Thailand Floods: What if your holiday is affected?

By , October 27, 2011 12:49 pm
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In response to the flooding which is affecting large areas of the Thailand, last night the FCO updated its travel advice to advise against all but essential travel to the city of Bangkok and the twenty-six provinces in Thailand currently affected by widespread flooding.

The Government of Thailand has announced a public holiday in all flood-affected areas, including the city of Bangkok, to run from 27 to 31 October. Some services may not be available during this period.

British Nationals who are already in Thailand are advised to exercise caution and following the advice of the local authorities. If you are due to travel to Thailand you should contact your airline or tour operator for more information.

Please note: The advice against all but essential travel to the city of Bangkok does not include transit through Suvarnabhumi airport, although Don Muang domestic airport closed on 25 October due to the effects flooding.

What if your holiday is affected?

If you are due to travel to Thailand, you should contact your tour operator or airline for the latest information. You can also check to see if there is any cover under your travel insurance policy, but your first port of call should always be your airline or tour operator to find out how your travel arrangements will be affected.

Check the latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)

The FCO has stated that it will be continually reviewing the situation in Thailand and it will publish updated advice on its website, so check for their website for the latest advice before travel. You can also follow them on twitter @fcotravel.

Be aware, that if you choose to travel against FCO advice that your travel insurance cover will be not be valid.

What does travel insurance cover?

There are two sections of your travel insurance policy that could provide cover if your holiday is affected by flooding.

Travel delay under your travel insurance

If flooding delays or prevents your departure from the UK, or delays your return flight to the UK, you may be able to make a claim under the travel delay section of your policy.

Generally, if your outbound or return flight to or from the UK is delayed due to adverse weather conditions you can claim a benefit for every full 12 or 24 hours that you are delayed, check your policy wording for details. This benefit is intended to help cover additional expenses such as food and drink if you are stuck at the airport for longer than expected.

Also, if your outbound flight is delayed by more than 12 or 24 hours you might have the option with your travel insurance policy to abandon your holiday and make a claim for the cost, again, you should check your policy terms and conditions for full details.

Always check the terms and conditions of your policy – you usually have to have checked in for your flight for the travel delay cover to be applicable.

Catastrophe or uninhabitable accommodation cover

Catastrophe cover, which can also be known as uninhabitable accommodation cover or accommodation cover is included in many travel insurance policies.

It is designed to provide cover for additional, irrecoverable travel or accommodation costs if you are forced to move from your pre-paid, pre-booked holiday accommodation (outside of the UK) as a result of unforeseen events such as flood, fire, earthquake, hurricane and medical epidemic. The cover is intended to enable you to continue your holiday in alternative accommodation, or if that’s not possible, return to the UK. Check your travel insurance policy before you travel for full details.

This section of your travel insurance policy may be applicable if you are in Thailand and your holiday accommodation is affected by flooding.

Remember; check the FCO website for the latest advice before you travel and contact your airline or tour operator for information on how or if your travel arrangements will be affected.

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