General Information

More Civil Unrest in the Middle East and Africa

Last Updated:

Riots and political uprising has expanded beyond Egypt.  More countries in the Middle East and Africa are experiencing varying degrees of unrest.   Many travelers worried about upcoming trips and how travel insurance can help.  A recent post on the HTH Worldwide Healthy Travel Blog addressed the demonstrations are spreading through the region.

Successful citizen revolts in Tunisia and Egypt have set off a wave of demonstrations in capital cities in the Middle East and North Africa with dissidents seeking to throw off decades of political repression.  International news organizations are reporting marches and skirmishes with police that may be the beginning of sustained efforts to force major changes in regimes. From Algiers, Cairo, Tehran, Tunis, Tripoli, Damascus and Khartoum to Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Yemen and the Palestinian Territories, autocrats are promising reforms even as their streets are sometimes the scene of brutal confrontations. Travelers should continuously consult news reports and be ready to modify their itineraries accordingly.

The recent events in Egypt called for clarification of what travel insurance coverage is available.  The same is true for the other uprisings in the region.

The most common question is whether trip cancellation or trip interruption is available.  In order for these benefits to apply, one of the covered reasons listed in the policy must be satisfied.  Civil unrest and rioting is not one a covered reason.  Only a policy with cancel for any reason coverage would reimburse a trip being scrapped because of these political demonstrations.

Perhaps the most important coverage in this situation is non-medical emergency evacuation.  This transports travelers from a place of danger to a nearby place of safety.

Many policies will cover travel delay and missed connection if the unrest causes an airline delay or cancellation.  This reimburses for food, taxis, lodging and additional transportation to catch up to the trip.

It is important to understand a new travel insurance policy will not cover events already happening.  Anything that could reasonably be expected to interfere with travel at the time a policy is purchased will be considered a foreseeable event and not covered.

Look closely to see what policies exclude riots and civil unrest.  With these policies, nothing related to these political demonstrations would be covered.

Always refer to the certificate of insurance for details.

Source:  Travel Bulletin: More Capitals Shaken by Demonstrations