Volcanic Ash Insurance Fiasco

I just hate the fact that some insurance companies will not pay out over the chaos caused by the Icelandic volcano. God knows they are eager enough to gouge the money out of us at every turn but when it comes time to cough up … that’s a different story.

On the other hand, I don’t suppose that you can argue that the Icelandic volcano was an Act of God (and man, is she pissed off!) as insurance companies bandy the phrase. It was and is a natural disaster which was not the cause of any human intervention and could not have been reasonably foreseen or prevented.

According to the Association of British Insurers some policies will cover volcanic ash so not every company is leaving its customers high and dry. Airlines are rebooking and refunding; it is the cost of unused hotels and accommodation or forced hotel extensions that will be the cause of contention.

Holiday insurance has been a godsend for many a hapless traveller and in cases of illness or theft or when a holiday has to be cancelled then that extra amount tacked on to the cost of your holiday seems money well spent indeed.  But this time? Well, there has never been a clearer illustration of the need to read the small print and compare the policies.

The Association of British Insurers issued the following press release on the subject:

Travel disruption due to Volcanic dust cloud – advice from the ABI

“Travel insurance policies will differ in this situation; there is no standard set of conditions which applies to a situation of this kind. Therefore customers should check their travel insurance policy, and speak to their travel insurer to understand what their individual policy covers them for in this situation.”

People travelling to or from a UK airport are having their travel plans disrupted due to an ash cloud from a volcanic eruption in Iceland.  The ABI advises customers who may be affected that:

• Volcanic eruptions are not always covered by travel insurance for cancellation and delay. However, some policies will cover this, so you should contact your travel insurance company to check what your policy covers.
• If your flight is cancelled, most airlines will offer you either a full refund or an alternative flight.
• If your flight is cancelled and you do not travel, most travel insurers will refund your premium if you took out a single trip policy.
• If you accept an alternative flight at a later date, most travel insurers will amend your policy to cover your new travel arrangements and dates.
• Insurance only covers events that happen after the policy is taken out so customers taking out travel insurance from today onwards will not be covered for this event.
• Deciding that you no longer wish to travel will not be covered by your travel insurance policy.

Nick Starling, the ABI’s Director of General Insurance and Health, said:

“Travel insurance policies will differ in this situation; there is no standard set of conditions which applies to a situation of this kind. Therefore customers should check their travel insurance policy, and speak to their travel insurer to understand what their individual policy covers them for in this situation.”

If your insurance company does pay out, please drop me a note here to let me know. Those who stand by their customers deserve all the attention they can get.

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Volcanic Ash Insurance Fiasco — 1 Comment

  1. I was due to fly to majorca on wednesday 5th may, but was unable to do so because of volcanic ash cloud over belfast wednesday morning all flights we grounded, I am now at the mercy of my insurance co columbus direct. Travel company will refund airline cost but not accommodation so I am going to be 250 punds out of pocket due to no fault of mine. I am expected to take 100 per cent hit for this volcano. meanwhile these people, have my money, and for me it is tough

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