Insurer won’t pay for missed flights
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.