Travel Lessons Learned from Crisis in Japan

By what was widely considered a safe and tranquil spot in the world with over 700,000 Americans visiting annually, tourists were once again reminded of the value of travel insurance.  Travel insurance companies proved to be an invaluable source of protection and expert information during the recent crisis in Japan.  Their clients had access to helpful advice 24/7 and to exit strategies beyond commercial air evacuation not readily available to the uninsured.  During the Chinese Olympics, for example, the travel insurance industry booked and reserved capacity at Chinese and Taiwan medical clinics in advance should overcrowding occur.  Whether an earthquake, a tsunami, or an impending plume of radiation, access to immediate evacuation or medical care by the first means available can be priceless.

In partnership with emergency response companies, travel insurers maintain access to non-commercial air evacuation and other emergency assets, such as chartered aircraft, effective land travel, and other privately operated evacuation transportations unknown to the uninsured.  Experience and relationships are the key.  Emergency evacuation protocols were already in place.