Wednesday 29 January 2020

VHI not covering cancellations by online agency

THE largest travel insurer in the State, the VHI, has confirmed that its policies do not cover the cost of cancelled hotel accommodation.

The issue has come to a head following the financial difficulties for online hotel booking agency 1800Hotels.

Hundreds of people have been turning up for hotel bookings to be told their rooms have been cancelled. Others with bookings for later in the year have contacted their hotel to be told there is no booking.

VHI has 35pc of the multi-trip travel insurance market.

It said its policies do not cover the cancelled hotel bookings.

A spokeswoman for the company said: "In the case of the customers affected by the 1800hotels issue, we have offered to provide them with the names and numbers of nearby hotels to help them source alternative accommodations.

"However, the cost of their accommodation will not be covered by us under their policy."

Travel insurance does cover accidents. Typically this covers loss of limbs (the benefit here is usually €20,000), permanent total disablement and death, according to John Geraghty of online insurance brokerage

Travel insurance also covers emergency medical expenses, a daily hospital benefit, lost or stolen or delayed baggage, airline failure, missed or delayed departure and catastrophe.

If you are doing extreme sports like mountaineering, caving, diving or white river rafting, or if you are going to an off-the-beaten-track country check your life assurance, mortgage protection and serious illness policies.

They may not cover you or you need clearance from the insurance company concerned before you set out, Mr Geraghty added.

Irish Independent

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