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Terrorism - Is It Covered by Travel Insurance?


 The Winter Olympics are almost here and with the recent terror attacks in Russia questions have come up concerning whether or not travel insurance can help protect travelers from financial losses caused by a terrorist incident.  The answer is yes, but you have to read the coverage carefully because it will vary between the different types of insurance benefits and between companies.

The most popular type of plan is commonly called a “Package Policy”. These policies vary from company to company but their common denominator is that they are designed for single trips and usually have the following coverages;

  • Trip cancellation/interruption,
  • Travel delay,
  • Medical expense,
  • Baggage loss or damage,
  • Baggage delay,
  • Emergency medical evacuation,
  • Flight accident,
  • Accidental death, and
  • Rental car coverage.

The clearest indication of terrorism coverage is found in the trip cancellation/interruption and travel delay coverages. These coverages have specific covered reasons (named perils) that trigger their benefits. Most will provide cancellation or interruption benefits in the event of a terrorist incident. However, coverage maybe limited in a number of ways:

  • for some plans terrorism coverage is a time sensitive provision that requires coverage to be bought within a specific time following the trip initial deposit ,
  • most require that the “Terrorist Incident” occur within 30 days of your expected arrival at a city that is on your itinerary, and
  • some exclude coverage if a “Terrorist Incident” has occurred within the city or country within 6 months or if there is a current US Department of State travel warning at the time coverage is purchased.
  • All plans require that the “Terrorist Incident” occur after you have purchased your coverage.
  • Like other forms of insurance, the terrorist incident must be unforeseen when you buy your coverage.

What is less clear is whether terrorism is also covered under the other coverages found in “Package Policies”. In quite a few cases it isn’t. Many travel insurance plans have a general exclusion for terrorism the effects all coverages with the exception of trip cancellation/interruption or travel delay benefits. So when it comes to medical coverage or accidental death, or flight insurance you probably will not be covered.

As with everything else, it is best to be an informed consumer. The best advice that you can follow is to research the available travel insurance policies. And the best place to research travel insurance is on a web site like Sites like QuoteWright, allow you to compare plans on a side-by-side basis and to view actual policy wording. Comparing policies and asking questions is the only way to find the policy that is best for you and your trip.

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