ABI estimates cost of volcanic ash disruption to travel insurers

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has estimated that travel insurers are likely to pay £62m in claims to travellers affected by the recent volcanic ash disruption.

The ash cloud from Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull caused airspace across Europe to close for six days last month.

The ABI said the figure represents around 10% of total annual premium income for the travel insurance market and 16% of the total amount they would normally pay for all travel insurance claims in a year.

Nick Starling, the ABI’s director of general insurance and health, said: “While volcanic eruption is not usually covered by travel insurance, insurers reacted quickly to help their customers.

"Some dealt with claims for delay and cancellation by treating it as an adverse weather event, while others made goodwill payments. And throughout the crisis, travel insurers continued to pull out all the stops to help to people who needed emergency medical repatriation get back to the UK quickly and safely.”