New travel disruption cover has been added to travel insurance policies from Halifax Travel Insurance in response to recent incidents like the Mexico bird flu outbreak and last year’s ash cloud airspace closures.

The new cover, that has been added as standard on all standalone policies, has been designed to cover “gaps in the market” exposed by these events in recent years, the insurer said. 

Halifax said: “These events have illustrated a growing need for insurers to adapt to the changing needs of travellers, particularly those travelling independently, who are not protected by a tour operator if plans are disrupted.  Existing customers with standalone Halifax Travel Insurance policies will also benefit from the new cover.”

The new policy includes cover for cancellation or curtailment of a trip due to a range of causes that are currently outside the scope of most travel insurance policies, such as airline insolvency. 

It also includes substitute accommodation cover, replacement flight, and enforced stay cover for policy holders who find themselves unable to fly home through no fault of their own.  Cover is also provided for car hire, kennel/cattery fees, and airport parking should customers find themselves stranded.  

Lindsay Forster, marketing director of Halifax Travel Insurance, said: “Many more people opt to travel independently now, and are finding that when plans go awry due to unforeseen circumstances, there are some gaps in traditional travel insurance products which may leave them out of pocket.  Our new travel disruption cover fills many of those gaps, giving independent travellers greater peace of mind.”