Following the recent terrible events in Tunisia, insurers have started to try to clarify their position on various travel insurance concerns.  It seems at odds that we should have to think about something as mundane as insurance at this time and our thoughts are with all of those affected and with their families.

Whilst there is no consensus on the subject of insurance, there are some common threads running through market dialogue and we have sought to identify these below:

Pre-existing bookings:

Commonly insurers will not cover cancellation costs if there is disinclination to travel (e.g. due to fear of a repeat attack) – we have seen signs that insurers are relaxing this attitude at least in relation to pre-booked trips to Tunisia and this is entirely understandable and to be commended. Insurers may however still apply the disinclination to travel exclusion for other destinations.  We would urge policyholders to clarify the position with their advisor/insurers and then make an informed decision thereafter.

Future bookings:

It is unlikely that insurers will cover disinclination to travel to Tunisia (or any other destination) for new bookings and so careful consideration should be given to the following:

  • Only travel to Tunisia if it is essential and you have a reputable tour operator
  • If you are an employer, risk assess the trip and address any concerns with the journey (e.g. pre travel orientation or evacuation)
  • Ensure your destination is not on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office list of destinations to avoid
  • Check your travel insurance with specific reference to what will happen if the FCO subsequently recommends against travel
    • No doubt more material will be made available in the coming days and weeks. If you are in any doubt with regard to the scope of your travel insurance cover or the response that insurers may have, we recommend that you speak to your insurance advisor.

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