What travel insurance policies say about Covid and strikes


Research by whom? found that four in ten holiday insurance providers do not cover strikes

As if this situation were not enough, an increase in Covid cases could also derail some people’s escape plans.

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Here’s what coverage you can get for airport delays caused by a strike (Image: AFP/Getty Images)

So what did who? find – and what type of cover do the major travel insurance providers offer for strikes and Covid?

Here’s what you need to know.

What did what? travel insurance search find?

Consumer group Which? analyzed 199 travel insurance policies from 71 providers between May and June to see what level of cover they offered.

With the big themes of the summer being strikes and Covid, the organization said many holidaymakers “may be disappointed”.

While most of the policies reviewed covered expenses for delays, lost or delayed baggage and cancellation requests, she found that the wording regarding delays meant that a significant number of policies did not fully cover strikes or staff shortages.

A strike is expected to hit UK airports in the coming weeks (Image: AFP/Getty Images)

Who? found that 60% of the policies they analyzed covered cancellation due to industrial action – meaning that 40% offered limited or no cover for the contingency.

For Covid, which one? rated 30% of policies as offering “basic” or “weak” Covid cover.

This means policies would only come into effect when the policyholder personally falls ill with Covid or tests positive, rather than covering scenarios that could disrupt your holiday plans, such as having to self-isolate if you have been a close contact with a positive case.

What to check in your travel insurance policy

Who? has provided several tips for checking the contingencies against which your travel insurance policy covers you.

Before buying a blanket, he recommends:

  • Verification of the “policy wording document”: this describes the cover and conditions you agree to and should be made available to you before you register with an insurer.
  • Call the insurer: Who? indicates that you should contact the vendor to discuss any unclear wording in the document that you may be concerned about. They can explain how the coverage works, as well as what is excluded.
  • Check that the ‘Specified Risks’ or ‘Specified Perils’ are included: insurance policies may contain specific scenarios for which you will be covered. You are unlikely to be insured for anything outside of these events.
Insurers offer different levels of cover against Covid and strike delays (Image: Getty Images)

Which major holiday insurers cover strike delays?

Most major insurers have policies on strikes and Covid, but the wording they use means the cover offered can vary widely.

NationalWorld has reviewed some of the wording used by major insurers regarding airport delays caused by strikes in their standard policies.

  • Post Office: covers delays caused by “industrial actions” and “lack of crew”.
  • stay safe: delays that were “the direct result of a strike or industrial action” are included (staff shortages are not mentioned).
  • Admiral: “strike” or “strike” are covered if they result in a delayed departure or abandonment of the holiday.
  • Aviva: the policy says it covers flight delays of more than 12 hours after you check in, but doesn’t mention industrial action cover, meaning it’s worth checking with Aviva to see if it’s covered or not.
  • Allianz: a delay in departure is covered if industrial action is the cause, but only if you have booked your trip and taken out your policy before the start or announcement of the strikes
  • At national scale: the policy doesn’t mention industrial action coverage, which means it’s worth checking with Nationwide to see if it’s covered or not.

Since Covid can cover a wide range of scenarios that cannot be covered in a single article, we recommend that you read your policy documents to see what is or is not included in your insurer’s basic cover. .


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