Advice on travel disruption caused by unrest in Egypt & Tunisia
London, January 2011 - Just a few weeks ago, both Egypt and Tunisia offered the perfect getaway for Brits looking for affordable winter sun. But recent civil unrest in both countries may now be causing concern for some holidaymakers. If contemplating a change in their future holiday destination, or if they are already on holiday when unrest breaks out, travellers will want to be certain about what cover their travel insurance will provide. Leading travel insurance website, insurewithease.com, is therefore offering advice to those who may be facing delays or cancellations, or who want to change their travel plans.
“In the first instance, travellers should check the Foreign Office website to see if it's safe to travel to their chosen destination,” says Sarah Findlay, Marketing Manager of insurewithease.com. “This information is updated regularly. If the Foreign Office has advised against travel, your travel insurance policy will no longer provide cover if you travel against their advice. In this situation travellers should contact their tour operator for the latest information. If a tour operator is unable to operate the holiday due to FCO advice they have a duty to offer an alternative holiday or a full refund.
“For families and individuals who have already reached their destination and civil unrest has broken out during their trip, they will be covered as normal under the medical and personal accident sections of their policy, so long as they follow current FCO advice and do not intentionally get involved in any demonstrations.
“In the case of Egypt, where there is still civil unrest, the FCO is currently only advising against travel to select areas. Travel cover outside of those areas, therefore, remains unaffected, offering holidaymakers the same high level of protection. However, it is essential that travellers check with their travel insurer if they are at all unsure about what's covered.”
As of 31st January 2011, the FCO is advising against all but essential travel to Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor and Suez and advises any British nationals in these areas to leave where it is safe to do so. Red Sea resorts like Sham-el-Sheikh remain calm, but the situation can change quickly.
During this unstable period - and with half term holidays not far away, insurewithease.com is advising its policyholders to check the FCO website for up-to-date information and follow the advice of their airline, tour operators, or local authorities prior to travel and throughout their stay.
Sarah Findlay concludes, “If families or individuals decide they don't want to go to their originally booked destination, even though the FCO is not advising against it, their tour operator may be able to offer an alternative. But they are under no obligation to do so and in these cases, holidaymakers would not be able to claim for cancellation on their travel insurance.
“However, for insurewithease.com policyholders who were due to travel to Tunisia and have had to rearrange their trip, they can simply transfer their policy to the new destination. There is no administration charge, although it may be subject to any additional premium due to a change in destination or duration.
“We know this is a confusing - and worrying - time for travellers. But by following key advice, and talking to their travel operator as well as their insurer, they should be able to make the best decision about their holiday plans.”