Travel insurance vs the volcano: Too late to get cover for some Go compare with our comparison table

Travel insurance vs the volcano: Too late to get cover for some

12 May 2010 / by Rachael Stiles

Some of the UK's biggest travel insurance providers will not cover disrupted trips if the travel insurance policy was taken out after the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokul first erupted on 15 April.

Thousands of travellers were left stranded abroad or unable to travel to their destinations when all UK flights were grounded last month, but the saga continues as the volcano threatens more flights with further eruptions.

Airports across Spain and other parts of Europe have been closed again this week, amongst fears that the ash cloud from the volcano poses a safety threat to aircraft.

Disappointed and stranded Brits have had varying results when trying to claim on their travel insurance policies for delays or cancellations of holiday accommodation and other expenses caused by the volcano, with some insurers refusing to pay out by using the 'Act of God' clause.

In a special report today, the Daily Mail has warned travellers that taking out travel insurance since the volcano erupted is like shutting the barn door after the horse has bolted, when it comes to claims resulting from further volcanic eruptions, because they can use the 'known events' clause to get out of paying.

Under European law, airlines are obligated to offer alternative flights and accommodation in cases where flights are delayed or cancelled, but holiday accommodation and other expenses could be lost if the travel insurance company refuses to pay out.

But, travel insurance is still a "vital" element of every trip, even if it does not offer cover for disruptions resulting from the volcano, says Rachael Stiles, Personal Finance Editor at Fair Investment Company.

"The volcano might have caused mass disruptions, but this will not make any difference to other factors which cause people to claim on their travel insurance, such as illness, injury, or delays and cancellations for reasons other than the volcano.

"That said, there are still some travel insurance providers which have said they will pay out for claims resulting from the volcano, such as Saga travel insurance, so you can still get covered for disruptions of volcanic proportions."

Paul Green, spokesperson for Saga travel insurance, said that they are taking each case as "a separate incident" – so policies taken out when there are currently no disruptions will cover disruptions which occur after that.

© Fair Investment Company Ltd


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