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Call Freedom 01223 446914

Monday to Friday 8.30am - 5.30pm

Saturday 9.00am - 5.00pm

Closed Bank Holidays

Latest News

Keep up to date with the latest travel news and information from Freedom Insurance Services Ltd.

Volcanic Ash and Independent Traveller Extension, The Burning Question

Freedom Insurance and AXA have a unique extension available on their policy to cover eventualities such as volcanic eruptions. 

Here is some clarification of the facts surrounding travel disruption following the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland. The text is by necessity only current at the time it was written but is hoped it provides some information and advice that will prove useful to the general public. 

1. If you have no travel insurance the following would apply

(a) If you’re stuck at Departure Point and can’t get away.........

Flight Only Customers: Airlines are required to fulfil their obligations under 


In summary this means:

  • The passenger has the right to receive information from airlines regarding cancellations and length of delays
  • Passengers have the right to care (refreshments, meals, accommodation as appropriate)
  • The right to choose between refund of fare or be re-routed to destination

Note: The European Commission Vice President for Transport has said “Even in exceptional circumstances EU Passenger Rights continue to apply”.

Customers that have booked a package holiday should expect to be offered alternative arrangements by their tour operator. If alternative arrangements are not acceptable the customer should expect to receive a full refund.

(b) If you’re stuck at Resort and can’t get home.........

Airline obligations remain in force for fight only customers and tour operators are obliged to keep clients in similar accommodation to that originally booked until the first available flight home

2. If you have “standard” insurance policy.

Provided your travel arrangements are booked through an ABTA registered agent you will have all the rights set out above and under normal circumstances will not need the independent traveller extension.

3. Do you need an Independent Traveller Extension ?

As an independent traveller, booking your own flights and separate accommodation, you will not enjoy the same rights as travellers booking through an agent. Although you have rights against your airline, there is an obvious gap in cover regarding your accommodation. That is to say in certain situations, Acts of God and Force Majeure (a greater force), are not covered under a standard travel insurance. Booking through a travel agent will afford protection under such circumstances but the independent traveller has no method available to reimburse them for unused accommodation at resort. The extension is an attempt to put the independent traveller in the same position as a travel agent customer. You should therefore consider the independent traveller extension. The details are summarised below:

  • It is specifically designed for trips that do not constitute a “package”
  • Cancellation/curtailment cover is extended to include the FCO or WHO prohibiting travel to or evacuation from, a certain country or area of the World
  • Extended Delayed Departure cover is provided if the public transport on which you are booked to travel is delayed (or cancelled) for more than 12 hours. Under these circumstances you can claim £20 for the first 12 hours and £10 for each additional 12 hours (to help with telephone calls and meals during the delay) and up to £100 in all provided you eventually continue the trip. Furthermore the policy will pay up to the cancellation limit if, after 12 hours you decide to abandon your trip. In this way the policy will respond to costs in respect of any unused accommodation because no suitable alternatives are available. The same applies if the flight is overbooked, you are denied boarding and no suitable alternative can be found within 12 hours
  • Extended Missed Departure will provide cover for up to £500 for reasonable additional accommodation (room only) and travel expenses incurred in reaching your destination or returning home, if you fail to arrive at your departure point in time to board as a result of failure of public transport, strike, industrial action or adverse weather conditions. The same applies if you are denied boarding onto the flight because it is overbooked and you cannot find a reasonable alternative within 12 hours. If however a suitable alternative means of transport is not available then you can claim for unused accommodation up to the cancellation limit under the policy
  • • If you arrive at your resort and find the accommodation you have booked is unusable because of insolvency of the provider or because of fire, flood, earthquake, explosion, tsunami etc or an outbreak of food poisoning or infectious disease affecting your accommodation or resort, the policy will, with the prior agreement of the Emergency Assistance Service, repatriate you to your home