout the weeks leading up to the eruption, volcanoes do not always give warning before they burst, as evidenced by this weekend's unexpected flare up at Japan's Mount Ontake, which has left at least 36 dead and more injured, according to initial reports. As the affected area is regarded among Japan's most scenic peaks and a popular hike for tourists, APRIL Travel Protection ( CEO Jason Schreier says the tragedy should serve as a lesson on the need for travel insurance to protect against unforeseen costs due to injury, death and travel disruptions resulting from natural disasters.

"Volcanoes and earthquakes can be among the most devastating natural disasters with death tolls exceeding some of the severest hurricanes as they often give little prior warning," said Schreier, who heads up the innovative global insurance giant's newly launched U.S. division.

"First responders are frequently caught unprepared and travel delays and disruptions can be widespread such as the case of 2010's Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland which resulted in the cancellation of more than 100,000 flights and 10 million stranded passengers," he added.

"Travelers who fail to protect themselves from unforeseen possibilities are often left with lasting financial repercussions beyond ruined vacations," said Schreier, noting that choosing the right plan can also make a ton of difference.

Every policy sold by APRIL Travel Protection and its supplier partners includes the company's groundbreaking "Stress Less Benefits" which provides instant adjudication. This means that APRIL pays to resolve consumers' problems on-the-spot for most covered benefits while the vacationer is still traveling so they can still enjoy their vacation without worrying about having to pay out of pocket in an emergency such as a volcanic eruption.

"In cases like these, having travel protection seems like more than just a good idea, but not all policies are created equally," he warned. "Most insurance companies require policyholders to endure a lengthy claims process which often takes months to resolve. Meanwhile, the burden of covering unplanned expenses falls on the vacationer, placing them in the stressful position of shelling out money with no guarantee the insurance company won't find an out-clause later on," Schreier cautioned.

"Even if the insurance company does ultimately reimburse travelers in the end, this does little to mitigate the stress policyholders are forced to endure as they await adjudication," said Schreier. "This is why it's very important to research an insurance policy to determine not only the events which will trigger coverage, but also the procedures travelers will have to follow," he added.

"Stress Less Benefits provide peace of mind and make planning a trip worry-free for U.S. travelers as they know our coverage kicks in immediately on applicable issues so they won't have to go out of pocket," said Schreier, noting that passengers can purchase travel protection from APRIL up to the day prior to departure.

Stress Less Benefits address a wide range of potential inconveniences that can't be predicted in advance, including severe weather or natural disasters as well as injury, sickness, death, job loss or relocations, supplier default, terrorism, military duty, strikes and more.

APRIL also recommends upgrading to Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) coverage, which allows policyholders to cancel even if their plans are not certain to be affected.

APRIL's pro-active approach to support keeps up with travelers' evolving needs with a multi-lingual team and 24/7 toll-free access from most destinations as well as other convenient support channels from Skype to texting, email and live chat. APRIL is the first company to pioneer these support mechanisms for American travelers since the soft launch of its U.S. division last spring.

With the goal of Changing the Image of Insurance, APRIL has become a market leader in travel protection in Europe and Latin America with a presence in over 40 countries and more than two million policyholders worldwide. APRIL strives to provide simple agreements and services that are easily understood by customers. While most U.S. travelers purchase insurance policies they hope they will never need, APRIL creates a nurturing relationship with every client and educates policy holders on the full scope of support and services available to them.

For more information, contact APRIL Travel Protection at 855-277-4587, email or visit

About APRIL Travel Protection

APRIL Travel Protection is owned by APRIL, an international group with 45 operational companies in more than 40 different countries. APRIL is listed on Euronext Stock Exchange and has yearly sales of more than $1.1 billion. 

With its guiding principles to build trust, push boundaries, innovate and keep it simple, APRIL Global Assistance Network benefits from an extensive organizational structure servicing more than six million policyholders worldwide.

The company's U.S. division is supported by American Modern Insurance Group (an AM Best A+ rated carrier) as its preferred underwriter and is headquartered at 11900 Biscayne Blvd. Suite 600, Miami, FL, 33181.

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