16th May 2014
Holidaymakers with planned trips to Kenya have been urged to check whether their travel insurance covers cancellation of their trip following terrorist attacks in the area.
The Foreign Office has warned Britons against all but essential travel to Mombasa Island on the Kenyan coast and areas within 5km of the coast after attacks by Islamist group al-Shabab that killed 10 people, and a continuing threat of further attacks.
The British government has warned travellers they should leave the country from Moi International Airport outside Mombasa. Tour operators Thomson and First Choice have already cancelled all flights to Mombasa until October and is in the process of flying 400 holidaymakers home.
For those who are still planning to head to Kenya following the warnings, Caroline Lloyd, travel insurance expert at comparison site Gocompare.com, warned holidaymakers may invalidate their insurance or not be covered for cancellations.
‘If you are due to travel to Kenya to one of the areas included in the [Foreign Office] warning, your travel agent, tour operator or airline may offer you a different travel date or destination, or give you a full refund,’ she said.
‘Your travel insurance may not provide cover because it is only intended to cover costs that cannot be claimed from another source. So, most policies won’t pay out unless certain parts of your trip were booked independently and cannot be changed or refunded. If you make alternative holiday arrangements, you should speak to your insurer to transfer your policy to the new destination.’
Lloyd added ‘travellers going to areas of Kenya against [Foreign Office] advice will invalidate their travel insurance’ and travellers who cancel travel to a part of Kenya deemed safe will not be allowed to use their insurance to recoup the cost of their trip.
Travellers may be able to claim compensation from their tour operator for a cancelled trip but Lloyd urged holidaymakers to keep a record of conversations with any airline or agent.