I am sure all of you know the United States Government controls travel of US Citizens to various countries. For example, they restrict travel heavily in areas where there is an ongoing conflict or declared conflict. The middle east countries are an example. Right now Iraq has severe travel restrictions.
Certainly this is done mostly for the safety of US Citizens, occasionally it is done for other reasons. Anyone who travels on a regular basis should understand that travel may become restricted by either government at any time. This is one very important reason why everyone should purchase some type of travel insurance any time a change or cancellation would cause a financial burden. As long as the area you are traveling to is not an active conflict area at the time you purchase the insurance, the insurance carriers will consider reimbursement to you for any additional expenses involved in rebooking, or cancellation, due to new government restrictions. The insurance company will always look at any such claim and make a decision based on the perceived merits of the claim.
A recent decision by the US Government to rescind a then current travel policy to Cuba for US Citizens is a glaring example of what can happen. As of June 1, most of the acceptable “Purpose of Travel” categories for travel to Cuba were rescinded. That has left thousands of people stranded, who were planning visits to Cuba for those reasons. Every cruise ship visiting Cuba has had to cancel those Cuba port stops and try to reschedule port stops in other countries. The results may be displeasing to many cruise clients, but a clause in every cruise contract states that the cruise line will make every practical effort to make the scheduled stops, but many reasons may affect the ship’s ability to make a port of call. Change in government regulations is certainly a new and unexpected reason why a cruise ship cannot stop at a port. It remains to be seen how the cruise lines will handle any requests for cancellations by passengers, and whether or not any costs incurred by such cancellations will be covered by the insurance companies.
So, be a wise traveler. Read the cruise contract before you purchase and be sure you can live with the provisions. It is a great way to help you fall asleep at night. Purchase Travel Insurance always. Even if you do not get reimbursed in a particular instance, 99.9% of the time you will have coverage. Once traveling, you will also have coverage in the event of a medical emergency. Always check the government travel safety warnings in advance. They are your most trusted source for factual information. Always check with your trusted Travel Consultant for advice. We have to constantly attend classes and read daily about changes around the world of travel.
Check back next week for part 2.