How can travel insurance protect you when the snow and ice arrives?
We should not be surprised that dreadful weather happens from time to time, after all we live in the UK.
But what would happen if you were about to head off on your holidays – maybe you have a holiday or trip away planned for the winter months, and perhaps these heavy snow falls and freezing conditions we had in the last winter have made you think… what if it was me trying to get off on my holiday?
Weekend before Christmas my family are heading up to the Lake District, 2 nights pre-paid stay in a lovely country inn. I’m pleased we have travel insurance, because if the weather prevents us from reaching our destination – then we are covered if we can’t get there, just one reason why even UK trips need insurance.
Whilst we can’t discuss here every travel insurance policy that is sold in the UK – we can of course explain our own policies. It is a good rule of thumb that comprehensive insurance, for which you will pay more, is also most likely to provide for this sort of eventuality, and the cheaper policies are much less likely to include the sort of benefits that you might be needing, to cater for adverse weather-related travel delays and disruption.
In all cases you must allow sufficient time to reach your departure point if you are flying or sailing, but we know things can happen along the way (accidents, breakdowns etc..), and of course even having reached your departure point, you may find that your flight or crossing may be delayed, or even cancelled.
Our International Travel Insurance policy for Cruises will pay for any additional accommodation or travel requirements to allow you to join your cruise at the next available port, and if your delay is greater than 24 hours, you can choose to completely cancel your cruise and the sum insured for your cruise is claimable, along with any other pre-paid costs. It pays therefore to insure the full value of your cruise along with any pre-paid flights, shore excursions, hotels and transfers.
Likewise all our policies allow you to abandon your trip, if adverse weather prevents you from travelling.
If you fail to arrive at the airport or port because of travel issues, then a maximum of £500 will cover a missed departure – hopefully enough to rebook on the next available.
In all instances though, once you have checked in, you become to a large extent protected by EU Travel regulations. When a flight is cancelled, however long before it was due to take off, and regardless of the cause, under EU rules you have a right to:
- Either a refund for the flight that was cancelled.
- Or an alternative flight to your destination.
If you choose to be re-routed or if your departure is delayed by more than two hours, airlines also have to provide assistance such as food, phone calls and accommodation where appropriate to passengers, regardless of what caused the cancellation.
You don't have a right to claim additional compensation if the cause is bad weather as it needs to be within the airline's control, so this is where the additional costs can be protected by Travel Insurance.
Always check the policy you have purchased, or intend to purchase, makes provision for the eventualities that you may need. Every policy sold in the UK comes with a 14-day cooling off period, so if you have just purchased a policy and have yet to read the Policy Wording – do it now. If you need insurance for a trip and have yet to attend to this, your delay to buy adequate insurance for your needs, may leave you unprotected.
You cannot buy insurance after an event has happened and still expect it to protect you. So if you have any travel planned over the winter months, even if it’s just in the UK for Christmas or New Year– you might like to think about what would happen if……
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