Article date: 27 May 2011
Many customers will be concerned about the potential impact of the Icelandic volcano affecting their holiday travel.
Kate Niven, senior travel underwriter at Aviva says: “If you think the ash cloud might affect your plans to fly from or back to the UK, in the first instance, you should speak to your travel operator, airline or airport you are flying from to check the situation.
“Those customers who have already purchased the Aviva ‘air space closure’ add-on policy will have cover where air space has been closed by the Civil Aviation Authority or airlines have grounded the flight for more than 24 hours as a result of the ash cloud*.
“The optional air space closure add-on to our standard travel policy, launched last year, provides cover for non-refundable travel and accommodation costs incurred where travel has been affected by UK air space, port or airport closure – for example, in the wake of a volcanic ash cloud causing authorities to close air space, as happened last year.
“If you have purchased single trip insurance and your flight has been cancelled due to the ash cloud we can rearrange the cover for your new holiday date. If your homeward travel to the UK is affected by the ash cloud your policy provides an automatic extension of cover for up to 14 days when you are unable to return home within the trip limit due to your transport being delayed.
“If you have not previously purchased the add-on air space closure cover and your flight is cancelled, the airline will provide either a refund of the ticket cost or alternative flights, either back to your original departure point or to your final destination.
“If the scheduled departure of your international flight is cancelled because of the volcanic ash cloud this would not be covered by our standard travel insurance as it is not an insurable peril.”
What the Aviva air space closure add-on covers
For a fixed cost of £5.11 per insured person for single trip or £10.21 per insured person for annual insurance** the optional add-on air space closure cover provides:
Cancellation: If on the day you are due to depart from the UK you are prevented from taking your trip and unavoidably have to cancel as a result of:
a. Airspace being closed for more than 24 hours from the date and time of your scheduled departure, as shown on your ticket/itinerary
b. An airport or port you are scheduled to travel from or through being closed for more than 24 hours from the date and time of your scheduled departure as shown on your ticket/itinerary.
You will be covered for up to £5,000 per insured person in respect of travel and accommodation costs (including deposits) that you are unable to recover from your travel provider.
Enforced stay: If you are unable to return home to the UK on your scheduled return date because the airspace is closed or an airport or port that you are rescheduled to travel from or through is closed (and you have purchased your ticket before the airport was closed) we will pay you:
a. £100 per insured person for every full 24 hour period that you are unable to return home, to help with any additional accommodation costs and is irrespective of any assistance your travel provider or airline may arrange. (Maximum is £1,500 per person and you do not need to have checked in beforehand.)
b. Up to £1000 per insured person for any necessary and reasonable additional travel expenses where, after a period of 24 hours or more, you unavoidably have to make immediate alternative arrangements to return home and your holiday provider cannot provide suitable alternative travel arrangements.
c. We will also pay for emergency medical supplies that you require to prevent a deterioration or exacerbation of an existing medical condition.
* Cover is available where you are unable to recover travel and accommodation costs (including deposits) from your travel provider. Refer to your policy for full terms and conditions.
** This optional add-on cover will only be available to purchase if your holiday and insurance have not been bought on a date where UK airspace closures directly affecting your plans have already been announced or are in force.
If you are a journalist and would like more information please contact:
Erik Nelson, Aviva press office on 01603 682264/07989 427086