The ins and outs of travel insurance

Hurricane Sandy, which hit New York in November, caused much destruction and disruption for both residents and tourists in its wake and has put the onus firmly on insurance firms.

Many victims were thoroughly dismayed to learn that their policies did not provide adequate cover and compensate them for the effects of the tragedy.

Despite the fact that according to the ABI (Association of British Insurers), a total of £416million was paid out by its members last year to policy holders affected by the hurricane, many complaints have been raised about the lack of clarity with regard to the depth of cover provided by travel insurance policies.

Accordingly, this article seeks to remove some of the mystery:

1) An accident occurred on the motorway on my way to the airport causing lengthy tailbacks and I missed my flight – can I make a claim to regain the cost of the missed flight?

This is a common cause for complaint, because unfortunately the answer to this question will normally be ‘no’. Only if your car was directly involved in the accident will you receive compensation – personally injury specialists such as first 4lawyers solicitors are great for this kind of eventuality.

2) A tornado caused a falling branch to fall on top of me and I need treatment- will I be able to claim on my travel insurance?

Most definitely. Any treatment that you need will be covered, as will the cost of medical repatriation. If you feel that you have been the victim of medical negligence after your accident and wish to seek compensation, you should perhaps contact medical injury lawyers like at the earliest possible opportunity.

3) I’ve bought my tickets but the airline I was flying with has gone bust – will the terms of my insurance agreement force the insurance firm to pay out?

Generally no, as travel insurance is designed to cover risk only. However, a small number of policies do now include Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance (SAFI).

4) I was supposed to be going to Egypt at the end of the week, but a terrorist bomb has just exploded near my hotel, and now I’m too frightened to go – will my insurance company pay out for a cancellation?

This is a tough one. This is referred to in insurance quarters as ‘disinclination to travel’ and is not usually covered, but a handful of policies will cover you if the UK government specifically advises against travelling to that particular destination.