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Archive for February, 2010

Eurostar services to Brussels suspended until 22nd Feb

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Eurostar has announced that, following the fatal train crash in Belgium on 15th February, they will continue to suspend all services between the UK and Brussels until Sunday 21 February inclusive. Services between London and Paris/Disneyland Resort Paris are operating normally. There is a reduced timetable between Eurostar’s UK stations and Lille.

Eurostar is advising that passengers between the UK and Brussels are strongly to postpone or cancel their journeys and Eurostar passengers can exchange or refund their tickets. For those passengers whose travel is essential over the coming days the company is operating a regular shuttle coach service between Lille and Brussels to ensure customers reach their destination. Passengers travelling to the UK are being checked in at Brussels Midi station for their onward journey by coach to Lille and then by Eurostar to Ashford, Ebbsfleet and London St Pancras International.

Passengers travelling to Brussels are advised to check in normally at their Eurostar departure station. More information, including further details on alternative transport options, is available on www.eurostar.com or by telephoning 08432 186186/08432 186186.

For those caught up in this unexpected travel delay, you can limit the financial loss by taking out adequate travel insurance which will provide financial cover and compensation if caught up in such events. To start with, all travel insurance policies should have a travel delay section, generally to pay a fixed amount for each 6, 12 or 24 hours delay experienced. This is what is termed as a benefit so does not require receipts to claim but you will need a note from the Rail Company or station, such as St Pancras if departing from the UK, to confirm the number of hours delayed.

Secondly, most travel insurance policies will have a section for Abandonment. This is just another term for cancellation which permits the traveller, once they have experienced the required number of hours travel delay, to cancel their travel and holiday in its entirety and claim back the costs. Whether you choose this option will depend on many factors, such as the length of your trip away, how long the delay will be and personal preference but it is a very valuable addition to have in any travel insurance policy.

This article is brought to you by Travelandinsure.com – specialist in ethical travel insurance.

Haiti Earthquake Appeal

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Travelandinsure.com and its sister company, Trade Aid UK, have been able to respond rapidly to an appeal for urgent funds to help the Haiti earthquake victims, only days after a 7.0 magnitude quake shook Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, to its foundations, killing thousands and leaving over two million people without food, water, or shelter.  We were approached to assist by the international charity, Medair, whose Emergency Response Team is working to meet the most urgent needs of medical care, clean water, sanitation, and shelter.   This we were able to do.

There continues to be urgent need for safe, clean drinking water, medical assistance, and shelter for the most vulnerable. Even before the earthquake, Haiti had the lowest Human Development Index (HDI) ranking in the western hemisphere. This was already a very poor country in great need — now with the infrastructure of the country destroyed, people’s survival is dependent on emergency aid. Trade Aid Uk and Travelandinsure.com are pleased to support Medair.

Medair, has launched a 2 for 1 appeal where we will match the first £10,000 donations that the Charity receives from this appeal.You can support this appeal by logging onto www.medair.org/x2. Medair brings emergency relief and rehabilitation to over two million people a year in some of the most vulnerable countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, all countries that are severely affected by conflicts, natural disasters, or other crises. To this list, Haiti can now be added.

Medair responds to natural disasters, conflicts that uproot communities and crises, such as drought or disease. You can find out more about Medair and the work they are doing by logging onto their website at www.medair.org. You can see what other projects are supported by Travelandinsure.com and Trade Aid UK at www.tradeaiduk.com.

This article is brought to you by Travelandinsure.com – Making A World Of Difference

Lost luggage – what to do?

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

A question often asked is can I claim compensation for delayed or missing bags when I travel? And none of us can safely say these days that it won’t happen to me. Rules regarding airline liability for mishandled luggage are laid out in the Montreal Convention, which sets the maximum payout at just over £1,000 to cover emergency items or to replace possessions which are damaged or irretrievably lost. But, in reality, passengers can find it hard to get a fraction of this sum. Airlines will ask for original receipts for items that are lost or damaged and, even if you are able to produce these, the airlines are unlikely to pay up in full, on the grounds of depreciation.

Losing a bag can be a distressing experience, made worse by the generally poor customer service at some airport’s lost luggage counters and, if it happens on the outward journey, what do you do? Do you make do with the clothing you have in the hope that the luggage will arrive or buy replacements? Tough decision to make and is all very stressful at a time when you should be enjoying your holiday?

There is no magic wand to wave here but you can help yourself by being adequately protected by having travel insurance cover in place before you go. What travel insurance should provide in these circumstances is an allowance, usually based on each 24 hours the luggage is delayed, for you to buy essential replacement items, such as clothing and toiletries, for you to survive until your bags arrive. There will be an upper limit to this daily allowance and your travel insurance company will be looking for receipts for these items to accompany any claim you make. This still requires you to pay first and claim back later but at least it means you won’t be too much out of pocket.

Do remember to obtain what the airlines call a ‘Property Irregularity Report’ from the Lost Luggage Section at the airport at the time your bags go missing. You will need to send this to your travel insurance company to substantiate your claim and they will also be looking for proof of when the bags were returned to you, so a signed and dated receipt will also be expected. If you don’t have these, then it is very possible that the insurers will not pay your claim.

If your bags become ‘irretrievably’ lost, then the insurance company will need a letter from the airline confirming this and you will then be able to claim for all the lost items under the Lost Baggage Section of your policy. But don’t let the thought of losing your luggage overly worry you. Just get the required paperwork, know what you can claim for and get on with your holiday.

This article is brought to you by Travelandinsure.com – specialist in ethical travel insurance.