Wildfires in Greece continue to blaze engulfing cars and homes in what’s said to be the worst wildfire in decades.
Over 50 people are dead and dozens are still missing as firefighters try to battle the blaze. Aircraft fitted with water cannons are now being used to try and tackle the flames which are continuously spreading due to the dry terrain from the recent heatwave.
The fire remains uncontrolled and is now disrupting major transport links in Athens and the surrounding areas. Authorities are working on evacuating nearby towns and villages as a precaution and local hospitals are under pressure with over 100 injured locals and tourist awaiting treatment.
The Greek village of Mati, located 18 miles east from Athens, has been destroyed with all homes, cars and infrastructure reduced to ash. Firefighters and medical teams are helping clear the area of debris and bodies.
A vessel containing 10 Danish tourists, thought to be trying to escape the blaze, has gone missing and groups of up to 80 people are fleeing to nearby shores in an attempt to board boats and get away from the flames.
As the fire continues to spread across rural Greece, tourists are being advised to remain in the city centre of Athens. If you are already abroad and your accommodation or flight has been affected, your travel insurance may cover the cost of additional accommodation and expenses until you are able to return home – as long as your policy offers Force Majeure cover.
The Force Majeure section in your travel insurance covers climatic conditions, such as wildfires. Most travel insurance policies will not cover force majeure as standard so it’s worth keeping an eye out for one that will or alternatively, a policy that will offer a Force Majeure extension. As we have seen over the last few months climatic conditions such as wildfires, volcanos erupting and flash floods are happening on a regular basis around the world, so ensuring you have this cover on your policy is becoming somewhat essential.
If your chosen destination has been affected by the wildfire and you need to cancel the holiday, check to see if your policy offers Force Majeure cover or ‘cancellation for any cause beyond your reasonable control’. It is important to note; travel insurance will not cover if you no longer wish to travel to Greece because of the fires, as this is seen as ‘disinclination to travel’.
Please note, travel insurance purchased after 23rd July 2018 will not offer Force Majeure cover for this particular wildfire as it is now a ‘known event’.