Kathmandu, June 16th 2015
At the present moment many governments have travel warnings in place for journeying to Nepal. These have a big impact on travel insurance.
The travel insurance situation is complex and not as straightforward as it might seem.
If you are a resident of any EU country, USA, Canada or Australia and thinking of travelling to Nepal we strongly advise checking the wording of your travel insurance policy very carefully.
Buying a new travel insurance policy
Whilst most people can go online and buy a policy for their Nepal trip, many policies are completely or partially invalidated because of foreign government’s advice against travel to Nepal.
Some people will be unaffected, some have wasted their money and are unprotected.
Currently all EU countries, USA, Canada and Australia have travel warnings against Nepal (June 14th 2015).
The most important factor is the country of residence of the traveller. If that country’s government has a warning against travel to Nepal the traveller’s insurance may be invalid.
What to do?
- Check the ‘General Exclusions’ section of the Terms & Conditions of the Policy before buying.
- If in doubt contact the insurance agent / broker selling the policy and ask.
Travelling on an existing policy
Many people buy annual travel insurance policies
Some people will have bought their travel insurance policy before the earthquake of April 25th.
Again different insurers are taking different positions on travel to Nepal: some will provide cancellation and curtailment cover only; some provide full cover according to the original policy terms
What to do?
- Contact your insurer and ask them specifically what your travel insurance covers and excludes regarding travel to Nepal.
- Ask specifically about any conditions that would prevent you from travel to the earthquake affected areas and what they deem ‘reasonable precautions’
About the author: Jo Chaffer is an independent consultant and researcher based in Nepal with. I’ve recently researched the travel insurance situation for tourists wishing to come to Nepal post quake. If you have more questions please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org