Travellers to Kenya not covered for cancelled trips

VADIM GHIRDA / AP

Holidaymakers who cancel holidays to Kenya following a second kidnapping at the weekend will not be reimbursed by their travel insurance.

This is despite advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office warning against all but essential travel to coastal areas within 150km (93 miles) of the Somali border.

The FCO had previously warned holidaymakers to stay 37 miles away from the border following the killing of British publisher David Tebbutt and the kidnapping of his wife Judith at a luxury resort 25 miles from the border on 11 September.

Now the FCO has issued further advice following the kidnapping of a French woman on the island of Manda, near Lamu at the weekend

No claims
Regardless of the warning, the Guardian reports that insurers say they will not pay out claims for loss of deposits if holidaymakers have decided against travelling to the northern coast. A spokeswoman for esure said insurers could not base such decisions on warnings issued by the FCO because "these change from one day to the next".

Martin Rothwell of insurance broker World First said all insurers would take the same stance: "Because the FCO has warned against all but essential travel to this area, the onus is on the traveller to decide whether their trip is essential. This means a claim on a travel insurance policy would be excluded under the 'disinclination to travel' clause."

Safer resorts
However, he added that travel agents and tour operators would rebook customers who have bought holidays in the Lamu area into alternative resorts. "No holidaymaker should be out of pocket because of this," he said.

A spokesman from Aardvark Safaris, a firm which sells tailor-made holidays to Africa, confirmed it was rebooking customers from Lamu to Zanzibar and mainland resorts further south in Kenya and Tanzania.

However, travellers who are nervous about going to resorts outside the 93-mile limit will not be offered the chance to rebook elsewhere at no cost.
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