ATOL Protection Extended
Posted in General on 3 May 2012
The Air Travel Organiser’s Licensing known as ATOL has always covered holidays bought as a package, in order to protect holiday-makers should a tour operator go bust leaving them stranded abroad. Should the tour operator go bust prior to departure it refunds the customer, so they are not left out of pocket.
Over recent years it has become much more commonplace for travellers to purchase the individual elements of their holiday through one provider for a single price, therefore the ATOL protection has now been extended to cover these so-called “flight-plus” holidays, giving millions more travellers the benefits of the scheme.
However ATOL does not provide protection for those people who, for example, buy flights directly from an airline and then book their accommodation separately, not using a tour operator and buying the individual elements of their holiday from a number of different websites. In this case, what would you do if the airline you are flying with goes bust?
In these situations a good quality holiday insurance policy such as Voyager travel insurance could provide cover under the Holiday financial protection section of the policy. This provides protection in the event of insolvency of the end supplier of any of the elements of your holiday that you have booked before you leave home.
The holiday financial failure cover works in two ways depending on when the company goes bust:
Insolvency before departure:
You will be able to make a claim for any money that has been paid for the service in advance that is irrecoverable from other sources.
Insolvency after departure:
a) Any additional costs, on a pro rata basis, that you have to pay in order to replace the end supplier arrangements, to a similar standard.
b) If curtailment of your trip is unavoidable the insurers will pay the cost of return transport to the UK to a similar standard to that was originally booked.
Travellers who book independently can get even more protection if they purchase our optional Independent Traveller cover.
This extension provides cover for costs that would potentially be borne by a tour operator, for example in the event of an incident such as volcanic ash closing airspace and stopping flights. If you had booked with a tour operator then they would have a duty of care to provide accommodation while you are trapped abroad, however if you have booked independently you would need to pay for any additional accommodation yourselves. The independent traveller cover would allow you to claim these expenses incurred while waiting for your journey home.