Hurricane Irma: Here’s how your travel insurance can help

Hurricane Irma has caused devastation across the Caribbean and is now heading towards the US.

Here’s how your travel insurance can help

  • Delayed departure – We’ll pay for each full 12-hour period of delay. Please note that we don’t cover arrival delay, only departure delay
  • Abandoning your trip – If your delay in departing from the UK exceeds 24 hours then we’ll pay you for your unused travel and accommodation costs which can’t be reimbursed from other sources. If your holiday was booked as a package, then you should ask your tour operator or travel agent first to try and move the dates or get a refund
  • Cancelling your trip – We can’t cover you to cancel your trip as claims would fall under the abandonment section instead (see above)
  • Accommodation cover – If the storm has led to you not being able to reach your accommodation in resort, or not being able to continue using your accommodation in resort, then we’ll consider new accommodation booked to continue your trip and the reasonable cost of additional travel to get there. Please note that we will not consider any upgrade cost regarding accommodation, as you should use the same level as originally booked (i.e. if you were originally staying in a three-star hotel, we won’t consider the cost of a four-star hotel. If you submit a claim then we’d look to establish the three-star hotel cost and apply this to the claim)
  • Missed departure – If the storm means public transport fails and you can’t get to the airport on time to reach your return flight, then missed departure will apply if this is the final return journey. If your flight is delayed from an area affected, and your actual final return journey is the next destination (e.g. Caribbean to mainland USA, then USA to London), then we will consider missed departure from the final return journey destination (e.g. USA). In terms of travel to the UK departure points, a lot of our terms and conditions state that you must check-in for a travel delay or abandonment claim to be valid. In light of the extent of the weather conditions, we’ll allow people not to check-in if you’ve been contacted by the airline and told not to check-in. Also, if you’re in resort and are told not to go to the airport to check-in because of the storm, this is also OK

Please note

  • Please check your policy terms and conditions to see exactly what cover your policy provides, as different policies vary
  • If you’ve bought natural disaster cover, extra help is available – please check your policy terms and conditions
  • The cover above only applies if you bought your policy on or before 3rd September 2017. If you bought your policy from 4th September 2017 onwards (when Hurricane Irma became publicly known in the news), we’d deem the hurricane to be a known event, so we won’t be able to provide any cover

What to do

If you’re stuck overseas and you’re unable to return to the UK, your existing policy will automatically extend to cover you until you’re reasonably able to return home.

If you’re still in the UK and you haven’t travelled yet, the following rules apply:

  • Where you can, you should try to get a full refund from your tour operator or travel agent. We’ll only consider non-refundable expenses on your travel insurance policy
  • If you wish to rearrange your trip dates, and provided you’re not making any claim for trip abandonment, we can allow the cover dates to be transferred to a new trip provided the new trip is within three months of the original departure date and is for the same (or no longer) duration, and is to the same geographical area.

If you need to make a claim, please click here. If you’ve got any questions, please get in touch with our claims team.