Several holiday destinations such as Greece, France, and Tenerife are facing active wildfires, with evacuations taking place in some areas.
If you are on holiday right now, or you are planning to go soon, you may be wondering how your travel insurance will help you. Here’s what you need to know about wildfires, and what your travel insurance policy may cover.
- I’m currently on holiday, what can I do?
- I have a holiday booked, what should I do?
- Am I covered by travel insurance?
- Is it safe to travel?
- Will I be covered for cancelling my holiday?
- What can I do if my flight is delayed?
I’m currently on holiday, what can I do?
If you’re currently in an area affected by wildfires, you should contact your tour operator, airline or travel provider as soon as you can.
If you booked your trip as a package holiday, you should contact your tour operator for updates. If you booked your flights directly, contact your airline for the latest information.
If your holiday is affected, your travel provider should provide assistance with getting you home or finding you somewhere else to stay.
You can also find the latest advice from the UK government on the FCDO website.
I have a holiday booked, what should I do?
If you are planning to go to abroad soon and you want to reschedule your holiday, you should get in touch with your travel provider. They will tell you if you can get your money back or change your travel plans.Any costs incurred in rearranging a trip are not covered by your Avanti policy.
If you are able to rearrange your holiday, check to see if you need to update your travel insurance policy with your new travel dates. You might need to pay an extra premium if you need to amend your policy.
If your travel provider is unable to offer you a refund or rebook your holiday, you may be able to claim back the costs of your trip on your holiday insurance.
Am I covered by travel insurance?
You may be covered for catastrophes such as wildfires if you have an Avanti Classic or Deluxe policy. This could cover you if you can’t stay at your booked accommodation because of fire. You would be able to move to different accommodation so that you can continue the rest of your holiday.
The fires must have been unforeseen when you bought your policy or booked your trip, whichever was later.
Is it safe to travel?
The current advice from the UK Foreign Office is that if you’re planning to travel to any affected areas, you should check with your travel operator or hotel prior to travel. Find out the latest travel advice on the FCDO website.
Will I be covered for cancelling my holiday?
If your holiday is cancelled by the airline or tour operator, they should provide you with a full refund or rebook your trip.
If you decide you do not want to travel, you would need to speak to your travel provider to see if you’re able to cancel your trip. There is no automatic right to a refund, and change of mind is not covered by travel insurance.
What can I do if my flight is delayed?
If your flight is significantly delayed, under UK law, your flight provider needs to offer you care and assistance. Find out your rights here on the CAA website.
If your flight is significantly delayed, your flight provider must give you:
- Food and drink – often given in vouchers
- Opportunity to call people if needed – often by refunding the cost of your calls
- Accommodation if your flight is delayed overnight
- Transport to and from accommodation or home if you’re close enough
If the airline is not able to offer you this due to staff shortages, then you should be able to claim for reimbursement from your airline for these costs as long as they are seen as reasonable. Check your airline for their policy on what they see as reasonable.
You might also be able to claim some compensation from your travel insurance if your flight is significantly delayed. Check out the ‘travel delay’ section of your Avanti policy documents for more information on what you’re covered for.