Travel News > May 2014 > Foreign Office travel warnings, your holiday and travel insurance

Foreign Office travel warnings, your holiday and travel insurance


It’s very important to check the latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) before you travel, every time you travel.  If the FCO has issued a travel warning for the country or region you are travelling to it could affect your holiday and your travel insurance.

What information does the FCO provide?

To help ensure the safety of British nationals when they travel abroad, whether for work or pleasure, the FCO publishes up to date travel advice for every country in the world.

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.

In addition to warning against travel to a country or region when necessary, the FCO also publish very useful information including entry requirements and any upcoming strikes or industrial action which could affect your holiday.

How does an FCO warning affect my 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 if you choose to travel against their advice, this means that any claims you make will not be paid.

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 should I do if the FCO issues a travel warning for my 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 is unable to operate the holiday due to FCO advice they have a duty to offer you an alternative holiday or a full refund.

Those who have booked flights and accommodation independently would have to consult the terms and conditions of their bookings and check with their airline or accommodation supplier to see if they are entitled to a refund or an alternative.

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 if there is a change in destination or duration.

Can I cancel my holiday if I decide 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.

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.