Terminal 5 insurance cover in state of flux

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If you are due to fly out of Heathrow’s new Terminal 5, the thought of the chaos that awaits you is probably enough to take the edge off your excitement. However, just as we thought that the situation could not get any worse, we were told a few days ago that some of the major insurance companies were refusing to cover Terminal 5 travellers for delays or lost baggage.

As we all saw on television at the height of the trouble, flights were delayed or cancelled, people were suddenly told that they could not check in any luggage and thousands of items of baggage were unable to be processed. Although flights are now all running and the backlog of luggage at Heathrow has been cleared, there are still many passengers waiting for the return of their baggage.

Enough was clearly enough for several insurers, including Direct Line, Churchill, Royal Bank of Scotland and Tesco. The line taken by them was that they could not insure against events which had already happened and anyone taking out insurance after 27 March, the day on which the new terminal was opened, was to be caught out under the new directive. Direct Line said that once the terminal was working properly, they would resume normal cover.

Not all insurers took such a draconian stance, however, and Norwich Union and Saga, for example, said that they would not be invoking any exclusions for passengers using Terminal 5.

Happily for the long-suffering travelling public, the insurance companies have decided that the terminal is now working properly and have restored full cover.

If you are one of the unlucky customers caught out in the interim period, your first recourse is to the airline for compensation for delayed or cancelled flights, whilst the Montreal Convention covers lost or delayed baggage.


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