FCDO Travel Warnings: Your Holiday And Your Travel Insurance
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides continually updated travel advice for British nationals travelling abroad.
It is important that you check the latest advice from the FCDO before you travel as it could affect your holiday and your travel insurance.
What information does the FCDO provide?
To help ensure the safety of British nationals when they travel abroad, whether for work or pleasure, the FCDO publishes up to date travel advice for every country in the world. It is important that you check this advice before you travel, every time you travel.
If the FCDO 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, crime levels, local laws and customs as well as any upcoming strikes or industrial action which could affect your holiday.
How does an FCDO warning affect my travel insurance?
It is important to be aware that if the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development 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, which means that any claims you make will not be paid, if you choose to travel against their advice.
This is because travel insurance is designed to provide protection against unexpected and unforeseen risks and travelling to a country or area that the FCDO has advised against going to because it is dangerous, is a very different risk from taking a holiday in a country that is considered to be generally safe.
If the FCDO 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 FCDO advice for British nationals already in the area.
Can I get insurance cover to travel against FCDO advice?
Although the vast majority of travel insurance will not cover you to travel against advice, there are a handful of policies that can. These policies were designed to cover people travelling to high risk destinations for work, such as journalists and aid workers, however they are now being utilised by leisure travellers who still wish to travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What should I do if the FCDO issues a travel warning for my holiday destination?
If the FCDO 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 FCDO 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 Goodtogoinsurance.com travel insurance policy to your new holiday. Please note, it may be subject to an additional premium due to 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 FCDO you should not travel. As stated above, your travel agent or tour operator should be able to provide you with a full refund or alternative travel arrangements.
If your holiday destination is near an affected region, but it is still considered to be safe by the FCDO 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.
If you added our Terrorism Cover Extension to your travel insurance, you may be able to cancel your holiday and make a claim to recover the cost if the FCDO advice not to travel is due to a terrorist attack at your destination. See your policy wording for full details.