Holiday insurance and travel advice are high priorities on your ‘to do’ list when you plan a trip abroad, but there is something else that should go to the very top of your checklist.  Before booking any travel it is important to check for official government travel advice for your intended destination, and keep an eye on the news for any potential problems. In the UK, for example, British citizens should check the website of the Foreign Office for travel advice to make sure there are no advisories against travel in effect for their destination country, or specific areas of the country. This is not intended to put a damper on your enthusiasm for travel but a common sense approach, as obviously you want your travels to go smoothly and to stay as safe as possible. You also want your holiday insurance to work for you if you need to make a claim.  The point of a holiday is to relax, leave your worries behind, and recharge your batteries with total peace of mind.

If you book travel to a destination after a government advisory against travel to that country or specific area has gone into effect it could invalidate sections of your travel insurance.  Travelling to an area considered unsafe for any reason is usually viewed by insurers as ‘wilful exposure to peril’ or similar wording.  A basic part of your contract when you take out travel insurance is that you do not put yourself in harm’s way.

All travel insurance policies come with terms and conditions, as with any insurance, and it should never be assumed that anything and everything that goes wrong on your trip is automatically covered. It is important to read the holiday insurance policy document, especially with regard to any sporting or other activities that you plan to do while on holiday.  Read the FAQ section on your travel insurer’s website.  If still in doubt or confused call and ask for answers to any particular concerns.

As well as checking for any problems in your destination country, advice such as that provided by the Foreign Office and their ‘Know Before You Go’ campaign could prevent you from innocently breaking the law or otherwise putting you or your loved ones at risk.  Knowledge is a powerful thing, so do your research in advance and don’t leave your holiday safety to luck or chance. Travel insurance is important and it has your back when it comes to covered claims, but you are also expected do your part to stay safe.

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