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Thread: fco.gov.uk & insurance

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  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
    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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    215

    Default Insurance

    Wold Expeditions recommend Mike Henry Travel Insurance, it seems pretty comprehensive. They are a NZ based company I believe.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    2,851

    Default insurance

    Boulia,
    I have used QBE Insurance, recommeded to me by Thor Travel in Adelaide.
    They have been pretty good, and send me the cheque less than two weeks after sending in the claim, without any other hassles. Which was a pleasant surprise, havind dealt with various insuraces (not necessarily travel...) over the years. I did have all the receipts and paperwork, including the a hospital assessment of my son as soon as we landed in Pokhara. Quite a good private hospital there, a teaching hospital funded by India. I was pleasently surprised by the quality of the whole setup, including the doctors and nurses. Some of them were very good looking. Especially the nurses.

    Regarding Oli's problem, I believe one needs to call and speak to the insurer directly. Not the travel agent. They may not cover flight changes due to political upheaval, but may will most probably still cover emergency medical evacuations.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    9

    Default Insurance

    An update - have tried just about every travel insurance provider in the UK, several Private Client brokers and the British Insurance Brokers Asscn - and not one company would insure me for travel to Nepal (or to any other country against FCO advice).

    However, insurance policies underwritten by UK Insurance and sold by the Royal Bank of Scotland and Tesco, amongst others, state in the policy schedule 'The policy excludes travel to destinations where the FCO has advised against "all travel".' It is clear that the FCO maintains one list advising against 'all travel' and a second, on which Nepal current appears, of advising against 'all but essential travel'. I reckon that travel to Nepal is therefore covered, because the FCO has not advised against 'all travel' there.

    Well, if it comes to it, that's what I would argue with the regulators if any claim proved sticky!

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