Posts tagged: travel insurance severe weather

Fiji braced for cyclone: Travel insurance and natural disasters

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By , April 2, 2012 3:46 pm
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The island of Fiji is braced for the arrival of cyclone Daphne after it was battered by flash floods over the weekend.

A state of emergency has been declared after the floods forced 8000 people to evacuate their homes, although Tourism Fiji said there were no reports of damage or injuries at any major hotels or resorts.

The government had suspended flights into Fiji on Saturday and Sunday, but normal schedules have now resumed.

Tourism Fiji said: “International visitors to Fiji must also be aware that while every effort is being made to minimize inconvenience that has resulted from the current inclement weather, services and transportation within Fiji are not as yet at their optimum levels.”

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office are not advising against travel to Fiji, but are urging British nationals who are in Fiji or due to travel to Fiji to monitor the latest weather bulletins on the Fiji Meteorological Service website, in local newspapers and on Radio 2 on 105 FM, and to follow the advice of local authorities.

Fiji Meteorological Service

Travel Insurance for floods and cyclones

Catastrophe Cover

If you are in a country that is affected by flood, cyclone, earthquake or other natural disaster whilst you are away you should have cover under the ‘Catastrophe’ or ‘Replacement Accommodation’ section of your policy.

This section of your travel insurance is designed to cover additional accommodation and/or travel expenses if you are forced to move from your pre-booked accommodation as a result of a catastrophe such as hurricane, flood, fire, earthquake or medical epidemic. It is designed to enable you to continue your holiday or if your trip cannot be continued, return to the UK early.

Find out more about travel insurance catastrophe cover.

Travel delay

If you are still in the UK and the cyclone or other adverse weather causes your flight to be delayed you should have travel insurance cover under the travel delay section of your travel insurance policy.

The travel delay section of your travel insurance policy should pay a benefit to cover additional expenses if your flight is delayed, or allow you to ‘abandon’ your holiday and make a claim for the cost.

Find out more about travel insurance travel delay cover

Natural catastrophe cover

The other section of a travel insurance policy which could help in this situation is Natural Catastrophe cover.

This is a relatively new area of cover for travel insurance and was introduced as an optional extra by some travel insurance providers in response the volcanic ash crisis in 2010.
It is intended to enhance your policy by providing cover for cancellation, delay and additional expenses incurred due to unexpected events such as volcanic ash clouds and other natural disasters; such as floods, earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes.

The FCO provides up to date travel advice by country

Wherever you plan to travel check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for the latest advice before you travel.

Travel advice from the FCO

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Flight delays, high winds, your rights and travel insurance

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By , January 5, 2012 10:29 am
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Post summary: Under EU law you have certain rights if your flight is delayed due to bad weather. Your travel insurance can also help when your flight is delayed.

Strong winds are causing disruption again at ports and airports across the UK for the second time this week and the third time in less than a month.

As we are in the midst of winter, it’s hardly surprising that we are getting bad weather, last winter it was freezing conditions and heavy snow, this year its high winds that are causing disruption to flights and other forms of travel.

What are your rights if your flight is delayed due to bad weather?

If you’re flight is delayed or cancelled due to bad weather, under EU regulations, your airline has a duty to look after you, by providing refreshments and accommodation where necessary, depending on the length of the delay. For more information about EU regulations on flight delays and cancellations visit: UK European Consumer Centre

How can travel insurance help for flight delay?

Most travel insurance policies have cover for Travel Delay which will pay you a benefit if your outbound flight from the UK or your return flight into the UK is delayed due to
bad weather, such as the high winds we have seen over the last few days.

Usually, if your flight is delayed by more than 12 or 24 hours, check your travel insurance policy wording for details, you will be entitled to claim a fixed benefit. This
travel delay benefit is designed to help you cover the cost of extra, unexpected expenses, such as food and drink, whilst you are waiting at the airport.

If your outbound flight is delayed by more than 24 hours, you may also have the option under your travel insurance policy to ‘abandon’ your holiday and make a claim for the cost of the holiday, up to the limit stated in the Cancellation section of your travel insurance policy.

For your travel insurance claim to be successful you will generally need to have checked in for your flight at the airport, this shows that you fully intended to travel, and you
must obtain a letter from your airline which confirms the length of the delay and the reason for it.

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Floods and hurricanes: What does your travel insurance cover?

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By , October 27, 2011 12:24 pm
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In the past week news headlines have been filled with stories of disruption caused by the weather which could affect British holiday makers.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has just updated their travel advice to Thailand and are now advising against all but essential travel to the city of Bangkok and the twenty-six provinces in the country which are currently affected by widespread flooding.

The approach of hurricane Rina has caused tourists to be evacuated and cruise ships change route as it approaches he Mexican coast near the popular resort of Cancun.

But, it’s not only long haul destinations that can be affected by severe weather, there were flash floods in Spain last week and flooding in Dublin city centre earlier this week.

But what happens if your holiday is affected by floods, hurricanes or other similar events?

Contact your tour operator or airline first

Whether you are in the UK waiting to depart for your holiday or you are actually overseas, if you think your holiday may be affected, the first thing you should do is contact your tour operator or airline for the latest information. You have a contract with them and they have a duty to get you to the destination you have booked to travel to, or bring you home if you are abroad.

Check the latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)

The FCO publishes regularly updated travel advice by country; you should check their website for the latest information before you travel. If the FCO advise against travel to a country or particular part of a country, you should contact your tour operator or airline. Be aware, that if you choose to travel against FCO advice that your travel insurance cover will be not be valid.

What does travel insurance cover?

There are two sections of your travel insurance policy that could provide cover if your holiday is affected by flooding or hurricanes.

Travel delay under your travel insurance

If flooding or a hurricane delays or prevents your departure from the UK, or delays your return flight to the UK, you may be able to make a claim under the travel delay section of your policy.

Generally, if your outbound or return flight to or from the UK is delayed due to adverse weather conditions you can claim a benefit for every full 12 or 24 hours that you are delayed, check your policy wording for details. This benefit is intended to help cover additional expenses such as food and drink if you are stuck at the airport for longer than expected.

Also, if your outbound flight is delayed by more than 12 or 24 hours you might have the option with your travel insurance policy to abandon your holiday and make a claim for the cost, again, you should check your policy terms and conditions for full details.

Always check the terms and conditions of your policy – you usually have to have checked in for your flight for the travel delay cover to be applicable.

Catastrophe or uninhabitable accommodation cover

Catastrophe cover, which can also be known as uninhabitable accommodation cover or accommodation cover is included in many travel insurance policies.

It is designed to provide cover for additional, irrecoverable travel or accommodation costs if you are forced to move from your pre-paid, pre-booked holiday accommodation (outside of the UK) as a result of unforeseen events such as flood, fire, earthquake, hurricane and medical epidemic. The cover is intended to enable you to continue your holiday in alternative accommodation, or if that’s not possible, return to the UK. Check your travel insurance policy before you travel for full details.

Natural Catastrophe Cover or Natural Disaster Cover

This is a relatively new area of cover for travel insurance and was introduced as an optional extra by some travel insurance providers in response the volcanic ash crisis in 2010. It is intended to enhance your policy by providing cover for cancellation, delay and additional expenses incurred due to unexpected events such as volcanic ash clouds and other natural disasters; such as floods, earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes.

Remember the terms and conditions of different travel insurance policies will vary, so should always read your policy wording carefully to ensure it provides the cover you need. By law you get a 14 day cooling off period, this gives you the time, once you have bought your policy, to read the terms and conditions and cancel the policy without charge if it is not suitable for your needs.

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