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Travelling to the Middle East - Q&A

With increased tensions in the Middle East, this Q&A sets out the travel insurance position if you are thinking of travelling, or have a visit booked to the region

Q. If I am on holiday in the Middle East ( or elsewhere) now, will my travel insurance be affected?

Your travel insurance will continue to operate as normal. If you have travel booked, or are planning to visit the Middle East, keep up to date with, and follow, travel advice from the Government: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice, and speak to your tour operator or air carrier.

Q. What if I am worried, and want to return home early – will my travel insurance cover any additional costs like accommodation refunds and flights home?

Current  UK government advice for those in or planning trips to the Middle East and the Gulf is to remain vigilant and keep up to date with latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Depending on where you are travelling in the region, advice will vary.  If the FCO advises against all travel, or all but essential travel to an area, then your travel insurance may not cover you. In such circumstances where advice has recently changed then many travel insurance policies will help cover the cost to get you home, or out of the affected area. However, if you are simply worried and there is no advice against travelling, it is unlikely that any additional costs to return home will be covered by your travel insurance.

Q. If I have booked to travel to the region, and now wish to cancel, can I claim on my travel insurance?

If you decide to cancel your travel, talk to your tour operator or airline. If you have paid by credit card, you may be able to claim costs back. Travel insurance may cover you for any non-refundable cancellation costs if the Government advise against travelling to a country or a region. For most tourist areas in the region this is currently not the case, but you should continue to check the FCO’s advice.

Q. If I have booked to travel to the region, and change my travel arrangements, can I transfer my travel insurance?

If you decide to change your travel arrangements, talk to your travel insurer, as you may be able to transfer your travel insurance to cover any new plans.

Q. What if the government advise against travel to the region or a particular country/countries?

You should keep up to date with current travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/You should check your travel insurance or speak to your travel insurer. Travel insurance may cover non-refundable cancellation costs if the Government advise against travel. 

Q. If I decide to travel against any government advice to do so, will I still be covered by travel insurance?

If you travel against any government advice to do so then you could invalidate your travel insurance. If you need to travel (such as for a family bereavement), then you should check beforehand with your travel insurer. It may be possible to get specialist cover to certain areas where travel is not advised depending on the circumstances.

Q. If the UK government advise UK nationals to return to the UK, will travel insurance cover any additional costs in doing so?

In such circumstances, talk to your tour operator, and air carrier. Check your travel insurance policy, as you may be able to claim for some non-refundable costs, if you cannot claim for these elsewhere.