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Travel Insurance Strikes

13 August, 2019 By Hayley Kennedy

Isn’t it a pain in the bum when your trying to get from Hobart to Hong Kong and you find out there is an industrial strike affecting your travel plans!?

With travel disruptions more common than ever, it’s important to know where you stand in terms of your cover. Keep reading to learns the ins and outs of travel insurance when it comes to delays and cancellations due to airline strikes…

Does travel insurance cover strikes?

The short answer is yes, most travel insurance companies cover unforeseen strikes if they cause disruptions to your journey. You would need to have already purchased cover when news of the strike hit the mass media however. 

Keep in mind you are unlikely to be covered for cancellations due to change of mind if you decide you no longer want to go, and airlines were still flying.

Which insurers covers strikes? 

Every insurer will offer varying degrees of cover. As always, benefits will differ across ranging cover levels. The following summarises the strike benefits across a range of travel insurers:

**Click on the plus icon to see more detail**

General Advice Warning: The contents of this article were accurate at the time of writing. Insurers change their policies from time to time, so some information may have changed. You should always read the Product Disclosure Statement of your chosen insurer to understand what is covered and what isn't. The information provided is of a general nature only and does not take into account any personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making a decision you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your personal circumstances.

What's typically covered regarding strikes?

Medical costs: Should you incur any injuries as a result of an strike or civil protest and needed medical attention, your travel insurance would pay for your treatment.

Emergency medical evacuation and repatriation: In the event that you require emergency evacuation or medical treatment cannot be administered locally you would be evacuated to the nearest medical facility. Repatriation costs would also be covered In the event of your death.

Cancellation (before you’ve left): If you’ve not left for your holiday yet and a strike forces you to cncel your trip. Comprehensive travel insurance can help you to claim back your out of pocket expenses. 

Cancellation (when already on holiday): If you are within a strike zone you will be covered for travel and accommodation costs involved in moving to new accommodation (if your booked accommodation is deemed uninhabitable).

What isn't covered? 

Travel against warnings: Travel insurance doesn't cover stupidity. If you intentionally put yourself in harm’s way and travel to a country or region against governmental travel advice, you do so at your own peril. You will unlikely be covered for anything that relates to the travel warning.

Known events: Once an event is known in the mass media (i.e. an airline is striking and flights are cancelled) you wouldn’t be eligible to buy cover for any losses incurred, or claim to cancel your trip if you didn’t already have a policy in place. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, particularly if you bought travel insurance prior to a major event.  Those who were late to the party would most likely be unable to claim. 
Accommodation cover: Your place of residence would have to be uninhabitable for you to make a claim (i.e. the hotel not meeting expectations or a broken window would not suffice). 

Changing your mind: Travel insurance doesn’t cover change of mind. There might be a few providers out there that would cover you for cancelling your trip due to fear of a strike, but this is not the norm. Generally speaking, if your airline was still flying, travel insurance wouldn’t cover you for changing your mind.

Stay safe

Whether you're trip has been affected by an airline striking or you're caught up in a commotion, it's very important to keep yourself safe.

Always practice common sense, avoid large gatherings and don’t undermine the ability for things to get out of hand when tensions are high. 

If you find yourself stuff because of a strike, contact your travel insurer’s help line. They can advise you the best course of action of action. See more information on what to do should in civil protests or riots.

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Contributor Hayley Kennedy

Hayley Kennedy

Originally from the UK, Hayley took a gap ‘year’ in 2011… and it’s still going! She’s travelled all over the world, volunteering in a Ugandan orphanage, skydiving in Australia, shark diving in South Africa, and skiing in the Alps (and snapping in a ligament in the process!). Certified in Tier 2 General Insurance General Advice and working in travel insurance for over two years, Hayley is a thrillseeker and a storyteller who loves hearing about customers’ holiday plans and sharing her own tips and must-see spots to help get them inspired.

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