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volcanic ash travel insurance

Volcanic Ash Travel Insurance

Compare Travel Insurance covering Volcanic or Strikes. Policies start at a small cost and prevent stress and worry in the event of unexpected disruption.


Columbus Direct
  • Cover for Travel Delay, Abandonment and Missed Departure as a result of volcanic ash
  • Option to cover extra risks through Emergency Travel Cover upgrade
  • Online Screening for pre existing medical conditions
  • Total payable for all insured persons under this policy is £4,000
  • Annual or Single Trip Policies with extra MoneyMaxim discounts (see left)
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www.columbus-direct.com/volcanic

Flexicover
  • Cover for Cancellation,or Curtailment due to wide range of risks inc. volcanic ash disruption. Cover from £750 (Bronze) to £3,000 (Platinum) pp
  • Substitute Accommodation to £3000 covered
  • Up to £1500 for an Enforced Stay abroad due to Airspace closure
  • Sign up to the company's newsletter (it's promoted on their homepage) when you click through from us, and save another 10%
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www.flexicover/volcanic

John Lewis Travel Insurance
  • Up to £300 - £600 of delay cover (depending on policy taken)
  • Volcanic ash is not included as an insured risk
  • No 'Get you home cover'
  • Annual and Single Trip Cover
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www.johnlewisinsurance.com/volcanic

Aviva Travel Insurance
  • Airspace Closure Cover provides benefits for delays both on departure and return to UK.
  • Also available is Travel Disruption Cover, which can cover strikes, pandemics and other perils.
  • No cover for Pre Existing Medical Conditions
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www.aviva.co.uk/ti-airspaceclosure

Travel Insurance which covers the risks relating to the possibility of travel disruption from volcanic ash clouds or strike action is often sought after. Unfortunately this is often after an event has occurred (such as a volcanic eruption or strike being announced), and then travellers' options are more limited.

Following the three major volcanic eruptions in Iceland since Spring 2010 there has been steady interest in policies that will provide additional cover. In 2015 there were travellers stuck for uncomfortably long periods in Bali, Lombok and East Java in Indonesia following an eruption in the region.

Given the fact that such events appear to be occurring more regularly and that they can last for a considerable period (the Chilean volcano which erupted in 2011 caused disruption to flights over 5 month period, canny travellers are ensuring that their insurance policy covers them for such eventualities, especially as they arrive so quickly, and therefore reduce options for holidaymakers to cover themselves once an eruption has occurred.

Many insurers have now excluded cover for 'Volcanic Ash' incidents unless specific cover is taken.

Do be aware that if you are taking a package holiday your tour operator will be responsible for looking after you and getting you home. However the more comprehensive of the policies listed below are ideal for the growing number of travellers who book flights and accommodation independently.

Annual Policies

CompanyProductExisting Medical Condition CoverCover for Known EventsCover for Alternative Transport HomeAbandonment BenefitDelay BenefitVolcanic Ash Upgrade CostMore Info
Columbus DirectAnnual Gold inc. Volcanic Ash and Emergency Travel optionsOptionalNoYesYesYes£20.00Find out more...

Volcanic Ash Cover includes cover for Travel Delay, Abandonment and Missed Departure as a result of volcanic ash, up to the limit stated on your policy schedule. If Volcanic Ash Cover is not taken then no claims arising as a result of volcanic ash will be eligible.

Volcanic Ash Cover and Emergency Travel Cover includes both Volcanic Ash Cover as above and an Emergency Travel Upgrade which provides additional cover in the event of unforeseen circumstances preventing your return home for at least 24 hours from your booked return journey. Pays up to to £1,500 for alternative accommodation or alternative emergency reasonable transport expenses. Total payable for all insured persons under this policy is £4,000.

Flexicover Travel InsuranceAnnual inc. Travel Disruption UpgradeOptionalNoYesYesYes£28.80Find out more...

Travel Disruption upgrade covers situations where you are delayed, inconvenienced or stuck overseas - covers a wide range of situations including ash clouds.. It can reimburse you for unused travel or accommodation costs you where you decide to cancel your trip because you can't leave home or have to curtail your trip (covers from £750 to £10,000 depending on the level of cover selected), where you need to find substitute accommodation abroad because you have become inhabitable (to £3,000).

John LewisAnnual with limited inclusive Volcanic Ash CoverOptionalNoNoYesYes£0.00Find out more...

