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Volcano

Will the possible Volcanic Eruption of Bardarbunga in Iceland affect your Travel Plans?

Earlier today the aviation industry has been warned about the possibility of flight disruptions, due to the intense seismic activity over the last few days of the Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland. Iceland’s Met Office has raised the risk level to orange which means minor activity or eruption warning. This is the second highest warning level out of five, although there have been no signs of eruption at this stage.

The Met Office said in a statement that the strongest earthquake in the region since 1996 was recorded early on Monday.

It said: “As evidence of magma movement shallower than 10km (6.2 miles) implies increased potential of a volcanic eruption, the Bardarbunga aviation colour code has been changed to orange. Presently there are no signs of eruption, but it cannot be excluded that the current activity will result in an explosive sub-glacial eruption, leading to an outburst flood and ash emission. The situation is monitored closely.”

You may remember in 2010, 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. The disruption led to 100,000 flights being cancelled with an estimated 10 million passengers stranded or delayed around the world.

Were you affected by the events of 2010 and if you had already booked your holiday, were you successful in claiming your pre-paid costs from your travel insurance provider? If you have already booked your holiday or you have yet to decide where to holiday, Free Spirit suggests that air travellers check their travel insurance to ensure that they adequately covered for the direct and indirect costs of flight cancellations.

Not all travel insurance policies provide cover for volcanic ash or journey disruption due to airspace closure. This special cover enables you to cancel your holiday and make a claim for your pre-paid costs if your flight is disrupted before you leave home. Journey disruption can sometimes pay for the additional expense of finding alternative transport home, if your airline does not provide you with something else suitable.

Volcanic ash cover will vary with different travel insurance providers and is not always included, so you should always read the terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy carefully to check exactly what is provided.

Free Spirit travel insurance (Super Duper only) automatically covers journey disruption and airspace closure and 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. 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.

In order to be covered for volcanic ash cloud disruption you must have bought your travel insurance with volcanic ash cloud cover before a volcano erupts or the eruption threat warning turning red. So if you are about to fly to Iceland it’s not too late to get the travel insurance you need from Free Spirit. Most people will not even consider asking if volcanic ash cover is included in their travel policy but as you never know when the next volcano will erupt, it could be worth adding it just in case!

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.