Severe weather warning for the UK

Posted on January 24, 2015 by Guest Writer
A supercell thunderstorm

It’s time to batten down the hatches and prepare for fierce storms across the UK from Thursday night. The Met Office say northern Scotland is likely to see the strongest winds, with gusts of up to 100mph expected.

As a result, the Met Office has issued severe weather warnings for northern parts of the UK. Forecasters say the weekend weather could rival the storms that battered parts of southern England at the end of 2013, where tens of thousands of homes were left without power when the south coast was hit.

Frank Saunders, Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “The jet stream (a narrow band of fast-moving winds high up in the atmosphere) is going to be particularly strong later this week and this effectively fuels the low pressure systems moving across the Atlantic, causing them to deepen rapidly as they pass to the north of the UK. This will bring some very strong winds across the UK, but they will most likely be strongest in northern Scotland – which is expected to see the greatest impacts from the weather.”

Large waves are expected leading to dangerous conditions in coastal areas, while uprooted trees, transport chaos and power cuts are expected.

For up to date information visit the Met Office website.

1. I have a Comprehensive policy, will it cover me if I can’t travel due to adverse weather conditions?

If your outward flight from the UK, sea-crossing, coach or train journey is cancelled or delayed for more than 12 hours from its time of departure due to adverse weather conditions, you may claim under the Travel Delay section. However, this is only if the adverse weather results in your journey being delayed or if you abandon your trip after 12 hours.
In order to substantiate your claim, we will need:
a) A copy of the original travel itinerary.
b) Written confirmation from the airline, ship agent, coach or train company, confirming that the service was cancelled or delayed for more than 12 hours due to adverse weather conditions.

2. What happens if I am at my destination and due to return home, but I can’t travel due to adverse weather conditions?

The policy will pay for reasonable additional travel and accommodation expenses up to the limits shown within the policy wording, to get you home by the most direct route possible. This is possible where the scheduled “public transport” you are booked to use as part of your journey is cancelled due to adverse weather conditions. For the purposes of this policy, public transport is defined as: “Any publicly licenced aircraft, sea vessel, train or coach on which you are booked to travel, operating according to a published timetable.”

Will you pay for me to stay in the same hotel? Yes, if it is deemed reasonable. However, it may not always be possible as your hotel may already be fully booked.

Will you cover me to have meals? Unfortunately not. The policy will only cover reasonable additional travel and accommodation expenses. Meals, drinks and telephone calls are not included.
How long will this be covered for? The policy will provide cover until it is reasonable for you to be able to return home. However, there is a maximum amount we will pay, which is £1,000.

3. I have a Basic policy and can’t travel due to adverse weather conditions, can I change my holiday dates?

Yes you can change the dates, but they must be within 90 days of your original departure date, if you have not bought the Cancellation upgrade.

4. What do you class as adverse weather conditions?

Rain, storms, blizzards, snow, gale force winds can all count as adverse weather conditions. They should be of such intensity and magnitude that it would result in the delay and/or cancellation of public transport services. For the purpose of insurance, volcanic ash would not be classified as adverse weather and would not be covered unless the Optional Travel Disruption Extension is purchased.

5. What if I miss my departure due to adverse weather conditions?

If you arrive at the airport, port or international coach or rail terminal too late to start your outward journey due to adverse weather conditions, we will pay for reasonable additional travelling and accommodation expenses. These are to help you reach your overseas destination or to return to the United Kingdom by the most direct route.

Under this policy the maximum payable is:

  • £500 per insured person in respect of travel to a European destination ; or
  • £1,000 per insured person in respect of travel outside of Europe.

If you are travelling soon and haven’t yet bought travel insurance, why not get a quote?

Note: Our policies have been updated since this story was published.