Almost half of travel insurance policies do not protect against strikes, according to Which? | business news

Almost half of insurance policies do not protect tourists from cancellations caused by strikes, the consumer group Which? has found.

Their analysis of 199 packages offered by 71 providers found that 40% offered no coverage for the strike.

Travelers are warned to prepare for chaos this summer as unions vote to strike in a fight for better wages and working conditions.

More than 700 BA check-in clerks and ground handling agents at Heathrow could walk out at the height of the summer season after recently voting to strike.

Meanwhile, easyJet workers in Spain have said they will stage sporadic strikes throughout July as unions in France, Italy and Portugal continue to clash with airlines and airports, raising the possibility of more labor action.

Taken together, the situation paints a bleak picture for travelers this summer.

Many are understandably looking for protection: insurance to cover them if their flights are cancelled.

But only six out of 10 of the policies Which? examined actually offered reimbursement to travelers forced to cancel a trip due to strikes, leaving many policyholders unprotected.

Ryanair and EasyJet airline workers demonstrate at the gates of Malaga's Costa del Sol airport.  Photo: AP
Ryanair and easyJet airline workers demonstrate at the gates of Malaga’s Costa del Sol airport.

“We advise travelers to always review policies carefully to ensure they offer the cover that is most suitable for your trip and to ensure they have coverage in place from the time of booking,” said Jenny Ross, money editor at Which ?.

It added that travelers “should ensure they have taken out adequate insurance to cover any unexpected losses or costs they may face.”

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Which? it also scrutinized the policies for their amount of protection against coronavirus-related outages.

The group said it found wide disparities in the level of coverage offered, with cases on the rise in many European countries.

Of the 199 policies that which? tested, less than 10% offered what they considered full protection should COVID-19 interrupt a vacation.

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The group defines comprehensive coverage as giving travelers the ability to claim emergency medical care if they contract COVID-19 while abroad, and also giving them the option to claim cancellation costs if they test positive for the virus before their arrival. trip.

Comprehensive policies should include reimbursement if the legal requirement to self-isolate for those identified as close contacts is reintroduced, or if the government restricts travel to and from the country in which you are vacationing.

Other tips from Which? Always include booking your holiday by credit card if possible, as your bank is legally obliged to refund you for any purchase over £100 if the services provided are not as advertised, and you will not be reimbursed by the company responsible.

The group also said that “anyone who has their vacation canceled by a package tour operator is entitled to a refund by law. Airlines are also required to reimburse passengers when they cancel flights, even when the cancellation is caused by the strike of their own staff.

“Similarly, vacation packages from an ATOL-protected company will ensure that you are reimbursed in the event that the company closes and you are repatriated if it happens while you are abroad.”

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