travel worldwide insurance

travel world wide insurance

The recent Kenya elections have led to huge fallout in the country and
beyond. When it was announced that President Mwai Kibaki had won the
election by just 230,000 votes (out of 10,000,000 constituents)
widespread political fury spread across the country – and violence
broke out. Subsequently, all travel to the country was advised
against, and a lot of people needed to claim on their global travel
insurance, which was confusing given the unusual circumstances. I
shall get to that later, but first a little background to the events
surrounding the Kenya election.

So far there have been 600 deaths and some 250,000 people (more than
the alleged ‘majority’ of Kibaki) fleeing their homes. The reason for
this is the continued allegations of vote rigging, and the evidence
for it has really begun to pile up, with plenty of strong claims
emerging, including the head of the Kenya election commission
admitting that one constituency had the surprising and unlikely turn
out of 115%! Elsewhere, results were announced differently nationally
to their announcement locally, and the results were delayed for 24
hours at a time when Kibaki’s Kenya election rival, Raila Odinga, was
leading in the polls. It’s no surprise that suspicion was rife, and
equally unsurprising that the suspicion has led to unrest, which has
broken out into the violence that has since engulfed the nation.

One area this has affected the most is Kenya’s previously buzzing
tourism industry, and is one that is easily the country’s biggest
source of foreign income, totalling an estimated £500,000,000 per
year. At the start of a year, Kenya could generally expect to be
welcoming hundreds of tourists a day – the recent fall out reduced the
numbers down to a brave few who had decided to ignore the inevitable
warnings from the foreign office about travelling to the country,
which was then placed in the ‘civil unrest’ list of places not to
visit. Subsequently, the Federation of Tour Operators cancelled all
holidays to Kenya, and a lot of people previously booked to visit the
fascinating country were left with no option but to cancel, and
hurriedly check the small print of their worldwide travel insurance

Well, now the foreign office’s advice has been lifted, and you can
begin travelling to Kenya again (though the FCO still advises against
travel to Western and Nyanza provinces, the Rift Valley province
between Narok and Kitale, the central business district, Kibera,
Mathere and Eastleigh areas of Nairobi, Uhura Park and Mombasa Town.)
But what if something like this happens elsewhere? What steps should
you take if you find sudden and unexpected political fallout affects a
previously peaceful country you were due to travel to? While I can’t
speak for all global travel insurance providers, this is the line we
took with Kenya, and I suspect a similar policy has been adopted by
our rivals for their Kenya travel worldwide insurance policies:

1. If you are travelling with a tour operator, they should provide
you with a worldwide refund or an alternative holiday itinerary in a safer
2. If you are travelling independently, then you should be able to
easily obtain a refund from your airline, and possibly from your
accommodation provider.
3. If for some reason, either of these courses of action fail, and
you have a policy with us, then we would offer reimbursement for
unused travel and accommodation, under the terms of a Kenya travel
insurance policy.

Obviously, I cannot be certain this is the approach other worldwide
travel insurance providers will be taking, but I’d imagine the vast
majority will be offering something very similar to those unable to
travel due to the fallout following Kenya’s election, and this advice
should apply in times of future disturbance throughout the worldwide. If
in any doubt, you should contact your provider as soon as possible and
work out the exact terms of your worldwide travel insurance.

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travel worldwide insurance