Media coverage of terrorist attacks in Europe and America (primarily) have increased the profile, and fear of terrorist attacks for travellers. What does or doesn’t travel insurance typically cover in the event of terrorist attacks?
Obviously there are a myriad of travel insurance policies, so there’s no simple answer and you should always check your policy or contact your insurance company to find out their specific coverage.
If you’re directly caught up in a terrorist attack, your travel health insurance will probably kick in, covering medical expenses. If you’re in a city where a terrorist attack has taken place, but not directly injured in the attack, it’s unlikely that a standard travel insurance package will be of any use to you. You’re more likely to get assistance and advice directly from your embassy or consular officials.
When a terrorist attack has taken place in a certain destination, some travellers for peace of mind decide to cancel their trip. In most cases your travel insurance won’t cover a cancellation for this reason. In some cases, where a destination has been listed by government agencies as dangerous, you may get some coverage. In the case of most terrorist attacks in Europe over the last decade, the destinations have not been listed as dangerous, even in the wake of the attacks.
There are a number of insurance companies now offering specific terrorism insurance, but you should read the fine print carefully. Coverage will not generally apply to a number of listed countries including Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
It’s also worth pointing out that, where an insurance policy does cover terrorism, it will generally have a very specific definition (for example, the event must be designated by the state department or similar as a terrorist attack), ruling out things like civil unrest.
Another option, if you’re worried about the possibility, is to take out a ‘cancel for any reason’ policy, which usually lets you cancel flights up to two days before departure, with a partial refund.
Tags: travel insurance