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Weather chaos continues to cause travel misery

Weather chaos continues to cause travel misery

Category: Travel insurance

Updated: 19/12/2016
First Published: 21/12/2010

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Arctic conditions in the UK show no signs of thawing out, as the snow and ice continue to disrupt the travel plans of millions.

The country is in the midst of one of the most prolonged cold snaps in recent times and the weather forecast shows that no significant improvement is yet in sight.

The snow and ice have grounded hundreds of flights, wrecking the plans of passengers hoping to spend the festive period with family and friends or those hoping to spend Christmas abroad.

Heathrow Airport has been most affected, with no more than a third of flights operating until 6.00 am on Wednesday morning at the earliest. Click here for BAA Heathrow Airport flight disruption information and live flight arrivals and departures.

Gatwick Airport reopened at 6.00 am this morning but has warned that further delays and cancellations can be expected. Click here for Gatwick Airport live flight information.

The UK's roads continue to be severely affected by the conditions, and drivers can expect severe delays on any main routes.

Meanwhile, rail routes up and down the country have been subject to delays and cancellations, with passengers advised to confirm the status of their journey before they make their way to train stations. National Rail Enquiries website provides live updates on how train services are running across the country and has up to date information on disruptions and ticket refunds.

It is feared that widespread problems could continue up to Christmas Day, possibly thwarting the plans of millions.

Many of the UK's other airports have confirmed that flights will be subject to delays and cancellations, including Birmingham, Luton, Bristol, Glasgow, Cardiff and Southampton.

People hoping to fly have been warned to contact their airline for confirmation that their flight is still operating before leaving for the airport.

With disruption likely to continue for perhaps another week to come, insurers can
expect to be inundated with claims, creating a backlog that will continue well into the New Year.

People that have been affected by the conditions are advised to contact their insurers as soon as possible to find out whether their policy provides adequate cover.

Under most travel insurance policies, insurers will respond to claims for flight delays and abandoned holiday plans as well as missing your departure flight, however most travel insurers will not cover if the cause is due to natural disaster.

This is something of a grey area as each policy and insurer has a different definition of 'natural disaster', which include earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, floods and volcanic eruptions, as was shown by the ash cloud in the spring which gridlocked European airspace.

Your claim may also be declined if your flight is cancelled, as many insurers believe it is the airline's responsibility to cover all costs. Details of cover can be found in your policy documentation regarding disasters and terrorism. There may be exclusions within your policy so it's important that you check this if you're concerned.

The best way to buy travel insurance is to use a travel insurance comparison site - Visit our travel insurance comparison page to compare quotes and policies side-by-side, and buy instantly online.

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.