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Topless travel selfies may not be covered by insurance

June 27, 2014 Headline News, Insurance No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Advise your travel clients: if they’re uncovered they’re probably not covered.

That’s the drift of a warning just issued by a leading insurer, focusing on a new social media craze inspired by three adventurous women whose ‘The Topless Tour’ Instagram page is getting quite a following. See:

Their Instagram page (with 30,000 followers – and growing) has 200-plus photos of the women on their travel adventures. In each location there’s a shot of them (backs to camera, it should be noted) topless and “enjoying the sense of liberation”. unnamed (13)

On another front, an Israeli tourist (male) has been for some time running a blog of photos of himself completely naked (though preserving his modesty) in various famous spots throughout South America: My Naked Trip.

Back to The Topless Tour, a Facebook page and a Twitter account have sprung up and other travellers (mostly women) are joining in the spirit.

But, asks the online travel insurance provider Travel Insurance Direct – could a simple snap get travellers in some serious hot water?

The insurer is asking travellers to think about the consequences of what they’re doing and take steps ensure sure they don’t get themselves into unexpected trouble.

Travel Insurance Direct’s travel safety specialist Phil Sylvester comments: “Although it is great to feel free and liberated when travelling the world, if unnamed (14)you get detained or arrested by police for your topless selfie and miss a flight or a pre-paid tour, your insurance will unlikely pay your claim. Simply and understandably because the event is a result of illegal behaviour.”

Sylvester compares it to the ‘planking’ phenomenon, which started off as harmless fun but soon became a hazardous act, with many travellers getting totally planked in dangerous locations across the globe – thus gaining attention from the police and authorities.

Recently, Peru’s ministry of culture placed strict regulations and clear signage at the famous Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, warning visitors that taking their clothes off will be committing a “crime against culture” leading to immediate expulsion from the area.

Tourists prancing naked around Machu Picchu have included a few Australians. In a pair of separate incidents in March, two Australians and two Canadians were arrested for taking off all their clothes for pictures at Machu Picchu. Later, four American tourists were detained for stripping naked and posing for photos at the site.

Sylvester continues: “It is important to be careful with these sorts of social trends, what is ‘fun’ to you might be really offensive to another culture. After all, experiencing new and different cultures is a big part of the joy of travel. unnamed (15)

“In various countries for cultural, religious or just legal reasons this act could be seen as a serious offence. So while that insta pic might get 20 likes, the photographic moment could also equal a serious fine, or jail time. Think of it this way, if you’re uncovered you’re not covered.”

Phil Sylvester’s tips for taking part in the ‘Topless Tour’ (without getting in trouble).

  1. Know the law: Research the laws and regulations of the country you’re visiting, if there are strict clothing rules in place (Arab Emirates for examples) and imprisonment is on the cards it is probably best to keep your top on.
  2. Respect the culture: Some countries are fine with public toplessness and a bit of cheeky photography. Others, not so much. Do some research about the culture you’re travelling to and don’t do anything that is likely to cause offence.
  3. Pick somewhere remote: Bit of a no brainer, but worth pointing out all the same. The more secluded your location, the more interesting your photos will be. You can also take your time getting the perfect shot instead of snapping away in a desperate, paranoid rush.
  4. Choose a suitable time of day: Unless you’re a total exhibitionist, you probably don’t want a busload of tourists to roll up in the middle of your shoot. In other words, stick to early morning or late at night when less strangers are around.
  5. Less is more. Convey your toplessness without actually showing anything rude, there are plenty of other ways to be creative.

Edited by : Peter Needham

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