Kate Moss not immune to Terminal 5 chaos as passengers are urged to check travel insurance

17 April 2008 / by Rachel Mason
Kate Moss has become the latest celebrity to get caught up in the chaos at Heathrow's Terminal 5. The supermodel was traveling from London to Los Angeles with eight suitcases, but only six of them made it across the Atlantic.

Reports suggest that the two lost pieces of luggage are worth around £10,000 and include a bag containing the 34-year-old model's latest designs for her exclusive clothing line at Topshop. Although Kate has been compensated by BA for her loss – chief executive Willie Walsh has issued her with £10,000 of compensation – other passengers are unlikely to be so lucky.

Since Terminal 5 opened last month, more than 20,000 cases have been lost and travellers are now being refused travel insurance if they use the £4.3 billion terminal. "If you're planning to travel from Terminal 5 and don't yet have an insurance policy, you are unlikely to be able to buy cover from any insurer as the issue has been deemed an 'uninsurable risk'," said James Harrison, chief executive of Insurancewide.com.

"If you have a policy already, be aware that many travel insurance companies are threatening not to pay out on claims for lost baggage if it gets lost in T5 before they took off."

Although many of the leading travel insurance providers are refusing to sell policies to people planning to fly through terminal 5, and others are refusing to honour existing policies, AA Travel Insurance and Saga Travel Insurance have both made statements saying they will not be withdrawing cover for delay and loss of baggage at Heathrow's new Terminal 5.

"Withdrawing cover at a time when customers come to rely on their travel insurance seems an extraordinary step," said Christian Young, CEO of AA Travel Insurance. "We have certainly received a large number of enquiries and claims. It is at times like this that travel insurance can perform best, by reassuring customers, answering common questions about the claims process and meeting claims.

"We are not about to add to the uncertainty by withdrawing cover for new customers whose travel plans take them through the new T5."

And Lisa Harris at Saga said: "Saga travel insurance is not planning to introduce any new exclusions for those customers travelling from T5.The decision of some companies to introduce new exclusions for customers travelling from T5 is, in our view, an assault on common sense.

"Saga Travel Insurance has always encouraged people to ensure they are taking out full insurance protection when travelling abroad. We believe the consequences of not doing so can be nothing less than devastating. Other insurers that are introducing arbitrary exclusions of this nature will only encourage people to take out policies that are unlikely to meet their needs."

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