Travel insurance and snow: Are you covered?

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The snow over the last week has led to absolute chaos for many people. Whether driving to work or just trying to get out of the house, it really has brought the country to a standstill. One of the worst-affected groups has been people wishing to travel abroad, many of whom were probably trying to escape from the cold.

But with so many cancellations and added problems caused by the weather, stranded travellers who have had the frustration of having their flights cancelled are now wondering whether they are actually insured for the extra expenses they have incurred.

When it comes to travel insurance, it all depends on what you are covered for. Many insurance providers allow the possibility of removing Delayed Departure cover from your policy for a cheaper premium, but this is the one aspect that people will be most concerned about at the moment.

Basically, if you have Delayed Departure cover on your insurance then you should be entitled to a payout, but be aware that this only begins after a 10 to 12-hour wait, and for every hour following this you will be entitled to a cash payout of about £50 an hour.

Be careful of cancellation cover. If you have this on your policy, it will usually only cover you if you have to cancel your trip due to accident or bereavement, and does not cover flights that are cancelled because of the snow. In this situation, the airline or tour operator should be able to offer a refund.

Another situation is when passengers cannot reach the airport due to the snow, but their flight is on time. In this case, you are usually covered if you have Missed Departure on your insurance. This often comes alongside the Delayed Departure cover, but many of the cheaper deals do not include this as an option.

Another thing to be careful of, however, is purchasing insurance when the problems with the snow have already been reported. If you have purchased a trip in the last week then your insurance may be affected because of the advance warnings on the weather, as payouts usually only apply to people who purchased their insurance before the weather warnings were issued.


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