John Lewis do not exclude claims for volcanic ash incidents. They will cover travel delay to a maximum of £600 and also abandonment claims if prior to leaving the UK. They do not provide 'get you home cover'.

AvivaAnnual inc Airspace Closure CoverOptionalNoYesYesYes£10.00Find out more...

Airspace Closure Cover

Provides up to £5,000 extended cancellation cover if, when due to depart from the UK, you can't because airspace is closed for more than 24 hours or an airport or port that you are scheduled to travel from or through is closed for more than 24 hours from time of your scheduled departure. Also if you are unable to return home on your scheduled return date for the same reasons, a benefit is paid for each 24 hours you can't return, or reasonable travel expenses, if after 24 hours, you unavoidably have to make immediate alternative travel arrangements to return home.

Travel Disruption Cover

A further add on from Aviva costing £5.00 provides extended cancellation and abandonment cover for a range of events including, amongst others, strikes and snowfall, pandemics and food poisoning in your holiday accommodation.

Price applies per adult in the party and will be slightly cheaper if you use the attached link and buy online.

Columbus DirectAnnual Silver inc. Volcanic Ash optionOptionalNoNoYesYes£12.00Find out more...

Volcanic Ash Cover includes cover for Travel Delay, Abandonment and Missed Departure as a result of volcanic ash, up to the limit stated on your policy schedule. If Volcanic Ash Cover is not taken then no claims arising as a result of volcanic ash will be eligible.

Single Trip Policies

CompanyProductExisting Medical Condition CoverCover for Known EventsCover for Alternative Transport HomeAbandonment BenefitDelay BenefitVolcanic Ash Upgrade CostMore Info
Columbus DirectSingle Trip Gold inc Volcanic Ash and Emergency Travel optionOptionalNoYesYesYes£12.50Find out more...

Volcanic Ash Cover includes cover for Travel Delay, Abandonment and Missed Departure as a result of volcanic ash, up to the limit stated on your policy schedule. If Volcanic Ash Cover is not taken then no claims arising as a result of volcanic ash will be eligible.

Volcanic Ash Cover and Emergency Travel Cover includes both Volcanic Ash Cover as above and an Emergency Travel Upgrade which provides additional cover in the event of unforeseen circumstances preventing your return home for at least 24 hours from your booked return journey. Pays up to to £1,500 for alternative accommodation or alternative emergency reasonable transport expenses. Total payable for all insured persons under this policy is £4,000.

Flexicover Travel InsuranceSingle Trip inc. Travel Disruption UpgradeOptionalNoYesYesYes£19.80Find out more...

Travel Disruption upgrade covers situations where you are delayed, inconvenienced or stuck overseas - covers a wide range of situations including ash clouds.. It can reimburse you for unused travel or accommodation costs you where you decide to cancel your trip because you can't leave home or have to curtail your trip (covers from £750 to £10,000 depending on the level of cover selected), where you need to find substitute accommodation abroad because you have become inhabitable (to £3,000).

John LewisSingle Trip with limited inclusive Volcanic Ash CoverOptionalNoNoYesYes£0.00Find out more...

John Lewis do not exclude claims for volcanic ash incidents. They will cover travel delay to a maximum of £600 and also abandonment claims if prior to leaving the UK. They do not provide 'get you home cover'.

AvivaSingle Trip inc. Airspace Closure CoverOptionalNoYesYesYes£5.00Find out more...

Airspace Closure Cover

Provides up to £5,000 extended cancellation cover if, when due to depart from the UK, you can't because airspace is closed for more than 24 hours or an airport or port that you are scheduled to travel from or through is closed for more than 24 hours from time of your scheduled departure. Also if you are unable to return home on your scheduled return date for the same reasons, a benefit is paid for each 24 hours you can't return, or reasonable travel expenses, if after 24 hours, you unavoidably have to make immediate alternative travel arrangements to return home.

Travel Disruption Cover

A further add on from Aviva costing £2.50 provides extended cancellation and abandonment cover for a range of events including, amongst others, strikes and snowfall, pandemics and food poisoning in your holiday accommodation.

Price applies per adult in the party and will be slightly cheaper if you use the attached link and buy online.

Columbus DirectSingle Trip Silver inc. Volcanic Ash optionOptionalNoNoYesYes£8.00Find out more...

Volcanic Ash Cover includes cover for Travel Delay, Abandonment and Missed Departure as a result of volcanic ash, up to the limit stated on your policy schedule. If Volcanic Ash Cover is not taken then no claims arising as a result of volcanic ash will be eligible.

