We were due to go on a skiing holiday late last winter, leaving the day before as the flight departure was at 7.50am.
On that day there were extreme weather conditions. Our lane and the local roads were impassable. We were unable to leave our cottage. As you can imagine this was a very stressful time for us. We explained our situation to our holiday company and it advised us to contact our insurer.
Initially our insurer thought we could claim abandonment of the trip. After conversations and filling of forms and sending the required information we were very disappointed to find we were not covered.
We are left feeling let down over this EhicPlus Expand annual policy with Mapfre Assistance. We would have expected to be insured for this kind of incident without looking for extra cover.
We would appreciate your help with this matter.
John Presland, Devon
You went through the insurer’s complaints procedure but were once again informed that it could not uphold your claim.
The insurer referred to the policy booklet. Your circumstances did not fit with the cancellation section.
Nor did they fit with the missed “departure/connection” clause, which read: “You are covered up to the amount on the Schedule of Cover for necessary additional accommodation and travel expenses you incur in reaching your destination if you arrive at any departure point shown on your pre-booked itinerary too late to board the public transport on which you are booked to travel.”
This needed to be as a result of failure of public transport or a road traffic accident or vehicle breakdown. The fact that you had not left your home area ruled out your claim.
I spoke to Mapfre, the underwriter, and it reaffirmed that the original decision to decline your claim was correct.
However, it did not agree that it had applied the right level of fairness and reasonableness when looking at the circumstances. It appreciated that there had been extreme weather conditions and that there was only one flight a week to your proposed destination from the airport that you were intending to fly from.
It therefore agreed to make a goodwill payment of £1,959 as “a contribution”. You were abroad when I learnt of this and I asked you to check your emails. You did so and quickly contacted the insurer to point out that you had very recently been reimbursed £480 for the ski-lift pass, something I was unaware of. The contribution was reduced accordingly to £1,479.
This is what would have been paid for a valid cancellation claim, allowing for the deduction of the excess, Air Passenger Duty, Atol fees and the small voluntary charitable donation you made. You are delighted with this result.