Tour cancelled due to conflict

In late 2022, Sarah booked flights to Israel and a tour of historical sites in the region. Sarah paid for her travel using a credit card which came with complimentary travel insurance.

Sarah was due to depart to Israel in early November 2023. However, on 7 October 2023, conflict broke out between Israel and Palestine. 

On 23 October 2023, the tour company told Sarah that they had cancelled the tour she booked. The tour company said that they could not operate the tour due to the conflict in Israel and Palestine.   

Sarah submitted a claim under her travel insurance policy with the insurer for the cost of her flights to Israel, and her tour.

The insurer declined Sarah’s claim. The insurer told Sarah that they could not accept her claim because Sarah’s insurance policy excluded losses arising from war and acts of terrorism.

Sarah complained to FSCL in early 2024.

Dispute

Sarah felt that the insurer should have accepted her claim, because she did not expect the conflict to occur when she was booking her travel in 2022.

The insurer refused to accept Sarah’s claim because they were bound by the policy wording, which excluded claims for losses arising out of war.

Review

We found that the insurer was entitled to decline Sarah’s claim because her losses were a result of the conflict in the region.

We explained to Sarah that it is common for travel insurance policies to exclude claims arising out of war and acts of terrorism. We also explained to Sarah that complimentary insurance policies are generic and are not designed to meet her specific needs.  

Resolution

Sarah agreed to discontinue her complaint.

Insights for consumers

It is common for travel insurance policies to contain exclusions relating to war.

Complimentary insurance policies provided as a credit card benefit are generic and may have more limited benefits than other types of travel insurance, so consumers should ensure that that the policy meets their needs before they book their travel.