Volcanic ash and your World First travel insurance policy

18 May 2010 12:33

Important information regarding continued disruption of UK flights

As an independent travel insurance specialist, World First is focused on providing the very best service to clients at all times. Due to the continuing Volcanic Ash crisis we are working hard to offer the very best advice and assistance to our policyholders wherever possible. This guidance is continually updated in an attempt to answer some of the many questions we have been asked, but please feel free to call us on 0845 90 80 161 or email info@world-first.co.uk with any queries regarding your policy.

A dynamically changing situation

Volcanic Ash is a dynamic situation, dependent on weather systems, and changing all the time. Each closure of airspace for a specific date/period is considered by World First to be a new and unforeseen event, so if you buy your travel insurance before a new event arises and are subsequently delayed for over 12 hours because your flight has been cancelled due to this problem, you can claim Travel Delay. You can then claim Abandonment if you are delayed for more than 24 hours in any alternative travel arrangements offered. You will need to prove that your flight was cancelled for that length of time when claiming.

Policyholders who become stuck abroad due to any new event will have their policies automatically extended until the next available flight is offered.

Policyholders purchasing a policy after a new Volcanic Ash event is reported and who are due to travel during that specific event will not be covered as it will not be unforeseen.

We consider each closure of air space to be a new event as you cannot predict when it will happen.

For customers returning to the UK:

If you are flying with an EU registered airline then they are obliged to look after you. This includes replacement transport and accommodation. World First travel insurance policies provide cover for travel delay exceeding 12 hours in this scenario and you should email the claims handler as detailed in your policy documents to get a claims form sent to you. Please include your policy or schedule number as well as your home address.

For customers departing from the UK:

If you bought a policy before any travel restrictions are put in place then you are covered under your World First travel insurance policy for cancellation following 24 hours Travel Delay. In many cases your tour operator or airline will either offer you full reimbursement or replacement services, if they do not then you are covered under your World First policy for trip cancellation. Please read your policy document and schedule for the details of this cover and how to claim.

Making a travel insurance claim due to Volcanic Ash:

At World First we are working hard to ensure that all valid claims are dealt with and that all our customers are treated fairly. If you are forced to make a claim on your travel insurance policy then please bear with us. We have increased the number of operators in our call centres, but the volume of claims is significant and delays are inevitable whilst we clear the backlog. If you are at any time dissatisfied with the way a claim is being handled please contact our Managing Partner – martin@world-first.co.uk.

Automatic extension to policies for clients returning from holidays abroad

Where customers experience any delay and are unable to return to the UK due to a new event we will automatically extend all policies to cover our customers while they continue to be unable to return home. This means that World First customers due to return who are now outside of their policy term have still got the cover they originally purchased continued, for no charge, during the remainder of their enforced stay outside of the UK.

Policies purchased after any new no fly restriction is put in place do not have any cover for cancellation, as once the restriction is in place this event is no longer unforeseen, and therefore cannot be insured against. Once no fly restrictions have been lifted this cover will once again continue and you can buy travel insurance and be covered for any subsequent and new events affecting airspace.

All customers should read their policy wording carefully along with schedule to determine what they are covered for, and the limits that apply.

Not all travel insurance is the same, and we are proud that World First Travel Insurance is helping thousands of customers during this difficult time.

Share this on Facebook Tweet this Share this on LinkedIn Email this