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Travel insurers to honour volcano ash claims

Travel insurers to honour volcano ash claims

Category: Travel

Updated: 28/10/2010
First Published: 20/04/2010

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.
Travel insurance providers have been clarifying their stance regarding the travel chaos created by the closure of UK airspace.

The eruption of the Eyjafjallajoekull volcano in Iceland has grounded virtually all flights in and out of the UK since last Thursday, leaving thousands of holidaymakers either stranded abroad or unable to jet off on their holiday in the first place.

The Co-operative Insurance said its travel insurance customers will be covered on an ex gratia basis, subject to standard policy limits.

"Although the volcanic eruption would not be ordinarily covered under The Co-operative Insurance's travel policy, as a customer centric organisation we have taken the decision to honour any customer claims on an ex gratia basis for the delay or cancellation of flights and/or accommodation," said a statement issued by the insurer.

"We would also advise customers to contact their flight provider or travel agent directly."

Customers with a Co-operative Bank or smile packaged current account have been told they will also be covered for their travel insurance on a similar ex gratia basis.

In addition, the bank said it would increase credit limits for affected credit card customers if needed and also refund ATM fees for foreign cash withdrawals.

HSBC, M&S Money and first direct have also confirmed they will allow claims from their affected travel insurance customers, despite volcanic eruptions not usually being covered by policies.

Lloyds TSB said its travel insurance customers should in the first instance contact their airline or tour operator to see what help and assistance is available from them.

However, where customers were not covered by the airline or tour operator, the bank has agreed to reimburse them for any additional reasonable costs they incur as a result of the disruption.

The bank said it would support customers needing to access temporary additional credit facilities, through either their overdraft or credit cards.

It added that any charges for bank account or credit card customers that had been incurred as a result of the disruption will also be waived, including charges for late payment or because a customer had inadvertently gone over their agreed credit limit while still abroad.

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