At least 2,700 flights have been affected by the snow storm that swept through America yesterday, with many cancelled and others being forced to turn back to the UK just hours after they left the runway.

Major airports in New York and New Jersey have closed due to the treacherous weather conditions and passengers are being encouraged to call their airlines before heading to the airport. It is believed New York City is expecting a further 6 to 10 inches of snow.

Passengers who are unable to return to or waiting to depart from the UK and have booked tickets with an EU-based airline will be entitled to accommodation, food and refreshments until an alternative flight is available – it is best to check with the airline as compensation will differ, likewise if the airline is not EU-based you will need to check the provisions with the individual company as EU regulations are not applicable.

So, what cover can you expect from your travel insurance?
If your travel insurance covers you for travel delays you will be entitled to a small amount of compensation for every set block of time you are delayed; for example, £100 for every 6 or hours, however beware that a lot of policies won’t offer compensation unless you have been delayed 12 hours or longer and the compensation can be a lot lower. This compensation is to cover the cost of refreshments and can be claimed back when you return home.

Those passengers departing from the UK who decide to cancel their trip after a 24-hour delay may be entitled to cancellation cover, however we recommend reading your policy wording carefully or speaking directly to your insurer. If you do decide to cancel your holiday but have pre-paid for non-refundable excursions, there are some policies that will offer cover for this – so make sure you check your policy wording.

If the delay has caused you to miss your connecting flight, there are a few policies that will cover the cost of alternative travel and accommodation required for you to reach your trip destination. Delayed passengers returning to the UK should check if their policy will cover them for additional charges such as car parking and pet care – again, not all policies will cover this so check your policy wording carefully.