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Check travel insurance policies for “civil unrest”

February 11, 2011

With the ongoing uprising in Egypt, many travelers were surprised to find out their insurance policies don’t include civil unrest in the trip cancellation/interruption coverage. If you’re planning a trip to Egypt and haven’t yet bought travel insurance, the cancellation/interruption coverage no longer applies because the company now considers civil unrest a “foreseeable event.” But its coverage, broader than most companies offer, is something to consider for trips to other destinations.

The U.S. State Department issues a warning advising against travel to some countries. So make sure to check www.travel.state.gov before you plan your next vacation, because most tour operators will cancel trips.

Some of the policies cover the costs of trip delays caused by civil disorder, just as they do for weather or strikes. They include reimbursement for additional hotel nights, meals and local transportation.

Most types of trip cancellation/interruption insurance don’t cover civil unrest. If you’re worried that a political uprising could affect your travel plans, consider “Cancel for Any Reason” coverage, but keep in mind that this type of insurance is expensive and provides only partial reimbursement. “Cancel for Any Reason” insurance policies provide coverage for civil unrest. Standard travel insurance adds 5 to 10 percent to the cost of a trip. “Cancel for Any Reason” coverage can cost 50 percent more, and reimburses only 50 to 75 percent of prepaid trip costs.

Make sure to pay for tours and cruises with a credit card, preferable Visa or MasterCard, because if the tour operator cancels a tour and not offer a refund, you can dispute the payment under what’s called a “delayed delivery” clause that provides reimbursement for services paid for, which can be a flight or a tour.

 
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