Travel Insurance Joy for Columbus Direct Customers Affected by Volcano

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Columbus Direct have provided a little comfort to its customers whose holiday plans have been disrupted by the grounding of flights due to the Icelandic Volcano, offering both trip delay and trip abandonment compensation.

Columbus Direct have provided a little comfort to its customers whose holiday plans have been disrupted by the grounding of flights due to the Icelandic Volcano, offering both trip delay and trip abandonment compensation.

While the BBC, amongst others, are reporting that "Travellers whose holiday plans have been ruined by the volcanic ash that grounded UK flights face confusion over insurance." Columbus Direct customers are safe in the knowledge that they are covered if their trip is delayed more than 12 hours because their flight has been cancelled due to this problem - worth up to £200 per 12 hours.

Furthermore, they can also claim for Abandonment if they are delayed for more than 24 hours, a benefit worth up to £7,500 for Gold customers.

Columbus has provided clear guidelines on its website instructing customer and travellers in general what they are entitled to.

1. For customers returning to the UK:
If you are flying with an EU registered airline then they are obliged to look after you. This includes replacement transport and accommodation. In addition to this, Columbus Direct travel insurance policies provide cover for travel delay in this scenario, for delays of over 12 hours, and customer should contact the claims department as outlined in their policy documents to get a claims form sent to you.

2. For customers departing from the UK:
If you bought a policy before travel restrictions were put in place then you are covered under your Columbus Direct travel insurance policy for abandonment. In many cases your tour operator or airline will either offer you full reimbursement or replacement services, if they do not then you are covered under your Columbus Direct policy for trip abandonment, which is valid for delays of over 24 hours. Please read your policy document and schedule for the details of this cover and how to claim.

3. All single trip policies that should have expired where customers have been unable to return to the UK have been automatically extended to cover customers while they continue to be unable to return home. This means that Columbus Direct customers due to return who are now outside of their policy term have still got the cover they originally purchased continued, for no charge, during the remainder of their enforced stay outside of the UK.

Unlike many travel insurance companies Columbus Direct is honouring claims related to this unprecedented situation, and we are working hard to ensure that all valid claims are dealt with and that all our customers are treated fairly.

Policies purchased after the no fly restrictions were put in place do not have any cover for cancellation, as once the restriction was in place this event was no longer unforeseen, and therefore cannot be insured against. Once no fly restrictions have been lifted this cover will once again continue.

All customers should read their policy wording carefully along with schedule to determine what they are covered for, and the limits that apply.

It's not the first time Columbus has bucked the trend, as Columbus Direct is one of the few travel insurance providers who offered Scheduled Airline Flight Insurance (SAFI) at no additional cost with all its policies. The protection means that customers who are due to travel with airlines that go into administration (with dozens having gone bust over the last 2 years including notable examples such as XL, Zoom, Oasis, Nationwide, Eos, Silver Jet and most recently Flyglobespan) are covered for their lost ticket costs to put towards a new ticket and for those overseas at the time of the collapse it provides for replacement airline tickets to a similar standard (up to £5,000) to get back home.

Graham Linney, Director of Columbus said "Not all travel insurance is the same, and we are proud that Columbus Direct Travel Insurance is helping thousands of customers during this difficult time."

Customers can contact Columbus via its website or by calling 0800 082 1287.

Notes to editors - About Columbus
Columbus Direct is a leading travel insurance specialist which was established in 1988, selling both online via and offline via call centre channels. By selling direct to the public, we cut out the middle man and can save our customers up to 60% in commissions charged by other providers.

Customer satisfaction and value for money are the driving forces behind Columbus Direct and we pride ourselves on providing a quick, efficient and hassle-free service.

Over the last decade, more than 11 million customers have trusted Columbus Direct with their travel insurance needs.

We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority and also operate a claims charter.


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Rob Thomas

Joanne Hines
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