After the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday, November 13, you may have some questions regarding travel to France and how you’re covered if you’re in the French capital.
We would advise all travellers to heed the following guidelines:
Travellers in France should remain vigilant and avoid public events and large gatherings
Authorities have shut down major tourist attractions and museums and gatherings such as outdoor markets in Paris until November 19.
The Metro, trains and CDG Airport are operating as normal, though increased security will mean delays across all international border controls.
Seek updated advice from the local authorities and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for further information.
Am I covered if I am injured in a terrorist incident such as in France?
If you are injured in a terrorist attack, you will be covered under your travel insurance policy for medical expenses and personal accident cover.
Our 24-hour emergency team will be available for immediate care for you including arranging all necessary treatment and return to the UK, as well as close liaison with relatives and travelling companions.
Columbus Direct 24hr Emergency Medical Assistance:+44 (0)208 865 1640
Columbus Direct Claims: +44 (0)208 865 1654
Am I covered if I wish to cancel my forthcoming holiday to France?
If the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have not advised against travel, your travel insurance policy will not normally offer any compensation, as it only provides cancellation cover for specific reasons and concern over the safety of a destination is not one of these Please contact your airline and holiday company either to rearrange the dates of your holiday or to cancel.
If the FCO advises against travel to your destination, you should contact the airline or holiday company who will likely offer a refund or an alternative date or destination.
Am I covered if I am abroad and wish to return home immediately?
Your travel insurance policy will only provide curtailment cover for specific reasons, and concern over the safety of a destination is not one of these.
After such a serious incident, if you contact your airline or holiday company, they will decide whether they can or will arrange for your return to the UK. If the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against travel to the region where you are staying, it is likely that the holiday company will make arrangements for your immediate return.
If this is not possible, and you are directly affected by the incident, we will make every effort to assist our customers and advise how best to return home.
Am I covered if my flight has been cancelled when I am due to return home?
This is the responsibility of the airline or holiday company who have a legal obligation to assist and support you in getting home.
Am I covered if my flight has been delayed when I am due to return home?
Your travel insurance policy will only provide travel delay cover for specific reasons, and delays due to increased security risk are not one of these. Again, the airline or holiday company have a legal obligation to assist and support you in getting home.
If you are insured with us and your flight is delayed for over two hours, provided you’ve registered your details before you leave, you may be able to claim free lounge access for you and up to four fellow travellers.
I have rescheduled my travel arrangements; can I transfer my insurance to my new travel arrangements?
Due to the recent French attacks, some holiday companies may offer customers the option to change their travel destination and/or dates of travel. If there is no impact in the travel insurance policy premium, we will not charge an administration cost for any amendments.
If the premium alters due to a change in destination or duration, we will adjust the cost of the policy and either issue a refund or charge an additional premium. However, there will be no administration charge.
I am stranded abroad because of the aftermath of the French attack, is my cover still in force?
Where customers are stranded abroad, due to helping the authorities, lost documentation or other consequent circumstances as a result of the terrorist attacks in France, your travel insurance policy will be extended until you can return home as long as you do so at the earliest possible opportunity.
Whilst the cost of additional accommodation abroad incurred due to this incident is not covered, we will review each case on its merits.
My holiday company has cancelled my holiday, so can I cancel my insurance and have a refund?
If the policy is a Single Trip policy purchased directly with Columbus, then a full refund will be offered but we cannot offer policy refunds for Annual Multi-Trip policyholders.
I haven’t left the hotel since this event – can I claim for loss of holiday?
A travel insurance policy will not provide any cover for loss of services or loss of enjoyment following an incident. However, we would advise contacting your holiday company and asking their advice.
Useful phone numbers:
Address: 35, rue du Faubourg St Honoré, Paris Cedex 08, 75383 Paris, France
Phone: +33 (0) 1 44 51 31 00
FOREIGN OFFICE NUMBERS FOR RELATIVES OF THOSE IN FRANCE
Phone number in the UK: 020 7008 0000