Spare a thought for the tens of thousands of passengers (including I.I.I. president Dr. Robert Hartwig) stranded at airports across Europe as the continued eruption of a volcano beneath Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull glacier grounded thousands of flights for the second consecutive day. According to an Associated Press report, Eurocontrol, the European air traffic agency, said half a dozen European nations have closed their airspaces and 60 percent of European flights would not operate with delays continuing into Saturday. Only 11,000 of the 28,000 flights on an average day were expected to take place Friday in European airspace, while about 100 trans-Atlantic flights arrived of the 300 typically expected. As for insurance implications, in a Reuters report via InsuranceJournal.com, several European reinsurers noted that the airlines typically are not insured against cancellations. In an article at BusinessWeek.com several insurers state that business interruption policies for airlines and airports would be triggered only if there is physical damage to equipment. An online article at National Underwriter quotes Gordon Woo at Risk Management Solutions saying that payouts from Iceland’s national natural catastrophe fund could follow if there is property damage. Aside from the significant travel disruption, the event highlights the point that even though many volcanoes with the potential to erupt are located where they can cause major damage and losses, the volcanic threat appears to attract little attention relative to other natural hazards. According to the 2009 Hazard and Risk Science Review from Aon Benfield and Partner Re research on the impacts of volcanic eruptions continues to grow. It’s worth noting that here in the United States volcanic eruption is a covered cause of loss under homeowners and business insurance policies. Check out State Farm’s info on insurance and volcano damage on what is and isn’t covered. Check out I.I.I. facts and stats on volcanoes.