Early Monday morning the River Seine in the French capital, Paris, peaked at more than four meters above its normal level. It rose to 5.84m (19.2ft) and is not expected to begin receding before Tuesday.
The reason behind the sudden rise is thought to be due to weeks of rainfall. Officials reported that around 1,500 people have been evacuated from their homes in the greater Paris region, while a similar number of homes remain without electricity.
The last significant flood in Paris was in 2016 when the river reached a high of 6.1m.
Several areas on the city’s outskirts are under water, and some residents are having to get around by boat. Many famous attractions were on high alert after seven train stations along the main commuter line were closed and are not due to reopen until the 5th February 2018.
More rain is expected and it is believed water levels will remain high for the rest of the week.
Following this news, it is understandable those planning to visit Paris over the next few days may be worries about travelling and holidaymakers in the City may be looking to return home.
So, what cover can you expect from your travel insurance?
If your accommodation have been affected and the holiday was booked through a travel agent or tour operator, it is their responsibility to find alternative accommodation or offer a refund. If the holiday has been booked independently, travel insurance may cover for cancellation – however, check the policy wording carefully and see if the policy will cover for force majeure (acts of nature or climate changes).
Those already in Paris who’s return journey home has been affected by the flooding, may be able to claim for any additional expenses incurred as a result of the delay i.e car parking charges, pet care etc. This cover is not available under all policies so be sure to check the wording of your policy carefully.
If you haven’t been able to use booked accommodation due to the flooding, you may be able to claim for compensation under your travel insurance policy, but again this cover isn’t regularly available so check your policy wording.
With many of Paris’s main attractions closed, it may not be possible to use any tickets you have pre-paid. If this is the case, check to see if your policy covers for ‘non-refundable pre-paid tickets’ – so if the company you bought your tickets from does not offer a refund, you may be able to claim for the cost under your travel insurance.