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Travel insurance and swine flu

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Each day sees more cases and suspected cases of swine flu, and the number of countries affected rises too.

 

Some newspapers are reporting it sensibly, but others are creating panic by sensationalised predictions of millions of deaths.

 

With the number of cases of swine flu rising, travellers may be worrying if their travel insurance covers for swine flu.

 

The World Health Organisation has described the swine flu virus as a public health emergency of international concern. Countries are taking emergency action.

 

No country has yet banned any inbound or outbound travel.

 

No country has yet advised its citizens not to travel to, or to get out of any country.

 

If you cancel your trip because you are scared of travelling to any country, then your travel insurance will not pay any cancellation fees or losses.

 

If the Foreign Office advises against travel to any particular country or destination, then cancellation is outside your control and, depending on your cover, should pay out.

 

If the Foreign Office advises against travel to any country or location, and you still go ahead, take care. Most insurance polices will not cover trips against FO advice – on any section of the policy.

 

If the UK government or health service or other official body gives advice on travelling, ignore that advice at your peril. It will not be a specific policy condition, but every traveller has to act as prudently and carefully as they would if uninsured. So if you recklessly ignore advice or put yourself deliberately at risk-then insurers are normally entitled to decline any claim.

 

If the FO does not advise against travel to a country, but that country advises people not to travel, the situation is not clear, but on balance any claim will probably be declined.

 

So, listen to any official and other advice and take great care.

 

Insurance or governments aside, if you feel that your health could be at risk by travelling-then do not go. Your health is worth more than any amount of money.

     

Travel insurance: News update: 28/04/2009

 

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