At the moment we don’t know if the UK will be leaving the European Union on Friday 29 March with or without a deal in place – and it’s impossible to say for sure whether there’ll be disruption to flights. The Government’s official guidance says flights “should” continue as normal even if there’s no deal with the EU in place, but airline trade association the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has warned some may be cancelled.
In order to check what protection holidaymakers have, we asked 16 of the biggest travel insurers what would happen if you’ve booked hotels, car hire and other elements of a holiday now for a trip after Brexit, and you end up being unable to go because your flight is cancelled or severely delayed due to Brexit-related problems.
- Four firms told us all customers would be covered for costs arising from Brexit flight disruption. They are Admiral, Aviva, Direct Line and Saga.
- Five insurers said some customers would be covered and some wouldn’t. Three – Axa, Coverwise and Halifax – told us only those with ‘travel disruption’ cover would be able to claim. LV and Nationwide said those with more basic policies wouldn’t be able to claim, but some customers with a higher level of cover would be.
- Two insurers said customers WOULDN’T be covered. Both Debenhams and Leisure Guard said their policies only pay out if flights are delayed due to specific causes such as strikes – and Brexit isn’t one of those causes.
- Three other insurers were unable to give any specific guarantee that customers would be covered. We were told by Co-op only that Brexit-related claims would be handled on a ‘case-by-case’ basis, while Legal & General and Post Office declined to give any specific comment on whether customers would be covered.
We’ve yet to hear back from Allianz and Holidaysafe but will update this story when we do. And it’s also worth noting some other insurers’ cheaper policies don’t cover you for any form of cancellation, whether Brexit-related or not.
Even those firms which will cover you for Brexit-related disruption have warned that won’t be the case if you take out a policy after post-Brexit delays become a “known event” – for instance, if the Government decides to push ahead with a no-deal Brexit and there are official forecasts of delays. So if you have a holiday booked and want cover for Brexit-related disruption, you need to sort it now.
For full help on travel insurance including our current best-buys, see our Cheap Travel Insurance guide. And for a full rundown of what Brexit means for mortgages, currency, your rights and more, see our 25 Brexit need-to-knows.