Five Questions About: Travel insurance


I'm going away in the summer and haven't bought a policy yet. When I do, will it cover me for future ash cloud disruption?

The volcanic ash cloud caused problems again last week, this time affecting flights to and from Spain and Morocco. While some insurers covered those who were affected last month, many have said they won't pay out for customers who have since purchased a policy because it is a known and ongoing risk. If you are planning a flight, check what your insurer's stance is before buying a policy.

I already have a policy in place, will I be covered?

Some insurers are paying out to those who haven't been able to reach their intended destination and can't get refunds on costs such as hotel rooms or car hire. However, not all are doing so, so double check with your insurer.

And the BA strikes?

The impending British Airways cabin crew strikes could cause further travel chaos if they go ahead. The dates of the planned strikes are: 18-22 May, 24-28 May and 30 May to 3 June. If you have flights booked then contact BA in the first instance. At the moment, it is offering to reschedule affected flights.

If you intend to travel during the planned strikes and buy insurance now, you will most likely not be covered because you already know about the strike action taking place.

Does the type of policy determine whether or not you can claim?

If you choose a standard or "value" policy then you may not be covered for incidents such as abandonment or travel delay, or you may have to pay extra for those to be added on. Annual policies or "premium" deals are more comprehensive, which is reflected in the price you pay for them.

Is it still worth having travel insurance?

Yes, incidents such as the volcanic ash cloud and strikes are rare, while travel insurance protects you against far more common occurrences. For example, if your baggage was lost or you had an accident while overseas, you would want to have cover in place to protect you from a hefty bill.

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