9 November 2016
The astonishing results of the US election have triggered riots and protests across the country.
In a display of mass outrage students and civilians have taken to the streets to demonstrate their anger through flag burnings and shouts of obscenities and slurs. Latest reports show thousands of people gathering in New York’s Union Square for an anti-Trump protest with organisers also planning rallies in Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia and elsewhere for Wednesday. The potential for more violence cannot be out ruled.
The destabilising impact of the election could pose risks for Australians within the US and those intending to travel there. According to comparetravelinsurance.com.au, the US is the second most popular destination for Australian travellers, behind New Zealand. Already there has been a reported decline in searches for USA quotes which may be a sign of newfound fears - or that the election outcome was not the trump card Aussies were hoping for.
Natalie Ball, director of Comparetravelinsurance.com.au, says; “At present, there is a lot of fear swirling as tensions escalate in the US. The result of the presidential election has undoubtedly stirred up many emotions for the American public and we would urge those travelling in the region to practice common sense. Avoid large gatherings and don’t undermine the ability for things to get out of hand. A seemingly peaceful protest can quickly escalate into violence.”
Although there has not been any change to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)’s current travel advisory to America, travellers are advised to remain on alert and ‘exercise normal safety precautions.’ “What we are currently seeing in the US is the result of an extremely tenuous political period. We would caution Australians to avoid raising tensions further and minimise the risk of altercations.”
What is covered by travel insurance?
With many now fearing the repercussions of a Trump Presidency, US civilians are seriously considering fleeing the country. Australians living or travelling in the United States may be reconsidering their plans as a period of uncertainty descends over the nation. However, those wanting to claim for cancellation (for no longer wanting to travel) would not be covered by travel insurance.
Ball adds “It’s unlikely that you would have provision to claim for the current climate of political unrest in the US if you decided you no longer want to travel. Travel insurance does not cover for ‘fear of travelling’ to a destination or ‘fear of trip disappointment.”
Nevertheless, travellers caught up in riots or violent protests would most likely be covered medically if they were injured, provided they had not knowingly put themselves in a dangerous predicament.
Caution in the United States
This presidential election has been particularly tense due to Trump’s extreme and what some may call bigoted views. Despite no changes to official government warnings, Australians should remain vigilant at this sensitive time and take pause before provoking further hostilities.