Travelling to Greece? Protect yourself against risk of insolvency & strike

By , May 31, 2012 1:04 pm
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Although most travel experts are saying that Greece is still a great place to go on holiday this summer and even if it does leave the Eurozone the airlines will still fly and the beaches will still be there, it is understandable that people who have a trip booked will be concerned about how the political and economic uncertainty will affect their holiday.

There are some increased risks in travelling to Greece this summer, but there are going to be risks wherever you choose to go on holiday. You can help protect yourself and your money against these risks by getting the right travel insurance cover.

What if my hotel or accommodation supplier becomes bankrupt and closes?

Find out if your holiday is protected or if you need travel insurance with insolvency cover

Find out if your holiday is protected or if you need travel insurance with insolvency cover

The numbers of holidaymakers heading to Greece, particularly British and German, has dropped significantly over the last couple of years and as the economic and political crisis deepens this trend looks set to continue.

This drop in visitor numbers means that small hoteliers and local companies who provide services for holidaymakers are struggling, resulting in an increased risk of them becoming insolvent and closing. Earlier this year the Sunday Times reported that as many as 1000 Greek hotels could close or be put up for sale this year.

There are a couple of ways that you can protect your holiday against the risk of insolvency; one is to make sure your holiday is ATOL Protected by booking a package or flight plus from a travel agent or tour operator.

Use our quick check diagram to see if your holiday is protected >>

Find out more about ATOL Protection >>

Travel insurance with insolvency cover/end supplier failure

If your holiday is not ATOL Protected, for instance if you have booked elements of your holiday direct from different suppliers, or have booked anything direct with an airline, you can protect your holiday against the risk of insolvency by making sure you have the right travel insurance.

If you book your holiday independently, make sure that your travel insurance includes cover for the insolvency of an airline or other holiday supplier. This is often called Scheduled Airline Failure or End Supplier Failure. Some travel insurance policies include it as standard, some travel insurance policies have the option to add it to your cover and some travel insurance policies don’t provide it all, so you do need to check.

Scheduled Airline Failure, End Supplier Failure or Dynamic Packaging Cover as it is sometimes also known provides cover for the financial failure of an airline or holiday supplier. If the failure happens before you go on holiday the travel insurance will allow you to make a claim to recoup the cost, enabling you to use the money to rebook that element of your holiday with another supplier.

If the insolvency happens whilst you are away the travel insurance should provide cover for additional expenses for alternative accommodation or alternative transport home if necessary. The terms and conditions of this type of travel insurance cover does vary so you should always read the terms and conditions.

Find out more about travel insurance with insolvency cover >>

What if my holiday is affected by strikes?

Another consequence of the hard times that people in Greece are experiencing at the moment is an increased risk of strike and industrial action which can impact public services, including transport, airports and air traffic control.

Most travel insurance policies provide cover for travel delay caused by strike action. To ensure you get the benefit of this cover it’s important to buy your travel insurance as soon as you’ve booked your holiday. For a strike to be covered by your travel insurance, you must have booked your holiday and bought your travel insurance before the strike was announced.

The travel delay section of a travel insurance policy generally provides a fixed benefit for every 12 hours you are delayed; it is designed to help cover additional expenses such as food and drink.

In the event of a long delay many travel insurance policies also give you the option to ‘abandon’ your holiday and make a claim for the cost. This type of cover is good to have because it gives you more freedom if you do experience a long delay. Although abandoning the holiday may be disappointing it might be a good option for shorter trips where the delay could eat into a significant percentage of your holiday. Check your terms and conditions for the full details.

Find out more about travel insurance cover for strikes >>

Keep up to date on the situation in Greece

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office publishes continually updated information on the situation in Greece along with advice for British Nationals who are visiting the country. This includes information on planned strikes and demonstrations which could impact your holiday.

Check the latest information before you travel.
Travel advice from the FCO: Greece

What will happen if Greece does leave the Euro?

If Greece does leave the euro it could mean that electronic banking might freeze for a couple of days as they change currency. ABTA, the Travel Association have advised holiday makers heading to Greece to take plenty of cash, in the form of low-denomination euro notes.

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