In­surer won’t pay for missed flights

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - FRONT PAGE -

Early this year I took my boys, aged 10 and 15, ski­ing in France. I had ar­ranged pri­vate trans­fers.

On the way back our hire car picked us up two hours af­ter the agreed time. This was due to ex­ces­sive hol­i­day traf­fic.

We duly missed our flights home. There was no prospect of get­ting a dif­fer­ent flight that night as they were all fully booked and bizarrely there were no ho­tels on site.

We even­tu­ally man­aged to get booked into a ho­tel 30 min­utes from the air­port at 11pm, which was all very stress­ful. I then spent the night on the phone to my wife in the UK to ob­tain flights for the next day.

The pri­vate car com­pany will not re­im­burse me for my loss. I then put in a claim with my travel in­sur­ance, Hol­i­daysafe.

The Win­ter Sports Pre­mier pol­icy says it cov­ers up to £1,000 for al­ter­na­tive trans­port to get you to your home coun­try.

Af­ter two weeks I then JAMES MADDOCK, NOTTS

The whole of the pub­lic trans­port sys­tem was grid­locked due to the be­gin­ning of the French school half-term.

You submitted your claim as the in­surer’s han­dler, Travel Claims Fa­cil­i­ties, in­structed.

How­ever, the claims han­dler turned it down. This was be­cause cover un­der the “missed de­par­ture” sec­tion would only be con­sid­ered if pub­lic trans­port, such as your train, bus or in­ter­nal flight that runs to a pub­lished timetable, was de­layed, pre­vent­ing you from get­ting to your international de­par­ture point in time to check in.

In fact, given the cir­cum­stances with the traf­fic not mov­ing, whether it was pub­lic or pri­vate road trans­port that caused the prob­lem you wouldn’t have got there on time any­way.

Fur­ther to my in­volve­ment Travel Claims Fa­cil­i­ties changed its mind, set­tled the claim and of­fered €85 (£75) for the ho­tel and €795 for the flights.

Travel Claims Fa­cil­i­ties said it had to con­sider the terms and con­di­tions of each pol­icy, the in­for­ma­tion avail­able and the cir­cum­stances of the case.

A spokesman said that on this oc­ca­sion the claim was orig­i­nally as­sessed in line with the terms of the pol­icy and within the re­mit of the ap­pointed claims han­dlers’ role to the in­surer.

How­ever, upon re­view its team was sym­pa­thetic to the cir­cum­stances and de­cided it could be con­sid­ered out­side the terms stip­u­lated in the pol­icy.

You say there are 36 pages in the terms and con­di­tions. From the sum­mary you be­lieved you would be cov­ered.

You did not find or look for the piece about pub­lic trans­port and the timetable un­til it was drawn to your at­ten­tion. I also strug­gled with the pol­icy’s terms and con­di­tions.

In fair­ness to the in­surer it did pay out on a sep­a­rate small claim you had put in for an in­ci­dent aris­ing dur­ing the same trip. This in­volved a med­i­cal ex­pense fol­low­ing a mi­nor ac­ci­dent to one of your chil­dren. Then the in­surer paid £146 with­out quib­bling.

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