Travel Insurance may be the answer!
If you watch the news in the last month or so or even interacted with another human being, then you will no doubt be well aware of the recent problems UK citizens are having with their 2014 passports applications. It has come to the public’s attention that the passport office is all but in a state of crisis, with thousands of back logged passport applications still unprocessed. Members of staff have blamed the delays on job losses, while the government is saying it are due to an early surge in applications compared to last year.
It is estimated that the number of unprocessed 2014 applications currently stand somewhere in the region of 500,000. The majority of these are thought to be being processed within three weeks however this could still leave thousands of Brits waiting for their passports that may not arrive in time for their holidays. People do have the option to fast track their application for a £55.50 service charge, but for example when it comes to a family of four, paying an extra £222 may not be an option. This can be especially frustrating given many people will have known the standard application processing time and planned their holiday accordingly!
In a recent Commons debate regarding the delay Home secretary Theresa May was quoted as saying "I would like to say to anybody who is unable to travel because of a delay in processing their passport application that I am sorry and the government is sorry for the inconvenience they have suffered and we are doing all we can to put things right," Unfortunately an apology doesn’t explain to your family why you’re staying at home this year instead of living it up in Thailand!
This really is catastrophic news for anyone looking to go abroad this summer with the very real possibility of missing their vacation due to passports not being ready on time. So what is the answer for people who could potentially end up losing out on thousands of pounds due to the UK Passport Office’s complete incompetence? Well if you have taken out travel insurance when first booking your holiday then you may well stand a chance of claiming back your money!
The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) is a government established institution who can intervene in disputes between customers and financial companies. They have made it clear that if a customer has a travel insurance plan and has done everything possible to peruse their delayed passport application, then they will be asking travel insurance companies to pay compensation to said customers. This does deepened on the type of insurance you have and what it offers, so it is important to know whether you have health insurance or travel insurance
If a passport delay has led to you cancelling a vacation and you have purchased travel insurance prior to the cancellation then we strongly urge you to get in contact with the Financial Ombudsman Service. They can assist you in calming compensation from you insurance provider. If however you do not purchase travel/holiday insurance you may contact the company you arranged your trip with to try and rearrange however there is absolutely no guarantee that this would be possible.
Author Stephen Whitfield - Find me on Google+