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volcanic ash cloud

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 available for Silver and Gold policies with Volcanic Ash Bolt On.

  • Above cover provided up to the limit stated on your policy schedule.

  • No claims eligible without the Volcanic Ash Bolt On.

  • Additional cover available with Gold policies if you include the Emergency Travel Upgrade.

  • Online Screening for pre-existing medical conditions

  • Annual or Single Trip Policies with extra discounts when purchased through MoneyMaxim



  • Natural Disaster Cover add-on
  • Cover limits in the event of travel disruption caused directly or indirectly by a natural disaster such as a volcanic eruption including volcanic ash clouds
  • Missed departure and extended accommodation cover included.
  • Single trip and annual policies available
  • Can cover many medical conditions


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 and other perils.
  • Single trip and annual policies


Insure With Ease Travel Insurance
  • Single trip and annual policies available
  • Add Natural Catastrophe Cover to your policy to get cover for Volcanic Ash clouds and other events such as hurricanes or earthquakes.
  • Cancellation cover up to £1500 


All Clear Travel Insurance
  • You need to add Natural Disaster Cover to your policy for cover for volcanic eruptions and ash clouds. Only available with Gold policies.
  • Single trip and annual policies
  • Up to £1000 cover for alternative accommodation if you need to be moved.  


Post Office Travel Insurance
  • Add Trip Disruption cover to cover natural disasters as well as airspace disruption
  • Cover for delays, missed connections and is you have to cut short your holiday.
  • Single trip and annual policies  


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. Sometimes though you may be travelling to a country which has had eruptions in the recent past.

Following 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. In 2017 more eruptions took place on Bali and a volcano on Tenerife caused concern. Most recently, in 2023, there has been more volcanic activity in Iceland which is still being monitored.

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 a 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.

Single Trip Policies

CompanyProductCover for Alternative Transport HomeCancellationMissed DepartureAlternative AccommodationAlternative TransportAbandonment BenefitDelay BenefitMore Info
InsureandGo Travel InsuranceSingle Trip inc. Natural Disaster CoverYesYesYesYesYesYesYesFind out more...
Columbus DirectSingle Trip Gold inc Volcanic Ash and Emergency Travel optionYesNoYesNoNoYesYesFind out more...
AvivaSingle Trip inc. Airspace Closure CoverYesYesNoNoNoYesNoFind out more...
All ClearGold policy including optional Natural Disaster CoverYesNoYesYesYesYesYesFind out more...
Insure with EaseGold policy including Natural Catastrophe CoverYesYesNoYesYesNoNoFind out more...
Post OfficeTravel insurance policy including Trip Disruption CoverYesYesYesYesYesYesNoFind out more...

Annual policies are also available.

Please note that there are often criteria in order to claim. Delay claims are usually only considered after a minimum of 12 hours delay for example. Cancellations as a result of volcanic eruptions may only be eligible if your accommodation is within a certain radius. Please read all terms and conditions of any travel insurance policy carefully before purchasing.

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 with 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'.

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 and Gold 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.

InsureandGo Travel Insurance

InsureandGo offer an Natural Disaster Cover upgrade which can top up your travel insurance for an additional premium. This policy add-on includes cover for extended delayed departure, missed departure and extended accommodation cover.

InsureandGo are a UK firm of travel specialists who have been helping their customers insure their holidays for over 20 years.


Aviva have an upgrade policy costing around £5 per single trip policy for each traveller, or £12 per traveller on annual policies (although for families they will only charge for a maximum of two children) that will cover 'Airspace Closure' - for any reason from terrorism to the actions of a volcano, hurricane or pandemic. More information can be found on the Aviva website. 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 Airport Closure 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.

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. . 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!

These policies do change so always read policy documents carefully before purchasing.

This content was last reviewed on 18/12/2023

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