Volcanic Ash, what it means for your cover

Mount Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland, erupted back in 2010. Though considered unremarkable at the time of eruption, it was to have big consequences for the traveller and insurance industry alike.

It’s combination of volcanic heat and glacially cold water, broke the lava into tiny fragments that caused the largest air traffic shut down in Europe since World War II. Over 100,000 flights, that’s about half of all European flights, were cancelled affecting over 10 million passengers.

You’d think you’d be covered by travel insurance but in fact most travel insurance providers do not include coverage for a volcanic ash disruption as standard. If you want to insure against travel disruption or natural catastrophes, you’ll probably be able to for a modest additional premium.

If the worst happens and you’re caught up in the disruption, you should contact the airline or tour operator to find out what they plan to do. If you’ve booked on a package deal, the tour operators must deliver the promised holiday or refund you the costs if it has to be cancelled. Airlines are obliged to get you on the first available flight and pay for accommodation and reasonable expenses in between.

If you organise your own travel or hotels stays, you can apply to the airline for a refund when you get home. Be careful with the costs, and keep your receipts though, airlines won’t pay amounts they deem unreasonable.

Finally, your last option is your insurance policy but remember that the devil is in the detail and you must ensure before your trip that you have the right cover in place.

While some insurers made gesture of goodwill payments in 2010, there is certainly no guarantee that they would do so again.

If travel insurance is important to your company, give us a call to discuss on +441273 789 979 or email us.

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