Official Travel Alerts Can Impact Your Travel Insurance

Almost 20,000 Britons (and a significant number of Russians) are waiting to be evacuated from Sharm el-Sheikh, the highly popular Red Sea resort town, on the heels of the possible terrorist downing of a Russian airliner over Egypt. This situation emphasizes the critical need for tourists throughout the world to heed their government’s warnings about travel to high risk areas.

Terrorist strikes and civil disturbances—even incoming weather events—can plunge an entire country, or regions of it, into virtual no-go zones as designated by your government’s official travel advisory agency.  In Canada, that body is the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development (DFATD); in the UK, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO); in the U.S., the Department of State.

Travel to areas which your government has officially advised to “Avoid All Travel” or “Avoid All Non-Essential Travel” (or words to that effect) can have serious consequences—not the least of which is that your travel insurance, covering you for medical emergencies, accidents, cancellations, and delays, may be severely limited or curtailed altogether. If the warnings are raised only after you have arrived in the “avoid” area, you will be expected to leave as soon as possible, perhaps within a given number of hours.

When buying travel insurance, read what the limitations are if your government raises travel alerts. Also, before you make your travel plans, and the day before you travel, check your official government travel advisory site for all countries and regions to which you will be travelling and through which you will be transiting. And while travelling, keep checking at least daily, via your phone or tablet.

The easiest way for you access the most current advisories is to link to www.travelinsurancefile.com . Scroll down the home page to the bottom left and click on Travel Reports and Warnings. Then scroll down to your country (and/or region) of interest.

This level of caution should no longer be considered marginal or discretionary. For your security and safety, it should be mandatory.

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