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Bardarbunga Volcano in Iceland and travel insurance

On Tuesday, 26 August 2014 the Icelandic Meteorological Office confirmed that a 5.7 earthquake had hit Iceland‘s Bardarbunga volcano overnight, the biggest since tremors began 11 days before. However, there remains no sign of an eruption at this time.

Although the risk level had been raised to red at one point, it has been lowered back to orange and the situation is still being monitored closely. Last week, the aviation industry were warned about the possibility of flight disruptions should an explosive sub-glacial eruption, leading to an outburst flood and ash emission occur.

So what cover could you now have under your travel insurance policy?

With memories of 2010 when 100,000 flights were cancelled with an estimated 10 million passengers stranded or delayed around the world when much of Europe’s airspace was shut down for 6 days due to the ash cloud produced by the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano, travellers remain concerned about the disruption of their travel plans.

If you are due to travel and are concerned that you may be caught up in similar travel delays as a result of an eruption of Bardarbunga, it would be wise to check your travel insurance to see if it includes cover for disruption due to volcanic activity or ash cloud. Not all travel insurance policies include cover for volcanic ash or journey disruption due to airspace closure.

Your Broker or Insurer should be able to clarify the position for you, if you are unsure. Most Insurers will require that you have purchased your policy and/or booked your trip before activity around Bardarbunga was known.

Free Spirit travel insurance (Super Duper only) includes cover for journey disruption and airspace closure in the event you have to cancel (up to £3,000) or incur additional expenses (up to £1,000) as a result of disruption caused by a natural disaster including a volcanic eruption. Please note that cover only applies if you have booked individual elements of your trip separately. You will need to contact your tour operator or travel agent in respect of pre-paid costs relating to a package holiday. As mentioned above, Free Spirit Insurers will only provide cover if you bought your Super Duper policy and/or booked your trip before activity around Bardarbunga was known.

Please read the Free Spirit Policy Booklet for our full terms and conditions of the journey disruption including airspace closure cover to make sure it is suitable for you.