Egypt: What to Know, What to Do (Updated 2/1/2011)January 31st, 2011
The current situation in Egypt is of great concern to us, as it is to all of our customers and travelers worldwide. We’re keeping a very close watch over the latest information coming from all channels regarding travel to and from the region. As of yesterday, the State Department upgraded their recommendations from a Travel Alert to a Travel Warning; the details of that warning, as well as consistently updated information about the ongoing situation in Egypt, can be found here.We urge any InsureMyTrip client who is directly impacted by the unrest in Egypt to call us immediately for assistance in understanding the coverage provided by his/her individual policy. For travelers who are not in need of immediate evacuation, but whose plans may be affected by delays or cancellations as a result of the Egyptian civil unrest, we offer the following information about travel warnings, coverage, and assistance at this time.
A travel warning is generally reserved for long-term safety and security issues that make a country or region very unstable and therefore potentially dangerous to travelers. Warnings may be issued when the U.S. government considers its ability to offer assistance to American travelers in the specified region to be limited; in other words, the embassy or consulate may have had to be shut down, or the staff of such agencies has been drawn down for security reasons. When a warning is issued, travelers should be aware of the fact that not only is their safety in that region questionable, but their access to the usual channels of assistance may also be blocked.
If you have plans to travel to Egypt in the near future, you should carefully review the terms of your specific travel insurance policy to determine whether or not civil or political unrest is included in your coverage. Unfortunately, some travel insurance policies do not allow you to cancel your trip because of current civil unrest in your destination city or country; if you’re unclear about whether or not your policy offers this option, please contact us as soon as possible.
If you are not traveling to Egypt, but are currently experiencing significant travel delays (6 hours or more) or cancellations because of the instability in that region, it would be wise to review your travel insurance policy to determine whether or not your travel delay benefits cover you in the event of civil unrest. Some may; others do not. However, even if the terms of your policy will not allow you to be reimbursed for the expenses from your delay, many travel insurance companies still offer 24-hour assistance programs for clients, which could at least help you with re-booking your transportation or securing a hotel room as needed.
As the situation in Egypt continues to unfold, it’s important for all travelers, regardless of their planned destination or date of departure, to take this opportunity to review carefully the details of their travel insurance policies and become familiar with the benefits provided for civil unrest, as well as the assistance offered in case of significant delays or cancellations. As flights and travelers around the world could potentially be impacted by a crisis in any nation, understanding the basic protections offered to you by your travel insurance policy before you depart for your next trip is a necessary part of smart travel preparation. We urge anyone with further questions about travel warnings and coverage details to call our licensed Customer Care representatives at 800-487-4722.
Editorial Update: As of 2/1/2011, we are aware that several of the companies offering policies through InsureMyTrip.com are providing travel delay benefits for delays resulting from the political unrest in Egypt. These travel delay benefits generally include daily maximum amounts for expenses such as food and lodgings, for delays of 6 hours or more. Please note that in order to receive reimbursement for these expenses, travelers must provide documentation such as receipts when filing their claims.