Terrorist activity and travel insuranceJuly 30th, 2009
Becky, Insurance Analyst
An article posted on the BBC site today is titled “Travel chaos after Majorca bomb”. As a result of a terrorist car bombing on the Spanish island of Majorca, airports and ports have been closed. People who are on the island cannot get off, and anyone with plans to fly in now must make alternate arrangements. Situations like this highlight one of the many reasons why travel insurance is so beneficial. Nearly all package and travel medical plans on our site offer some protection for terrorism. What does this mean for you exactly? If you have purchased a package plan that includes terrorism coverage, for example, you would be able to cancel or interrupt your trip due to a terrorist incident that occurs in a city that is listed on your trip itinerary. If you had a trip planned to Majorca next week but now felt uneasy about going there, you could cancel your trip and be able to recoup your non refundable, prepaid trip costs.
Besides Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption coverage, you may also have coverage under the Travel Delay benefit, if you are delayed due to a terrorist incident. If you were in Majorca and you were delayed at the airport you would be covered for reasonable additional expenses until your travel becomes possible again. All plans have specific rules for what constitutes a travel delay; some plans have travel delay benefits that will kick in after as little as five hours of being delayed, while other plans require you to be delayed for as many as 24 hours before you can use this benefit.
Every plan works differently, and some of the package plans have requirements that must be met in order to have terrorrism coverage. For these plans, you must purchase your travel insurance within a certain number of days of your Initial Trip Payment. Also, each plan has rules about how many days prior to your scheduled arrival date the terrorist incident must occur in order for it to be a covered reason for cancellation or interruption.
One other thing to consider with your travel insurance is Political Evacuation. This is a relatively new benefit and only a handful of the plans offer it. Political Evacuation coverage provides benefits for evacuation when the U.S. government issues a travel warning after the traveler has arrived in the destination country. In this event, travelers will be covered for the costs to evacuate to the nearest country of safety or to the Home Country.
If you’re confused and want to make sure you are getting the best protection, just give us a call at 800-487-4722 and we can help you select the right plan for your needs.