Volcanic ash travel claims are legitimateFinancial Ombudsman rules in favour of claimants

25 May 2011

Plane and volcano

Travel insurance policyholders can take claims to the Financial Ombudsman Service

With volcanic ash back in the news, it's been announced that thousands of travel insurance claims that were lodged against providers after the original Icelandic volcano debacle in April last year can be taken to the Ombudsman. 

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) found that insurers were wrong to reject all travel insurance claims that stemmed from the volcanic ash incident, allowing affected policyholders to take the matter further and seek redress.

More than 600 travel insurance complaints made

Out of pocket travellers have six months from the point their claim was rejected to approach the FOS, which has already received more than 600 complaints. It is estimated that the fall-out from the volcanic ash episode will cost the insurance sector tens of millions of pounds through travel insurance claims. 

Poor weather conditions to blame

Ombudsman Caroline Mitchell explained the FOS ruling: 'I do not consider that it is stretching the ordinary meaning of the words to interpret the cloud of ash, moved by the wind, as an example of a poor weather condition.'

For more information on making complaints to the FOS about travel disruption caused by the Volcanic ash incident, visit the Volcanic ash consumer rights guide.

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