Government reaches out to insurers over gadget ban on UK flights

Transport secretary tells insurers to be ‘realistic’ and be ‘mindful’ of the issue

Government reaches out to insurers over gadget ban on UK flights

Insurance News

By Louie Bacani

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has reached out to insurers after imposing new gadget restrictions on flight passengers coming from several nations in North Africa and the Middle East.
Earlier this week, the Department for Transport announced that laptops, tablets and other electronic devices bigger than the typical smartphone will be banned from the cabin on flights to the UK from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.
The restrictions were enforced following reports that militant groups were planning to smuggle explosive devices inside electronic gadgets.

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Grayling said on Wednesday that he would be writing to the Association of British Insurers (ABI) “to ask them to be mindful of this issue,” Reuters reported.
“We will be asking the insurance industry to take that in mind and be realistic about this,” Grayling was quoted as saying by the news agency.
According to the report, Grayling made the statement before Parliament in response to a question that the new restrictions would put affected devices at risk of theft or damage.
Travel trade organisation ABTA has pointed out that devices such as laptops and tablet computers are not typically covered by travel insurance policies for loss, damage or theft if they are placed in the hold.
The ABI is advising passengers travelling from the affected countries to check their insurance policies and speak to their insurers to confirm what cover they have for valuables placed in the hold.
“We do know some insurers already take a flexible approach to claims if a passenger has been forced to put items in the hold by circumstances out of their control,” Mark Shepherd, ABI’s head of property, commercial and specialist lines, said in a statement.
“Some travellers may find they also have additional cover under a household contents policy for gadgets outside of the home,” he added.
Shepherd also said that passengers could seek compensation through the airline if their devices are damaged during a flight.
“Wherever possible travellers should keep valuables, including tablets and laptops, with them on flights and, if travelling from destinations affected by the new regulations, it may be sensible to leave valuables at home,” Shepherd further advised.

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