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Will my travel insurance cover strike action?

Photo by Connor Danylenko:

Since Covid lockdowns ended and travel restrictions gradually began to ease, many families have been looking forward to their long-awaited Summer travel plans finally becoming a reality.

Unfortunately, those seeking to travel abroad recently have been experiencing more than a bit of turbulence before they even got off the tarmac. Airlines are contending with staff shortages, vast amounts of post-covid demand, and other logistical issues.

This means that flights have had the potential to be delayed or even cancelled at the last minute. Sadly, it looks likely that yet more disruption could also be coming holidaymaker’s way.

Several airlines have also seen workers ballot for strike action, set to take place throughout the Summer, both in the UK and across Europe.

Does travel insurance cover strike action?

Citizen’s Advice detail many circumstances where your airline may have to compensate you if your flight is delayed or cancelled.

Unfortunately, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer to whether your travel insurance will cover you in the event of strike action.

Each policy may determine its own coverage concerning industrial action, so it is essential to determine the terms and conditions associated with any coverage you currently have (or are about to take out).

Jenny Ross, Which? Money Editor has said: ‘With many airlines warning of widespread disruption this Summer and Covid cases on the rise, travellers should ensure they’ve taken out adequate insurance to cover any losses or unexpected costs they might face.

‘Which? analysis of 199 policies shows that levels of cover can vary wildly in important areas like disruption caused by strike action or Covid.’

‘We advise travellers to always check policies carefully to ensure they offer the cover that will be most appropriate to their trip, and to ensure they have cover in place from the time of booking.’

How to find out what your travel insurance covers

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Citizen’s Advice also offer some information for those planning to take out travel insurance and lists several circumstances in which travel insurance can protect you, including the cancellation or cutting short your trip for reasons beyond your control, missed transport or delayed departure, and medical and other emergencies.

If you have already taken out a policy and would like to double-check what it covers, then the terms and conditions are an excellent place to start.

They will usually be available (either via an attached document or a web link) in the confirmation email your insurer has sent you. The FAQ section of their website may also be able to offer some clarification.

If you can’t get the answer you need, your next step should be to contact the insurance provider. You can try emailing them if you are far enough in advance not to require an immediate response. However, it may be worth giving your insurer a call if you need an answer quickly.

Some of the popular providers’ general contact details are:

  • The Post Office – 0330 123 3690 (General enquiries for all policies) – Monday to Friday 8 am to 8 pm, and Saturday from 9 am to 5:30 pm
  • Aviva – 0345 030 8715 – Monday to Friday: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm, Saturday: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm, Sunday: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, Bank holidays: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.
  • Virgin – 0330 175 8283 (General enquiries for new customers) – 9.00 am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday.

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