Travellers do need to be aware that although the laws relating to airlines' responsibilities have been clarified and tightened recently, if you are stranded following a volcanic ash event, this doesn't mean your hard earned cash is not at risk if you fall foul of such an event. Some of the main ways you can still be out of pocket include:

  • Your flight from the UK is cancelled due to an eruption - you may be reimbursed for your ticket cost but other expenses such as your hotel bill, car rental, cruise ship costs may not be paid if you fail to show up as arranged.
  • Your flight may not be covered by EU legislation - rights only apply on any flight from an EU airport and those to EU airports from outside of the European Union on an EU airline. (EU in this definition includes all EU Member States plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.)
  • "Codesharing flights" passengers get the same rights as passengers of the airline they travel never mind who issued the ticket. So a passenger with a BA ticket travelling on an American Airlines flight into the EU would not be entitled to the assistance.
  • If you have two separate tickets rather than a through ticket (i.e. two single tickets covering your journey) if you miss your second flight due to a delay on your first you may still have to pay for any rearranged travel arrangements from your transit airport.
  • Add on insurance policies can give you more opportunity to make your own arrangements rather than having to rely on the efficiency of your airline - but do discuss your plans with your insurer before going solo!

We detail below some of the insurers who now offer these 'add ons' which can, as well as covering volcanic ash, also cover previously unknown risks including natural disasters, volcanic ash clouds, wildcat strikes, flu pandemics and more besides - as long of course you 'add them on'.

Columbus Direct, Flexicover, Aviva and Insure With Ease have developed these policies, all with slightly different levels of cover or points of difference - so read on!

Policies which provide 'extra cover' options

Columbus Travel

Special MoneyMaxim promotion - 5% off Annual Policies, 2% off Single Trip policies in addition to Columbus 10% online discount

Normally Columbus do not cover any claims for travel delay, abandonment, missed connections or missed departures as a result of Volcanic Ash. They do offer a Volcanic Ash upgrade to Silver policyholders which removes this restriction for such claims.

Policyholders who buy the Columbus Direct Gold policy can upgrade to an option which offers both the Volcanic Ash upgrade and an Emergency Travel Upgrade which helps passengers pay for alternative ways home or emergency accommodation in case of being stranded overseas. The maximum claim per policy is £4,000 of expense.

Columbus will cover pre existing medical conditions.

See the Columbus Direct website for full information.

Flexicover Travel Insurance

Flexicover have only relatively recently started offering an upgrade to cover travel disruption. Their policy now allows you to add comprehensive cover for Cancellation or Curtailment, paying for Substitute accommodation or providing a payment to help with extra expenses during an enforced stay if you are stuck abroad.

It's wide cover for one extra payment, rather than having to take separate volcanic and disruption cover and will, we think, prove popular with those wanting to make sure they have options if their trip is disrupted.

AVIVA

Aviva have an upgrade policy costing around £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) that will cover 'closures of airports or ports' - for any reason from terrorism to the actions of a volcano, hurricane or pandemic. More information can be found in our feature on Aviva Travel - Volcanic Ash policies. Aviva cover those up to 79 years old, but don't cover pre existing medical conditions.

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.

Provides additional cover for a range of events that might cause disruption to your travel plans such as strikes (outbound leg only), snowfall, Foreign Office advice, food poisoning and pandemics. Cover is provided for:-

Extended Cancellation cover (£5,000)

Extended Abandonment cover (£5,000)

Missed Connections outside of the UK (£1,000)

Delay outside the UK (£25 every 12 hours)

Whilst strikes are not covered on the home bound leg, 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 policy.

Visit the Aviva website for full details.

John Lewis

John Lewis offer a very limited free cover for volcanic ash situations. They will provide cover under their delay and abandonment sections, but, depending on the version of their policy you buy, this is to a maximum of £600. They exclude cover for any claims that results from the tour operator, airline, or any other company, firm, or person not being able or not being willing to carry out any part of their obligation to you.

May be one to consider if you are going on a package holiday and are looking for a bit of extra reassurance but are happy to leave the main responsibilities with your tour operator.

Visit the John Lewis website for more information.

So which policy is best for you? It really depends on the level of cover you want to take - Cancellation only, Cancellation and Get You Home / Extra Accommodation costs in case of a Natural Disaster, or whether you want the latter with Strike cover included too. It's really up to you!

This content was last reviewed on 21/06/2016

Image courtesy of: TeddyBear[Picnic] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net