The survey assessed 199 policies offered by 71 insurance providers, and rated them on their level of protection in 61 key areas. It found that just 120 of the policies offered cover if travellers had to cancel a trip due to strikes, while 78 did not. One policy offered coverage as an optional extra.
The lack of coverage could leave many travellers vulnerable, as airlines such as British Airways, Ryanair, easyJet, Malta Air, CrewLink, Scandinavian Airlines and Volotea are all expected to be impacted by industrial action.
‘Huge disparities’ in coronavirus coverage
Covid coverage was another area Which? identified as suffering from ‘huge disparities’ – of the 199 policies examined, only nine offered what it considers to be ‘complete’ protection in the event of Covid-related travel disruption. ‘Complete’ means that the policy enables travellers to claim for emergency medical care for Covid while abroad; have the option to claim cancellation costs if they test positive before their trip; and provides coverage if legal requirements or travel advisories are reimposed which could disrupt their trip.
Two thirds (131) of policies offered what Which? considers ‘superior’ Covid coverage – meaning that the policy covers emergency medical care and cancellations, as well as coverage in the event of legal requirements to self-isolate being reintroduced (but no coverage for the reimposition of travel advisories). Three in 10 policies (55) were rated ‘low’ for Covid coverage, only providing cover for cancellations due to a positive test, and emergency medical cover while abroad. Four policies provided ‘basic’ coverage, providing only emergency medical coverage.
“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,” said Jenny Ross, Which? Money Editor. “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.”
Of course, a lack of specific coverage for strike-related disruption isn’t a concern if you haven’t purchased any travel insurance at all. According to a survey published in May by price comparison site GoCompare, 40 per cent of Brits aren’t planning to buy travel insurance this summer.