The first rule is that any strike cannot have been called when you bought your insurance policy. If you have an annual policy this also normally means that you cannot buy your ticket after a strike has been announced - although most carriers suspend booking in such circumstances in any case.
Secondly you will need to have bought a travel insurance policy that includes cancellation and curtailment for strikes if thats that section you are expecting to claim under - many travel insurers offer the opportunity to save a few pounds on the cost of your travel insurance premium by declining cover for cancellation and curtailment, and a few go even further and do not cover strikes under this cover at all! We suggest that if you want to ensure you have the best cover if your break is covered by strike action the cancellation element is important.
Columbus offer an add on policy to there standard insurance called their 'Emergency Travel Upgrade' This covers situations such as unforeseen strikes by airline/air traffic staff or other major weather or natural disasters which might close an airport. (remember though cover would not be extended to events already known about, such as declared strikes).
The cover, which comes in the form of an upgrade to the standard Columbus policy, provides cover worth up to £4,000 per policy, and insures policyholders and their families for the extra costs involved of alternative accommodation and / or getting home by alternative means, (such as using trains or a series of hire cars if flights are cancelled, or to take a flight if a ferry is cancelled).
Aviva's upgrade policy, costing £5 per single trip policy for each traveller, or £10 per traveller on annual policies (although for families they will only charge for a maximum of two children) covers 'closures of airports or ports' - for any reason from air traffic controller strike action to terrorism or the actions of a volcano, hurricane or pandemic. More information can be found in our feature on Aviva Travel. Aviva cover those up to 79 years old.
Aviva sell the upgrade online - click to say that you want their closure of port or airspace option - which means you also get a 10% online discount.
The Extended Cancellation cover will cover you for: Deposits you have paid for your Trip and cannot get back Your unused travel and accommodation costs (including excursions up to a maximum of £250 for each Insured Person), which you have paid or legally have to pay and cannot get back Unused kennel, cattery or professional pet sitter fees, which you have paid or legally have to pay and cannot get back up to a maximum of £200 for each Insured Person.
The Enforced Stay Abroad cover will pay you:- £100 per Insured Person for every full 24 hour period you are unable to return Home or up to £1000 per Insured Person in respect of 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.
Do note though that this cover is not extended to strikes by carriers (although the Aviva policy will provide its standard cover in this respect). If you want to have the option of having alternatives for a homeward leg if a strike is called by airline staff consider the Columbus Direct policy.
This information is based on journalistic investigation and research. It is not financial advice. Any information should be considered in regard to specific circumstances. Any suggestions followed up are done so at your own risk and your own research is key.
This content was last reviewed on 30/10/2012