The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides up to date travel advice for Brits travelling overseas. It is important to check the latest advice from the FCO before you travel as it could affect your holiday and your travel insurance.
What advice do the Foreign Office provide?
To help ensure the safety of British nationals when they go overseas the FCO publishes up to date travel advice for every country in the world. You should check this advice before you travel, every time you travel.
If the FCO consider a situation to be dangerous they may advise against all travel or all but essential travel to an entire country or specific regions within that country.
But, it’s not all doom and gloom, in addition to warning against travel to a country or region when necessary, the FCO also publish very useful information including entry requirements, crime levels, local laws and customs as well as any upcoming strikes or industrial action which could affect your holiday.
How does an Foreign Office travel warning affect your travel insurance?
It is important to be aware that if the Foreign and Commonwealth Office warns against all travel or all but essential travel to your holiday destination before you get there, you will not covered by your travel insurance, which means that any claims you make will not be paid, if you choose to travel against their advice.
This is because travel insurance is designed to provide protection against unexpected and unforeseen risks and travelling to a country or area that the FCO has advised against going to because it is dangerous, is a very different risk from taking a holiday in a country that is considered to be generally safe.
If the FCO issues a warning whilst you are in an affected region you will be covered as normal under the medical and personal accident sections of your travel insurance policy, so long as you follow the latest FCO advice for British nationals already in the area.
What if the FCO issues a travel warning for your holiday destination?
If the FCO advises against travel to your holiday destination, your travel insurance will not provide cover if you travel against their advice. In this situation you should contact your tour operator or airline for the latest information.
If your tour operator or travel agent is unable to operate the holiday due to an FCO travel warning they are oblidged to offer you an alternative holiday or a full refund.
If you are forced to rearrange your trip you can simply transfer your travel insurance policy to your new holiday. Please note, it may be subject to an additional premium due to a change in destination or duration.
Can I cancel my trip if I don’t want to travel?
If you have booked a holiday to an area which is now considered unsafe by the FCO you should not travel as you will not be insured. As stated above, your travel agent or tour operator should be able to provide you with a full refund or alternative travel arrangements.
If your holiday destination is near an affected region, but it is still considered to be safe by the FCO you are unlikely to be able to cancel or change your trip without losing money. If you are concerned about your holiday destination you should contact your tour operator for more information.
If you added our Terrorism Cover Extension to your travel insurance, you may be able to cancel your holiday and make a claim to recover the cost if the FCO advice not to travel is due to a terrorist attack at your destination. See your policy wording for full details.