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Volcano chaos sparks travel insurance queries

Article by Simon Christopher
Posted: 17/4/2010 - Last updated: -
Rating: 1.00 1.00 (1 votes)

The closure of all British airspace over safety fears after volcanic ash drifted over Britain has left passengers consulting their travel insurance policies.

European laws require airlines to offer customers a full refund or a transfer to a new flight after such a cancellation. They are also required to offer some meals or refreshments in the event of a lengthy delay.

However, some associated costs are not the responsibility of airlines and instead fall to travel insurance. These include accommodation and hire car rentals which can't be used if a holiday has to be cancelled because of a delay.

Whether insurers cover this varies from policy to policy. Aviva has already said its policies only cover cancellations which are down to individual circumstances such as family illness or bereavement. Other companies, including RBS, say that they will consider claims. The incident is likely to be classified as either an "act of God" or a "catastrophe", which means many insurers may retain discretion about paying out on policies.

Travelers have also been warned against taking out insurance solely as a result of the ash cloud. Insurance only covers unforeseen events and thus any policies bought now will not cover losses that directly result from the current problems.

PLEASE NOTE: News items are intended for information only and should not be relied upon when making insurance decisions. Due to their nature, some of the information in these news stories including any references to taxation, legislation, regulation, or other issues may no longer be current.

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Is it not the case that volcanic dust in the atmosphere is weather related? Wikapedia includes "particles in the atmosphere" as coming within the definition of weather. Also it is the wind that is carrying the dust which surely makes it weather related. This could be important as some travel insurance policies covers delays or cancellations due to weather problems.
Comment by Tony Smith
Date: 22/4/2010

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