Winter is most definitely upon us and the ‘Beast from the East’ is causing havoc on the roads and railways. With the cold weather set to continue, we’re likely to see more and more transport issues affecting travellers.
If you are planning a winter trip, the bad weather may mean you miss your flight or train and in the worst case, your entire trip may have to be cancelled.
Can you claim on your travel insurance policy for the cost of the trip and which policies will pay out?
Fiona Macrae from Travel Insurance Explained has the answers:
What should I do before setting off on my trip?
Before heading to the airport, train station or ferry port make sure you check whether your transport is still operating and if you still plan to travel leave with plenty of time and allow for traffic delays and road closures.
If I miss my flight, train or ferry due to the bad weather, can I claim for the cost?
There are only a few travel insurance policies that will cover you for missed departure due to traffic delays, so if you are looking to go away in the coming days, make sure that your travel insurance policy will cover you for this eventuality. My advice is – if you know that the roads or transport to your departure point may be affected by bad weather make sure you leave plenty of time to get there.
If my flight is cancelled due to bad weather should I claim on my travel insurance?
If your flight has been cancelled by the airline, it is their responsibility for reimbursing the cost or arranging a later flight. Most travel insurance policies will have some cover for delayed departure, but in order to make a claim, you must be checked in.
The compensation you can claim on your travel insurance policy will vary as will the qualifying time. Some travel providers will say you can only claim after a 12-hour delay and some after a 6-hour delay. Some airlines will also provide compensation for refreshments and accommodation, but they may class this weather as an extraordinary circumstance and decline compensation claims.
What if I have booked some parts of my trip, such as accommodation and car hire – can I claim for those costs on my travel insurance policy?
If you have booked particular parts of your trip separately and you can’t get to your destination, it is unlikely that your airline or transport provider will cover those costs.
You may be able to make a claim on your travel insurance policy but it is vital to ensure you have a travel insurance policy that will cover you for “cancellation for any cause beyond your reasonable control”. This level of cover is the key to being able to make a successful claim, however, this is not common in travel insurance policies, but is available if you look.