Cancelling Maldives Trip? Check Whether Your Standard Travel Insurance Policy Will Cover You

A bunch of people on social media claim they cancelled their Maldives trips due to alleged racism by Maldivian ministers and the #BoycottMaldives movement. Some travel agencies are also showing off cancelled reservations, though airlines and booking sites say no flights were cancelled.
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Maldives, Insurance Policy, Travel

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to Lakswadeep and his snorkelling adventure set forth a series of events. After three Maldivians mocked the Indian Prime Minister, a major source of tourism income for the Maldives is now under threat as people in India, including citizens and celebrities, are urging others to choose domestic beaches over the sun-soaked destination, leading to a potential boycott.

#BoycottMaldives started trending on X and thousands of Indians have cancelled their trip to Maldives. 

In case you have also cancelled your Maldives trip, will your travel insurance provide you a refund? 

Travel insurance reimburses the expenses that can't be reimbursed, such as prepaid costs for flights and hotels that were unused. Overseas travel insurance typically comes in two categories: trip cancellation by named perils and trip cancellation by any reason.

“The majority of travel insurance policies encompass coverage for trip cancellations by named perils, meaning that claims are honoured if unforeseen events, medical emergencies, natural disasters, or other unavoidable circumstances listed in the policy occur,” says Aashish Sethi, head - health SBU and travel, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance. 

However, if an individual independently cancels their trip without reasons covered under Named Perils, the claim may not be paid according to standard policy terms. Some policies have introduced an additional coverage option known as trip cancellation for any reason. This extended coverage involves an extra premium and provides more extensive protection, allowing trip cancellations for any reason. “For instance, if an individual chooses this coverage and decides to cancel their trip to the Maldives, the claim will be considered valid under any reason cancellation clause, subject to the terms and conditions outlined in the policy wording,” says Sethi. 

What If The Airlines Cancel Your Flight  

EaseMyTrip has suspended all flight bookings to the Maldives. However, no airline has cancelled their flight. “In the event of trip cancellation caused by the common carrier (airline) refusing to operate due to government regulations, the insurance company will examine the specifics and provide compensation for the cancellation in accordance with the sum assured and the terms outlined in the policy,” says Sethi. 
Typically, the carrier manages such situations autonomously, ensuring passengers are not left stranded. However, the option to file an insurance claim arises only when the airline fails to provide compensation or viable alternatives to the affected passengers.

When You Can Make A Claim 

As mentioned earlier, travel insurance policies commonly provide coverage for trip cancellations arising from unforeseen or unavoidable circumstances, including but not limited to medical emergencies, death, serious injury, sudden illness affecting the traveller or their family members, extreme weather conditions, natural disasters not publicly known beforehand, or government-imposed travel prohibitions. 
It is crucial to grasp both the inclusions and exclusions of the policy to maximize its benefits. Generally, events within an individual's control may not fall under the purview of a standard trip cancellation policy, unless one has taken a cancellation by any reason policy. 

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