By using the website you agree to our use of cookies as described in our cookie policy. I Agree Learn more advises holidaymakers to thoroughly check their travel insurance before heading to Turkey

11 June 2013

Around 2.5 million Brits holiday in Turkey every year, but those who choose cancel or change their plans because of the on-going civil unrest in the country, are unlikely to be covered by their travel insurance.

Anti-government protestors have been occupying an area of Istanbul for around two weeks and smaller protests have also erupted in the capital Ankara and Izmir.  Tear gas and rubber bullets have been used by the Turkish police to try and bring the crowds under control. Some pro-government rallies are also expected to take place in Ankara and Istanbul on June 15th and 16th.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is advising travellers to stay away from certain areas of Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and any areas along the Syrian border. Demonstrations have also taken part in some popular beach resorts such as Fethiye, Marmaris, Bodrum and Mersin, although these have so far been mostly peaceful.  The FCO is also warning travellers to allow more time for travelling in certain areas, especially for airport transfers.

As the FCO has declared these areas still safe to visit, if you wanted to cancel your holiday to Turkey, you are highly unlikely to be covered.

If you've booked a package deal and the area is still deemed safe by the FCO, the travel operator is under no obligation to refund you or offer you an alternative destination. However, if the FCO changes that advice and the travel operator could not guarantee you a safe and enjoyable holiday, then it would be obliged to stop sending people to Turkey and offer an alternative.

There are some insurers who will include cover for impacts from civil unrest, but these are typically higher premium policies. This is sometimes referred to as ‘travel disruption' cover.'s travel insurance expert Caroline Lloyd, said: "Most of the big insurance underwriters include civil unrest, commotion or rebellion as part of their exclusions. Therefore, they wouldn't pay out if your holiday was ruined by the protests.

"It is well worth checking the small print of your travel insurance documents before you go to make sure that you are covered."

She added: "It might also be worth checking the small print if you are flying into the major airports, such as Istanbul. If your flight is delayed due to civil unrest, again, you might not be covered. Make sure you know what you are insured for before you go and ensure that the cover is adequate for the cost of the holiday.

"Situations like these just go to show the benefits of booking travel insurance at the same time as you book your holiday. Unforeseen events like this can happen at any time, and being covered early means you might be able to get some recompense if you've got the right kind of policy, whereas, if you have already booked your holiday but haven't got insurance yet, you might struggle to get covered."