Last week, a man ran down tourists walking along London’s Westminster Bridge with a rented SUV. Four of those tourists were killed and 29 more were hospitalized. The man later stormed Parliament and stabbed one police officer, taking his life.
It was immediately unclear whether the incident was linked to a terrorist organization. As the situation unfolded, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. The British Government responded by officially naming the incident a terrorist attack.
As in the wake of the terrorist attacks on Brussels and Paris, travelers called the InsureMyTrip Call Center at an increased rate to inquire about new and existing travel insurance plans. In a world where terror incidents are becoming more prevalent, travelers are becoming smarter about the coverage they are purchasing for trips. Not all travelers will consider their travel destination at risk for terrorism, but the rise of terrorists attacking “soft targets” makes terrorism an unfortunate, yet important coverage on a plan.
What to consider when looking for terrorism coverage:
Terrorism coverage is not created equal on every plan. Unfortunately, there is no general standard when it comes to travel insurance coverage and this includes terrorism benefits. The main difference between coverage will be the time between the terrorist event and your departure date that will allow you to cancel your trip for reimbursement. Every plan will specify the number of days a terrorist incident must fall within prior to your arrival to that destination. Some plans, for instance, may be within 30 days of the incident.
Not all travel destinations will be covered for terrorism. Every plan has its own exclusions within every type of benefit. When you look at the details for terrorism coverage, this could include travel destination. Some plans may only include (or exclude) a city in a destination country, or the plan may also extend (or limit) coverage to areas outside the major cities as well.
Timing matters. Timing is important if there is a terrorism incident as noted above, and also in relation to when you purchased your plan. If you purchase your travel insurance plan after an initial terrorist incident, another incident some days later may not be covered by the plan, depending on how the two incidents are linked. The important thing is to purchase your travel insurance as closely to when you first put money down for the trip (your first trip payment). This will open up as much coverage as possible, including time-sensitive benefits.
You cannot cancel your trip for reimbursement due to fear – unless you have Cancel for Any Reason coverage. Typically, Cancel for Any Reason coverage is an added benefit to comprehensive travel insurance that travelers will need to specifically qualify for during the purchase process. Not only do travelers need to be eligible, but they also may need to pay more for the coverage and cancel their trip, usually 48-72 hours prior to the scheduled departure date. The main benefit? You’ll receive a portion of your trip cost back in reimbursement, no matter the reason you cancel your trip.
Questions about travel insurance coverage? Contact a licensed travel insurance for guidance.