Travelling to Israel and the Middle East – what you need to know.
Violence has again flared up in Israel & Palestine, part of a pattern of sporadic incidents which punctuate the conflict and present regular travellers to the region with the question of whether to travel or to cancel.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to Gaza and all but essential travel to Hebron, Nablus, Bethlehem, Ramallah and Jenin. In Israel itself, rockets have been fired at Ashdod, Ashkelon, Beer Sheva, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Nahariya and other cities in the Western Galilee region.
Similarly, the US Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens consider the deferral of non-essential travel to Israel and the West Bank and reaffirms the long-standing strong warning to U.S. citizens against any travel to the Gaza Strip.
So what should you do if you are planning a visit to Israel yourself, or if are you sending any customers, colleagues or clients to the region?
The bad news is that whilst most travel insurance policies allow you to cancel a trip in the event of terrorism, the current events in Israel are considered as Acts of War, which are almost always excluded. As such, an understandable disinclination to travel to Israel at the current time will not trigger a travel cancellation claim from your insurer.
However for future trip to volatile regions, there is now an insurance solution in place. In regent years many travel insurers, particularly in the US have developed ‘cancel-for-any-reason’ policies. These policies are more costly, and tend not to refund the full cost of the trip, but will give the traveller more flexibility – especially valuable when planning a trip to the Middle East.
For more information on travel insurance options, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org