When planning to travel abroad, travel insurance should be at the top of your priority list to ensure you are covered against any unexpected events that may occur while you are away. Travel insurance can also cover you if you are unable to travel or if your travel plans are delayed or have to be cancelled.
Despite this, a survey conducted by the consumer group Which? found that not all travel insurance policies cover you if your travel is affected by airline strikes. In this article, we look at when strikes are covered by travel insurance and the travel insurance providers that cover strikes.
Are strikes covered by travel insurance?
If you bought a travel insurance policy or booked your holiday before any strikes were announced you may be covered by your travel insurance if your trip is cancelled or delayed. Not all travel insurance policies cover claims related to strikes though, so you will need to check your policy documents carefully to ensure that you are definitely covered. In most instances, you may be able to reclaim costs for flights via the airline, or you will be rebooked onto an alternative flight. If you experience additional costs due to a strike, such as an overnight stay in a hotel, you may be able to recoup the costs via your travel insurance policy.
Which travel insurance providers cover strikes?
If your travel insurance covers claims related to industrial action it is likely to pay out for additional costs such as hotel accommodation if you have experienced delays or cancellations due to strikes. If your claim is due to a delay, most insurers enforce a minimum delay duration before they will pay out and this is often a minimum of 12 hours but can also be as much as 24 hours depending on the insurer. You will need to contact your airline or travel provider if you are affected by a delay prior to claiming on your travel insurance and some travel insurance providers may request proof as to why your airline or travel provider did not pay out.
Always ensure you read your policy documents carefully so that you know exactly what you are and are not covered for.
Below, we list some of the travel insurance providers that cover strike-related claims. This list is not extensive and other travel insurance providers may also cover strike-related claims.
AA travel insurance
AA travel insurance will cover missed departure as a result of strike action but will not pay out claims if a strike was announced prior to you purchasing your travel insurance policy or within 7 days of you booking your trip away.
For more information on AA travel insurance, read our 'AA travel insurance review'.
Admiral travel insurance
Admiral travel insurance says it covers delayed, missed or abandoned departure claims related to 'strike, industrial action or adverse weather conditions'. However, if the strike or industrial action had already begun when your travel insurance policy began or renewed, or when you booked the trip, you will not be covered.
For more information on Admiral travel insurance, read our 'Admiral travel insurance review'.
Direct Line travel insurance
Direct Line travel insurance says it will not pay out for any strike-related claims if the strike, industrial action or delay was announced or started when your trip was booked or once your travel insurance started or renewed, whichever comes first.
To read more about Direct Line travel insurance, read our 'Direct Line travel insurance review'.
Staysure travel insurance
Staysure travel insurance will cover some missed departure or delay claims as long as the strike action was not known to you when you booked the trip or when you bought or renewed your travel insurance policy.
Find out more about Staysure travel insurance in our 'Staysure travel insurance review'.
How to buy travel insurance that covers airline strikes
One of the easiest ways to compare the best travel insurance policy is via a comparison site such as MoneySuperMarket* or Compare the Market*. Comparison sites allow you to compare multiple insurers at once to find the best deal for your trip. Not all providers are listed on comparison sites, however, so you may find you get a better deal elsewhere. Ensure you read the policy documents carefully so you know exactly what you are and are not covered for. Also, check the policy excess as this can sometimes be higher when you use a comparison site, as this allows them to display the cheapest deals.
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