The Icelandic volcano that has been terrorising all us innocent air passengers has finally stopped erupting.For now it looks as though the grim scenario of a summer of disruption and cancellations may have been avoided. There had been fears that a combination of Eyjafjallajokull and a possible eruption from a neighbouring geothermal menace could keep the skies above Northern Europe (and crucially the route between Europe and North America) full of plane hating ash.
It may still be the case that we could be entering into a period of increased volcanic activity. Apparently the last 50 years of having the skies not full of volcanic ash are historically unusual, and that after such cessations the Earth likes to resume its smoking habit with a vengeance. A big old volcano has just gone off in South America, which would seem to support that theory.
While uncertainty remains about whether flights will be disrupted it makes sense to try and make contingency plans. One of the things that caught a lot of people by surprise was the fact that the costly travel insurance that they had purchased did not cover volcanoes. Luckily while some companies (notably budget airline Ryanair) were publicly making the case for their having less liability in these kind of events, others were being more constructive.
Having travel insurance that doesn’t cover volcano disruption just doesn’t make sense. The first to start offering it was always going to be putting themselves at a big advantage. The first to offer protection for UK flights are Aviva, the artists formerly known as Norwich Union. Volcano cover costs £5 pounds a trip extra on their travels insurance, but they offer it as a £10 add on for their annual policies.
On thing that is still not covered by most travel insurance is disruption caused by industrial action. BA is apparently digging itself into an ever bigger hole, fortunately for passengers there are other airlines operating flights to London who have not made such a hash of industrial relations. On the subject of massive holes, take a look the 2010 hurricane seasons first amazing image – this sink hole was apparently caused by tropical storm Agatha in Guatamala City: