If it is in the Sky, It is Weather!

Posted: 20th May 2011

Plane on runway

With another volcanic dust cloud threatening to disrupt aviation, a recent decision will give some comfort to travellers.
The Financial Services Ombudsman has refused to refer a test case involving a travel insurance claim to the court in order to determine whether the volcanic ash cloud which caused so much disruption to European aviation in 2010 was not covered by the phrase ‘poor weather conditions’.
Most travel insurance policies contain limitations in cover which exclude or limit claims resulting from ‘acts of God and those relating to areas where there is civil unrest or war or to which travel is undertaken when the Foreign Office has advised against it. Normally, they allow a claim to be made where it results from adverse weather conditions.
The case involved a woman whose claim was refused by the insurer, which argued that it was not covered by the clause that allowed a claim to be made when the travel disruption resulted from adverse weather conditions. She appealed to the Ombudsman.
The ombudsman concluded that it was not a suitable case to refer to the court as a test case and made an award to the claimant.