It is safe to say everyone has experienced the frustration of being stuck in traffic at some point, and with approximately 3,700 traffic jams a day on UK motorways and A roads – mainly in England, rather than Scotland and Wales – it’s no surprise the Government has asked highway chiefs to reassess the time taken to reopen roads following a closure.
It has been revealed traffic jams in the UK cost the economy approximately £9 billion a year. Fuel spillages, broken down vehicles, adverse weather and roadworks are all said to contribute towards making the UK’s motorways and major roads unbearable.
For motorists and their passengers, hitting a tailback can be stressful – even more so when you have a car full of luggage and a screaming toddler in the back. With London’s Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted Airports all situated off the infamous M25, it’s no wonder holidaymakers are leaving earlier than they need to in an attempted to beat the chaos.
But, what if they are unfortunate enough to be caught up in the rush and miss their flight? Most policies will not cover for missed departure due to traffic delays, strikes or industrial actions.
Furthermore, many policies will only offer cover if the traveller misses their departure for the following reasons: if they pre-book a train (or other transport) ticket and the train is delayed, the car they are travelling in breaks down and is no longer driveable, or they are involved in an accident, but will not cover people caught in the traffic jam due to the accident.
Having said that, there are some travel insurance policies that will offer cover if travel plans are disrupted due to motorway chaos and heavy traffic, this cover is designed to get travellers back on track with their itinerary, and is available provided they have left sufficient time to make their journey to the airport and check-in. There are also some policies that will offer cover for claims arising due to ‘any reason beyond your control’ as long as the reason is not already excluded from the policy.
It is important to note if the above was to occur, in order to make a successful claim, the travel insurer will ask for written confirmation from the transport authority outlining the reason for the delay, written confirmation from the relevant breakdown service or in the case of an accident causing a traffic jam, a Police report.
With so many variations on the travel insurance cover available for missed departure, when looking for a policy, be sure to read the wording carefully to ensure it is suitable for your personal needs.