Updated 24/7 travel insurance – Icelandic Volcano

The Icelandic Volcanic activity has resulted in considerable disruption to flights across Northern European airspace.

The scope of cover in travel insurance for this exceptional event is limited. We advise customers to contact their travel operator, travel agent or airline as soon as possible to find out what alternative arrangements have been made or are available.

The cancellation cover under the majority of travel insurance policies will only provide cover if you are unable to travel due to specified risks and does not provide any cover for natural disasters.

24/7 Single Trip and Annual Multi-trip (not 24/7 Backpacker)Some cover is provided under the Travel Delay and Abandonment section for costs that cannot be reclaimed elsewhere. Delay must be for at least 12 hours in departure of the aircraft on the outward or return journey and you must have checked in for your flight. The cover is:

– reasonable additional accommodation and travel expenses necessarily incurred to reach the overseas destination or to reach home as a consequence of delays in transit which are outside your control, or as a result of the outward or inward flight being delayed, to include you missing a connecting flight; or– a payment for each complete 12 hours that you are delayed of £20, maximum £100 (Standard cover) or £40 for each 12 hours, maximum £200 (Premier cover).

Alternatively, if the outward journey is delayed for more than 12 hours as outlined above, you may opt to abandon your trip and claim irrecoverable cancellation costs up to £3,000 (Standard cover) or £5,000 (Premier cover).

24/7 Backpacker
There is no cover under this policy.

Extension of 24/7 travel insurance policies (all types)If you are already overseas and travelling under a valid 24/7 travel insurance policy but your return has been delayed because your flight has been delayed or cancelled due to this incident, your policy will automatically be extended on the condition that you return to the UK at the earliest possible opportunity e.g. earliest available flight.

The legal position
You do have a number of basic rights which may mean that the tour operator, travel agent or airline might be responsible for some or all of your costs.

Airlines care required under EC Regulation section 261/2004 to offer either:

a) re-routing to the same destination at the earliest opportunity
b) later re-routing, at the passenger’s convenience, to the same destination or
c) a refund of the ticket as well as a return flight to the point of first departure, when relevant.

Under the ‘Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992’ Tour Operators must repay all monies relating to the holiday contract if an alternative is not offered and accepted by the customer.

General advice:

  • Check with the airline for flight information before traveling to the airport.
  • Insurers will extend medical cover where the insured is delayed overseas provided customers return on the earliest possible flight (subject to availability)
  • If the insured accepts an alternative flight at a later date, we will amend their existing policy so it is transferred to cover the new dates free of charge.

As of 20th April 2010