General strike in Italy: Does travel insurance cover you for strike action?

By , September 7, 2011 12:39 pm
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Strikes or other industrial action can affect anybody’s holiday, it doesn’t matter how well organised you are, it’s completely out of your control. What you can control is the travel insurance you buy and when you buy it – and this could make a difference if your holiday is effected by strike action.

POMD: January 17, 2009 by Rosa Say, on Flickr

POMD: January 17, 2009 by Rosa Say, on Flickr

Although the on-going battle between BA and it’s cabin crew appear to have been resolved for the time being, this summer has seen industrial action in several countries, such as Spain, Greece and now Italy, caused by economic conditions and austerity measures.

Yesterday saw yet another strike which had an impact on British holiday makers. Italy’s largest trade union confederation, CGIL, staged a one day nationwide general strike as a result of the Italian Government’s austerity measures.

Strikes affecting air services ran from 10am to 6pm yesterday, with many flights in and out of Italy being cancelled, and the disruption is likely to have a knock on effect over the next couple of days.

With the threat of industrial action impacting travel arrangements ever present, it’s important to know what your travel insurance should cover you for, and how to make sure you get the most benefit from your travel insurance cover.

Buy travel insurance as soon as you’ve booked your holiday.

The most important thing to do is to make sure that you buy travel insurance as soon as you’ve booked your holiday, or if you have annual travel insurance, make sure you don’t let the cover lapse. If you’ve paid for a holiday in advance, you should have travel insurance in place to protect that investment.

Generally speaking, as long as you have booked your holiday and bought your travel insurance before strike dates are announced you will be covered under the travel delay section of your travel insurance, if your flight or holiday is affected by industrial action.

Once a strike is announced you are very unlikely to be able get travel insurance that would cover you if your holiday was affected. Think about it, travel insurance is designed to cover you if something unexpected happens, therefore if you already know that your flight is likely to be affected by industrial action before you buy the policy, you won’t be covered.

The travel delay section of your policy will usually allow you to claim a fixed benefit for every 12 hours you are delayed, or if you have a long delay eg. Over 12 or 24 hours, you will usually have the option to abandon your holiday and make a claim for the cost. You should check your policy wording to see the terms and conditions of your own policy.

The best way to ensure that you will be covered is to buy travel insurance as soon as you book your holiday. This will mean that you’re covered by the delay section of the travel insurance policy if a strike is announced; it also means you get the full benefit of cancellation cover, for instance, if you are unable to travel because you become ill.

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