Aviva launches new optional add-on to its travel policy

Article date: 20 May 2010

  • Aviva, the UK’s largest insurer, responds to the extraordinary situation caused by the ash from the Icelandic volcano by launching a new add-on to its travel policy. 

Aviva, the UK’s largest insurer, will from 1 June be providing a new optional add-on to their standard travel insurance designed to offer its customers new protection should their holiday travel be affected by UK airspace, port or airport closure.

From 1 June customers with annual or single trip policies will be able to purchase a new add-on travel cover which will be available to all customers who are renewing their insurance or buying it for the first time. The add-on cover will be a fixed cost of £5 per insured person for single trip or £10 per insured person for annual insurance1.

Aviva appreciates that existing customers may also wish to benefit from this new cover so from 1 June for 30 days annual or single trip policyholders will also be able to purchase this add-on direct from Aviva by calling 0800 051 3606 / visiting www.aviva.co.uk/travel. In addition, Aviva will be contacting customers to advise them.

What the optional add-on 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:

  1. Airspace being closed for more than 24 hours from the date and time of your scheduled departure, as shown on your ticket/itinerary.
  2. 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:

  1. £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.)

  2. 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.
  3. We will also pay for emergency medical supplies that you require to prevent a deterioration or exacerbation of an existing medical condition.

Although the effect of the volcanic ash on flights has not been a specific peril in the travel policy, Aviva, as a goodwill gesture, has provided delayed departure benefit to customers who were stranded abroad as a result of the volcanic ash situation3. This position remains the same until 1 July, after which no further ex gratia payments for volcanic ash activity will be made.

Jerry Finch, travel manager, at Aviva said: “The key benefit normally associated with a standard travel policy has historically been medical emergency cover and this still remains the top reason for any claim. 

“However, we appreciate the need to provide protection for additional risks that have not been previously covered by insurance. So we have broadened our insurance cover beyond the impact of volcanic ash on flights to include any reason for airspace, port or airport closure. This would include examples such as: terrorism, prevention of terrorism or even a pandemic situation, such as bird flu.

“This should help customers feel more confident of their position as they look either to go on holiday soon or plan to book one later in the year. By introducing the new option we are providing our customers with the freedom to choose the amount of cover they feel would be right for them.” 

This add-on insurance cover will only be available to existing or new travel insurance customers who have purchased their policy direct from Aviva and as an optional extension to their existing travel policy. It cannot be purchased as a stand alone insurance.

Customers should visit www.aviva.co.uk/travel for more information.


Press office contact:  
Sally Leeman, Aviva’s press office on 01603 684225 / 07789 270677

Notes to editors:

  • You will not be covered if when you bought your ticket or took out the insurance you knew you would not be able to travel.
  • Insurance will be valid if at the time of arranging the insurance no announcement has been made that the airspace would be closed on the date of your planned departure.

1 This add-on will only be available to purchase if your holiday and insurance have not been bought on a date where UK airspace has been closed. The charge is per person, however, where more than two children are named on the policy, the most a customer will pay is limited to the adult travellers and two children, with no charge for additional children (eg a couple taking a single trip policy, travelling with four children would pay £20).

2 Under the "enforced stay" cover, cover is limited to one option – if the customer needs to make their own way home urgently after a 24 hour delay, they will not be entitled to the daily benefit as well.

3 This benefit is: £25 per insured person for every full 12 hour period of delay, up to £250, between the scheduled departure of their original flight and the time they eventually depart.

In addition to this, we will look at specific cases of hardship on an individual basis to see what else we may be able to do to help people stranded overseas who are facing particular difficulties as a result of this extraordinary event.

About Aviva

Aviva is the world’s fifth largest* insurance group, serving 53 million customers across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.

Aviva's main business activities are long-term savings, fund management and general insurance, with worldwide total sales of £45.1 billion and funds under management of £379 billion at 31 December 2009.

We are the largest insurance services provider in the UK and one of the leading providers of life and pensions products in Europe.  

The Aviva media centre at www.aviva.com/media includes images, company and product information and a news release archive.

For broadcast-standard video, please visit www.aviva.com/media/video.  
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* based on gross worldwide premiums at 31 December 2008


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