HOLIDAYMAKERS are being urged to take care when buying travel insurance as new research reveals four in 10 policies offer no protection for cancellations caused by strikes.
The study by Which? looked at 199 policies offered by 71 insurance companies.
It then rated them dependent on the level of protection offered in 61 key areas.
However, 78, roughly four in 10, of the 199 policies, did not offer any coverage for trips cancelled due to strike action.
The remaining policies, bar one, did offer coverage.
Covid cover was another area where Which? found huge disparities in the level of cover offered as well.
It comes following months of travel chaos for many holidaymakers trying to fly in or out of the UK.
On Sunday, passengers were left stuck in long queues at Stansted Airport and asleep on the floor due to cancellations.
Just one day before, flights were suspended for an hour at Heathrow, leaving thousands of passengers stranded.
Jenny Ross, Which? money editor, said: “With many airlines warning of widespread disruption this summer and Covid cases on the rise, travellers should ensure they’ve taken out adequate insurance to cover any losses or unexpected costs they might face.
“Which? analysis of 199 policies shows that levels of cover can vary wildly in important areas like disruption caused by strike action or Covid.
“We advise travellers to always check policies carefully to ensure they offer the cover that will be most appropriate to their trip, and to ensure they have cover in place from the time of booking.”
Of the 199 policies Which? examined in its research, less than one in 10 offered “Complete” protection in the event of a holiday being disrupted by Covid.
Complete protection means travellers can claim for emergency medical care if they catch Covid while abroad.
It also provides them with option to claim cancellation costs if they test positive for Covid before their trip.
It means travellers are covered if the legal requirement to self-isolate is reintroduced for those identified as close contacts.
Just over 130 of the 199 policies offered “superior” level cover, meaning travellers are covered for emergency medical care and cancellations due to catching Covid.
These policies also offer in the event that legal requirements to self-isolate are reintroduced.
And 55 policies were rated “low” for cover offered, meaning emergency medical cover is provided for contracting Covid abroad and the ability to claim if cancelling a trip due to testing positive.
A further 2% policies analysed – a total of four – were considered “basic” – only providing emergency medical cover in the event of catching Covid while abroad.
If your holiday was cancelled by a package tour operator, you are due a refund by law.
Airlines are also obligated to refund passengers when they cancel flights – including when the cancellation is caused by their own staff going on strike.
And package holidays from an ATOL protected firm will ensure that you’ll be reimbursed should the company go out of business and repatriated if it happens while you’re abroad.
Which? also advises holidays should be purchased via credit card when possible, as your credit card provider is legally bound to reimburse you for any purchase over £100 if services provided are not as advertised, and the company responsible won’t refund you.