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Thread: fco.gov.uk & insurance

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Wales, UK
    Posts
    871

    Angry fco.gov.uk & insurance

    Historically the British Foreign Office have been quite relaxed with their travel advice on going to Nepal, the usual "avoid Maoists" & "don't trek alone" etc. But I can't remember them ever saying "Don't go" - until last weekend. They now advise against all "non-essential" travel to Nepal during the run up to the elections, and will review the situation later in Feb.

    They do seem to say that, as ever, there is more risk on mishap in the Mountains than being shot or blown up in Kathmmandu or on the highway, that's always been the case. Now I don't really care what they say, but a crucial detail is that insurance companies do care that they "advise against travel", and consequently insurance cover is likely to be void. I check ed mine (with the BMC) and I'm not covered if I ignore FCO advice, and furthermore cancellation insurance doesn't usually cover acts of war or political strife.

    So unless the FCO change their minds I, and many others I'm sure, are a bit stuffed. It's a tough call - probably nothing bad would happen, but if it does then it'll be BAD. I've just been hearing about a friend & g/f of a friend who was seriously runover (in Russia somewhere) and their medical & evac bills were in excess of 1million, and I don't think anyone reading this could afford that without insurance.

    Check here for updates.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    2,851

    Default insurance

    Australia had the stuff about "non-essential travel" for a while now, maybe a year or so. I travelled twice and had insurance. I did always check with the insurer, but never had them say don't go, you are not covered in Nepal.

    By all means check. I did get my evacuation flight cost from Hongde for my son's illness. The cheque came last week.

    Watching the developments with the bandth, and the fact that tourist minivans travelled unhindered, I don't think this is any different to years past.

    I would check with the insurance.
    I don't think airtravel to/from Nepal will be a problem.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    2

    Default FCO info

    Hi

    Just checked FCO site and it states:-

    "We advise against all but essential travel to Nepal during the period leading up to the municipal elections on 8 February 2006".

    So if you are travelling after the 8th Feb I can't see you having problems.

    Andy.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    9

    Default FCO Info

    Oli

    I have this problem - I'm off to Nepal next week - but my annual policy does not cover me for travelling 'against FCO advice'. This is not unusual in the UK - and is a bit of a problem in that I haven't been able to find anyone who will provide cover. There are some specialist brokers who could probably arrange it...at a price; the sort of commercial rates that journos/ NGOs etc can stick on expenses.

    I wouldn't pay too much attention to the semantics of the FCO advice - the tavel advisory will remain until it is downgraded and quite honestly I can't see that happening anytime soon.

    If I find cover at a reasonable price I'll post the broker's details.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Wales, UK
    Posts
    871

    Default

    Yeah...

    The significant thing here is that the FCO say "We advise against all but essential travel to Nepal (blah blah etc)". And that insurance companies will generally use any excuse to avoid making payments.

    The bottom line is that as long as the FCO advise against travel (regardless of semantics) then insurance cover is void.

    I'm not due to travel until Feb 27th, so I'm very much hoping that the situation / advisory will be relaxed before then. Plyn - if you do find a company that'll give cover then yes please do let us know.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    netherlands
    Posts
    130

    Default travel insurance

    Would it help you guys in any way to know that, according to a couple of posts here: Trekkingforum.com (Austrian/German board), some people there still seem to be able to get good coverage for Nepal? ("Reiseversicherung" = travelinsurance).

    The companies 3 of them mention in that thread, are German (".de"). And I have no idea myself how far we are meanwhile with our EU and the European integration, and if it's possible at all to close a deal with a German insurance company if you're a Brit, also taking into account the updated FCO advice. But then, the AA-advice (German equivalent) isn't really much friendlier towards Nepal-travels.

    If you want me to translate some of what's in those German postings, just say so. Or register there yourself and ask in English; though the majority of the posts there are in German, of course nobody objects to an occasional question or comment in English - seeing how all of them love to go trekking in Nepal, where German isn't exactly the main language.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Even if the FCO advisory changes there is a another, unmentioned, problem: a lot of insurance policies will exclude claims that arise from terrorist (i.e. Maoist) actions and also for claims that arise from an uprising of local people (or such similar situations).

    But I do agree with Yakshaver's general comments above.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Wales, UK
    Posts
    871

    Default Gulf Air & German translations

    Mieke: thanks for the tip, link & offer to translate. I have found that Google language tools do a passable translation of that page (or any other).

    I spoke with Gulf Air today, they are being quite flexible. The guy told me that they are offering alternative destinations or a refund for anyone booked to fly to Kathmandu up to the 14th Feb, when they will review the situation and FCO advice. I didn't check if the refunds or alterations will entail costs, and note that they don't have to do this, but they are being quite understanding and flexible.

    William is quite correct about insurance cover on acts of terrorism and/or war (including politically motivated riots?) is generally not covered, presumably at the discretion of the insurers. But I know that was the case anyway, I wouldn't bother trying to claim back my Maoist "tax" by claiming to have been robbed at gunpoint (with a reciept to prove it!). My requirement for insurance is to cover my ass if I need a helicopter evac or get run over, or similar mishap. It's also worth noting that no amount if insurance cover will gaurntee rescue if you are trekking alone, fall off a cliff and there is nobody around to help.

    So, DO read the small print on your insurance cover note, call them and confirm anything that's not clear. And if you aren't insured and take the sensibly cautious decision to cancel/defer or go elsewhere then you should definitely speak to your airline. Even if you are not covered then there is generally scope for honouring an agreement, but do check first/soon.

    I hope it all works out OK for everyone.
    Last edited by Oli; 28th January 2006 at 03:44 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Nepal.
    Posts
    19

    Default

    Just an add on ..it may affect some people..www.worldnomads.com Australian company has informed me they are still covering Nepal ..the catch appears to be you have to be travelling on to Australia or N.Z. as part of your trip. (one or two exceptions like no cover for flight delays or cancellations. Mind boggles..Itineary as follows... end trek..Birethante...Pokhara..day trip to Ayres Rock..Kathmandu.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Near Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    358

    Default Which Insurance Company ?

    Hi Yakshaver

    which insurance company did you use last trip ? I use CoverMore and it has the usual exclusions noted above, ie acts of terrorism, civil war (declared or not) etc but cover is not dependent on Govt Advice (just as well no Australian would get cover to many palces if this was the case!!).

    cheers

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