Hurricane cover offered by travel insurance

17 September 2004
Hurricanes Frances, Charley and Ivan have brought misery to thousands of holidaymakers - but a small silver lining is being offered by one insurance company.

Hollidaymakers may have been fearing for their wallets as well as their travel plans as Acts of God, such as hurricanes, often void many sections of a travel insurance policy but Halifax General Insurance is making an exception to the rules for victims of the hurricanes.

Holidays and flights were cancelled in the wake of Hurricane Frances, leaving Halifax inundated with calls.

As a result it has decided to waive usual policy restrictions to aid those suffering delays or cancellations caused by the hurricane.

"Some travel insurers specifically exclude any claims associated with an 'act of God' and so will not provide cover for claims of this nature," says Howard Posner, chief executive of Halifax General Insurance.

"However, Halifax is offering additional cover to affected customers in this instance in addition to the standard cover, which already includes medical expenses, and repatriation costs up to £10 million, travel delay benefits and missed departure cover."

The extended cover includes: cancelled accommodation; policy extension - when the customer cannot return due to a hurricane the length of cover will be extended free of charge; new holiday dates; and premium refunds - where the travel company has cancelled the holiday Halifax will refund the premium.

Mr Posner concluded: "To date the majority of calls are from customers who have had their holiday withdrawn by the travel company and understandably want their travel insurance premium back.

"Usually, travel premiums are non-refundable. However, for this event, Halifax General Insurance has agreed to make an exception."
© DeHavilland Information Services plc