acts of terrorism and even general anxiety related to terrorism can be enough to make you nervous for an upcoming trip. And it makes sense for you to turn to travel insurance for a little peace of mind, whether you have a policy in force for planned trips or just want to consider all of your options in what can be uncertain times.
But this is also one of those times where doing a little math can help put you at ease, giving you some much-needed perspective and a well-timed reality check.
First, remember to separate the probability of an act of terrorism from the probability that you are directly involved in the incident. Look, we’re not trying to split hairs or sugarcoat anything; this is a difficult subject to digest regardless of the current geopolitical environment, your fate, or your own apprehension. Between today’s nonstop news alerts and the threats we hear about in real time, it’s easy to think that if there’s a terrorist attack, it’s going to shock you. but that is simply not the case. far from it, in fact. if you need a little more comfort, here are the numbers: according to u.s. state department statistics, 350 u.s. citizens lost their lives in terrorist incidents abroad between 2001 and 2013. while this is deeply tragic, this also puts your odds of suffering such an outcome at 20 million to 1, which is much less than being struck by lightning (one in 5.5 million).1
If those numbers don’t reassure you, or you’re just stressed about the possibility of acts of terrorism wreaking havoc on your travel logistics, a good way to keep your travel options open is to purchase travel insurance that includes terrorism as a covered cause. yes, travel insurance can provide benefits for many scenarios involving terrorist acts, including the scenario where a terrorist attack occurs at your destination within 30 days of your scheduled arrival (of course you always want to check with your specific provider and plan details). We’ll delve into the details, as well as provide some safety precautions and other useful information to help you understand this difficult topic of travel and tourism.
avoid terrorism when traveling
“The first and best protection is to avoid traveling to areas where there has been a persistent history of terrorist attacks or kidnappings,” the US government said. uu. adviser to the state department. If you’re unsure about the safety of your destination, check the state department’s website to see if any travel warnings or advisories have been issued.
Terrorist acts, by their very nature, are unpredictable. But there are ways to reduce the risk of being directly or indirectly targeted by terrorists, the state department says. for the most part, these are common sense precautions. here are some examples:
- When flying abroad, book direct flights whenever possible, limit layovers at high-risk airports, and avoid crowded areas.
- always try to travel with other people, randomly select your own taxis when needed (instead of having someone call or order one for you), keep a well-charged cell phone handy, and always keep the windows of your vehicle closed .
- avoid opening the door of your hotel room to strangers and never handle or accept unexpected packages.
- report any suspicious activity to authorities, using your best judgment.2
- You buy travel insurance for a week of sightseeing in Prague with your daughter. then the news reports that a bomb has exploded in the old town square in an apparent terrorist attack three weeks before the scheduled arrival date. If you decide to cancel your trip, your travel insurance will reimburse you for prepaid, non-refundable travel costs, because you purchased the insurance before any incident occurred.
- a bus explodes in athens two weeks before your planned tour of greece. Feeling legitimately anxious, you immediately purchase a travel insurance plan to protect your trip. Shortly before leaving, another attack occurs on the bus and you decide to cancel the trip. His travel insurance would not cover his trip cancellation because he purchased the plan within 30 days of a terrorist incident at his destination. (Note: You may still receive travel insurance benefits if another covered reason applies to your travel experience.)
Does travel insurance cover trip cancellation due to a terrorist incident?
yes, travel insurance can cover trip cancellation due to a terrorist incident. but it all depends on the moment. Specifically, Allianz Global Assistance travel insurance considers domestic and international terrorism as a covered reason for trip cancellation if a terrorist event occurs in your US city. uu. or foreign destination within 30 days of the day you are scheduled to arrive under the onetrip prime plan. however, you are not covered if there has been a terrorist event in your international destination generally within 30 days prior to your plan effective date. So how does terrorism insurance work?
let’s see some examples:
Does travel insurance cover terrorist attacks on airplanes?
If a terrorist attack causes your airline or other airlines to suspend services for 24 hours, it is considered a covered reason for trip cancellation or interruption by allianz global assistance. if you or a fellow traveler is kidnapped, it is also a covered reason for trip cancellation. In situations like these, contact the Allianz Global Assistance Global Travel Assistance Hotline for help, if possible. Allianz Global Assistance travel experts can help you contact local authorities or the US Embassy and make alternative travel arrangements to get home safely. if a terrorist attack occurs on another aircraft before your scheduled trip, that is not a covered reason for trip cancellation.
what if I’m afraid of a terrorist incident?
Shortly before his scheduled trip to visit his family in the Philippines, a separatist group begins making terrorist threats. the state department issues a travel advisory urging caution. is considering canceling the trip and rescheduling for later in the year. Will travel insurance cover cancellation of your trip due to fear of a terrorist incident? No, because no incident has occurred. fear or threat of a terrorist incident at your destination is not a covered reason for trip cancellation. however, you should be careful when making your travel arrangements.
does travel insurance cover riots or other acts of violence?
You have just arrived in Cairo and are getting ready to leave for a grand tour of Egypt. then a riot breaks out in tahrir square as protesters and police clash. Terrified, you retreat to your hotel room and start making plans to fly home. Will travel insurance cover your trip cancellation due to the riots?
no, because civil unrest is not the same as terrorism. allianz global assistance travel insurance defines terrorism specifically as “when an organized terrorist group, as defined by the u.s. department of state, injures or kills persons or damages property to achieve a political objective or result , ethnic or religious”. terrorist events do not include general civil protests, riots, riots, or acts of war. If a strike or riot causes your carrier or tour operator to stop services for 24 hours, that could be considered a covered reason for trip cancellation.
If the convenience of having the math or a travel insurance plan on your side still isn’t enough to calm your nerves when traveling abroad, you might consider some relevant recent advice from New York Times travel writer and journalist, david shaftel:
“The more I travel, the more comfortable I feel traveling. my anxiety usually rears its head in the lead up to a trip. when we’re on the road, those fears tend to be displaced by more practical matters, like whether we have enough diapers, snacks, and patience to last us through the day.” 3
In summary, this difficult topic is that, yes, travel insurance can provide some coverage in case terrorist attacks affect your trip. But when it comes to calming general anxiety about what might happen, the best advice may be to make responsible travel plans, exercise good judgment, and don’t look back.