Holidaymakers who are forced to cancel their holiday because of lengthy delays in processing their passport may be able to reclaim the costs of their trip through their travel insurance policy – even if their insurer tells them otherwise. The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), which deals with disputes between consumers and financial companies, said that it may ask an insurer to pay the claim for a cancelled holiday as long as the policyholder had "done all they reasonably could to chase the passport application" and had "put in their passport application in far in advance of the deadlines laid down by the passport office". "If they [the holidaymaker] were still unable to travel due to the delays, then we would be looking for the insurer to act in the spirit of the insurance policy," said a spokeswoman for the FOS. It said that, as an indication, if the deadline was four weeks and somebody had applied for their passport seven to eight weeks in advance, it may expect insurers to pay out. Currently, the Passport Service website advises consumers that it takes three weeks to process an application. The Ombudsman's stance is significant because the insurance industry remains adamant that holidaymakers, some of whom have reportedly suffered delays of months in waiting for a passport, can not turn to their insurers to cover them for cancellation of their trip. On Wednesday the Association of British Insurers said that "policies are not designed to cover cancellation due to delays in obtaining a passport". The British Insurance Brokers Association also said that it would not expect insurers to cover this situation. "Travel insurance policies mention the specific perils that are covered and those that are excluded when it comes to delays or cancellation, and we have never come across a policy that includes delays in getting your passport," said Graeme Trudgill, head of corporate affairs at Biba. Aviva, the UK's largest insurer, said: "There is no cover on your travel policy if you have to cancel your trip because you haven't received your passport in time." ESure also said it would categorically not cover delays in obtaining a passport. "It is laid out in the terms of our insurance that we cannot cover you for lack of a valid passport or visa." However, even where an insurer does refuse cover because of the Account

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