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Does travel insurance cover me for sandstorms?

Posted on February 25, 2020 by Lucy Hancock
sandy beach in tenerife

Over the weekend, a large sandstorm affected Spain’s Canary Islands. Unfortunately, this has affected travel arrangements and most flights have been cancelled or delayed.

If you have a holiday to the Canary Islands planned, or are out there on holiday now, you may wonder if your travel insurance can protect you against flight cancellations and delays, because of adverse weather conditions.

Here’s all you need to know about the Canary Islands’ sandstorms, and how travel insurance can protect you against storms and flight delays.

Is it safe to travel to the Canary Islands?

While the FCDO hasn’t advised against travel, flights to the Canary Islands (including Tenerife, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura) from the UK are currently delayed or cancelled because of the sandstorm. But it’s always important to check with the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) that your destination is safe to travel to before you set off.

If the FCDO does advise against all or all but essential travel to the Canary Islands, your travel insurance policy will be made invalid. This means that if you do take your trip to the Canary Islands, you won’t be covered.

Am I covered to cancel my holiday to the Canary Islands?

You won’t be covered for the cancellation of your holiday if you decide not to travel because of the sandstorm.

But your travel insurance will cover you if your departure flight is delayed for more than 12 hours. If this is the case, you can choose to abandon your trip and will be covered for cancellation.

I have flights booked to the Canary Islands that have been affected, what can I do?

If your flight to the Canary Islands is cancelled because of the sandstorm, you can still request a refund from your airline for any unused tickets.

Under EU law there’s no compensation available for flights cancelled because of extreme weather conditions.

Before you contact us, make sure you contact your airline or travel provider first. If your flight is cancelled, your airline may be able to refund you for the cost of your flights, or arrange alternatives.

If your flights are rearranged or you decide to re-book your trip, contact us and we should be able to amend the dates of your Single Trip Travel Insurance policy to cover the dates you will be travelling.

If you have a Staysure Travel Insurance policy, and your flight is delayed for over 12 hours, you’ll be covered for travel delays up to your policy limits.

Lucy Hancock

by Lucy Hancock

Lucy Hancock is Staysure's Content Executive. As a specialist travel insurance provider, we aim to keep up-to-date with travel trends, all while offering tips on how to make the most of your holiday. Lucy travelled across Europe with Interrail in 2017, and her favourite destination was Budapest. She likes big books, big words and the colour yellow.