A mixture of bad press, consumer disapproval and reassurances from BA has led to Direct Line and all the other travel insurances it controls into a complete u- turn worthy of a political party.
Less than a week after announcing it would not cover new policies, and suggesting that it would not pay on existing ones, it is reversing its earlier decision to stop covering travellers who continue to travel from Heathrow’s Terminal 5.
In a statement earlier in the week, the insurer said passengers with travel insurance policies bought since the chaos at the airport started would not be compensated for the loss or misplacement of baggage or flight delays.
It based its argument on the fact that the situation at the terminal was not unforeseen and did not warrant insurance. As rival insurers gleefully pointed out, to do this after people had paid for cover, was against insurance law and practice.
Direct Line has given a selection of excuses, half- baked truths and reasons for its original decision and rapid about-turn, which are not worth printing.
It does show that public and peer pressure can make insurers who say and do daft things which are unfair to customers, get back in line.
Travel insurance: News update: April 2008