Four in 10 travel insurance policies do not cover strike action, Which? finds

Travellers are urged to check their insurance policies before going abroad, as Which? finds four in 10 do not cover holidaymakers for strikes by airport or airline staff.

As part of its annual review of travel insurance, the consumer group said it assessed 199 policies by 71 providers and rated them depending on the level of protection they offer in 61 areas.

It found six in 10 (120) of the policies offer cover if travellers have to cancel a trip due to strikes, leaving 40% of holidaymakers unprotected.

MORE: Concern BA strike threat will add to ‘travel chaos’ narrative

The consumer group also examined the policies’ Covid protection, and found fewer than one in 10 offered what it considered to be ‘complete’ protection in the event of a holiday being disrupted by Covid.

Just nine of the 199 policies permit travellers who need emergency medical care for catching Covid while abroad to make a claim, and give them the option to claim cancellation costs if they test positive before their trip.

Those policies also provide cover should the legal requirement to self-isolate be reintroduced for those identified as close contacts, and allow policy holders to claim if, after booking their trip, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advises against travel to their destination because of Covid or restrictions on movement.

Two-thirds of policies (131) offer what the consumer group considered a ‘superior’ level of Covid cover, meaning the policies cover travellers for emergency medical care and cancellations due to catching Covid, and offer cover if the policy holder is legally required to self-isolate.

Three in 10 policies (55) were rated as ‘low’, providing medical cover for contracting Covid abroad and the ability to claim if cancelling a trip due to testing positive, while four of the policies were considered ‘basic’, only providing emergency medical cover in the event of catching Covid while abroad.

Which? money editor Jenny Ross warned: “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.”

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