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Melanie Leather

Melanie Leather is the Deputy Online Editor of The Independent

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Swine flu may leave travellers uninsured

Posted by Melanie Leather
  • Thursday, 30 April 2009 at 06:14 pm

If you're heading off on holiday shortly, make sure you check your travel insurance small print before you go as the swine flu outbreak could make your policy invalid.

Many insurers won't cover you if you go to a country that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has warned against travelling to. Currently the FCO advises against all but essential travel to Mexico - the country where swine flu first broke out - leaving most visitors uninsured and at risk of a hefty medical bill if they are unlucky enough to get sick.

With 12 countries already having confirmed cases of the virus, including the UK and US, the list of countries that the FCO advises against visiting is likely to rise over the coming weeks. You can keep an eye FCO travel advice at

Meanwhile cancelling your trip may prove difficult if you haven't already bought insurance. Most policy providers won't sell cover if the FCO has already warned against travel to the country. But if your travel company belongs to ABTA and your trip is cancelled, you should get a refund.

If you're planning to book holidays in the near future, using an ABTA-bonded company is a must. And if you are buying insurance for your trip, make sure it includes cancellation cover.



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