This service is apparently no longer offered by any insurance company in the UK (Updated on the 24th of January 2013)
Travellers across the world are becoming increasingly affected by delays to their travel arrangements as a result of international terrorist attacks and security alerts. Even though a terrorist incident can sometimes occur in another country altogether, the effects on your own travel plans can be catastrophic.
More and more frequently, many travellers are spending endless hours sleeping on airport floors, only to realise that their insurance policy does not cover them for any of the inconvenience. It is for this reason that Security Delay Insurance (SDI) has been set up, as it aims to fill in the gaps which other travel insurance policies do not cover.
SDI, a part of Totally Insured Group Limited, is a specialist travel insurance policy, used in addition to your standard policy, which offers an extra level of cover should your travel plans be interrupted by a security alert or terrorist incident. It is not a complete travel insurance provider in itself, but it rather designed to be added onto your standard policy to ensure that you don’t get caught out when travelling abroad.
Who is it aimed at?
This policy type is basically aimed at anyone who may be concerned about having their travel plans affected by a security incident. It does not come with any restrictive age limits, either upper and lower, or with any pre-medical insurance restrictions, because it does not provide any medical costs. It simply covers inconveniences to the traveller as a result of security incidents, and in this sense it is very flexible in who can be insured.
At the moment it is restricted to trips of 31 days, meaning that it is not a suitable choice if going backpacking or travelling for longer periods of time, although this may be available in the future. But for those going on business trips or short holidays, it is ideal.
Why choose it?
With the increased threats of the new millennium, anyone can be affected by a terrorist event. Whether travellers end up stranded at the airport, missing their flights or having their entire holiday ruined, SDI provides a number of reasons why it could be a good idea to fork out a bit of extra cash to make sure that you are covered.
- Re-ticketing costs – if your tickets cannot be used as a direct result of a security alert, any costs incurred in obtaining new tickets will be paid for by the insurance provider.
- Additional travel costs – if you need to move to a new point of departure, this will cover all of your travel expenses in getting there.
- Accommodation costs – if you have to stay at a hotel overnight due to a security-related delay, you will be covered for a room and breakfast in a nearby hotel.
- Subsistence allowance – you will be allowed a certain amount to spend on food, drink and emergency personal items during the period of your delay (excluding alcohol or tobacco).
- Excess car parking charges – if your car incurs any extra fees as a result of the security alert, you will be covered for these up to a certain amount.
People may wonder why they should have to pay extra on top of their original travel insurance policy. With security threats and terrorist attacks becoming increasingly common, and not always being covered under general travel insurance policies, it is important to make sure you are not incurring extra costs if the worst does happen. Some benefits of this policy type include:
- All of the above events are things that are not likely to be covered under your standard travel insurance policy.
- The extra costs could be as little as £5 to guarantee that you are covered.
- A 14 day cancellation option is included.
- Delays to flights on other insurance policies may not be very comprehensive or may come with numerous restrictions.
Things to look out for
The following are points that you should be aware of before taking out the cover:
- It only covers trips of up to 31 days.
- You will only be covered after the first six hours of any delay.
- If you are travelling to a country that is dangerous according to the Foreign Office then you will not be covered.
- You will need to keep any receipts, as well as written evidence of the security threat, in order to make a claim.
- Each claim is subject to a policy excess on all cover levels.
- Your claim has to be made within 30 days of returning home.
- The insurance will not pay for costs that are already covered by the airline or any other travel company.
- You will not be covered if the security threat emerged before you left to travel to the airport.
Levels of Cover
The policy is divided into four different levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Gold Plus.
All of the levels cover the following events, but some offer a higher amount of cover:
- Additional Travel
- Alternative Re-ticketing
- Overnight accommodation (per room per night)
- Subsistence allowance (per 6 hour period)
- Excess Car Parking Maximum
- Maximum Claim Amount
This article does not provide detailed levels of cover for each event. However, as a guide, the maximum claim amount on the Bronze level is £3,300, and the maximum claim amount on the Gold Plus level is £9,200. Take a look at the SDI website for full details.
If you are travelling in the next five days, then your choice of cover level will be restricted to Gold Plus. As is made clear when you obtain a quote, you will also need to have bought a ticket for the same date of travel.
The excess that you have to pay upon making a claim is £50 for all events on all cover levels. The only exclusion from this rule is for claims made on subsistence costs.
The Bronze cover level is restricted to Europe due to the extra costs incurred for longer flights.
When obtaining a quote, you will be asked about the ages of the travellers to be insured. These are divided into three categories:
- Children (0-11)
- Children (12-18)
- Adults (19+)
Each of these comes with a different premium rate which increases with age. For full details visit the SDI website.