In 2010, the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull volcano closed most of Europe’s airspace for around six days, affecting more than ten million travellers and costing the aviation industry millions.
Now, as the Icelandic meteorological office increases its eruption warning for the Bardarbunga volcano, Gocompare.com is warning bank holiday flyers to check their travel insurance before they head off.
Caroline Lloyd, Gocompare.com’s travel insurance spokesperson, said: “This new threat really demonstrates the importance of getting good travel insurance to cover you for most eventualities.
“Many 'Acts of God' or natural disasters are typically not covered by insurance providers - most policies will have an area detailing the exclusion. As such, customers should carefully read all their policy documents to see if instances of travel disruption are excluded.
"After the 2010 ash cloud, a number of insurers added a travel disruption element of cover, typically available as an upgrade, or in some instances as a stand-alone policy.
Caroline added: “If you’ve booked your journey through a tour operator, and are delayed or are unable to travel because of the volcanic ash cloud, then the operator or agent you’ve booked through should be able to assist. Airlines based in the European Union are obliged to provide travellers with accommodation and meals if they are stranded. Passengers should also be entitled to an alternative flight or a full refund.
“Should you find yourself stranded, make sure to let your insurer know, so that you are covered for the duration of any impact.
“If you’ve travelled independently, check with your insurer what cover you’re entitled to. If you bought your policy before you knew about the ash cloud, it’s likely you’ll have some level of cover. However, this can vary between policies and not all insurers have amended their policies to cover volcanic ash, so it’s well worth calling your insurer and finding out before you go.
"It's also important to remember that you can't insure against potential disruption to your holiday plans that you were already aware of, such as a publically announced airline strike or industrial action. Likewise, if you have booked to travel to the affected area, since the latest announcement, it’s important to check with your insurer that you are covered, as they may take the view that you would have been aware that volcanic activity was likely to cause travel disruption.”