Travel insurance expert Jim Krampen advises agents on how to check travel insurance cover for acts of terror.
Travel insurance offers two types of benefits for a terrorist event scenario: financial and medical coverage. While both options are often included in one plan, this is not always the case. In addition, not all plans cover terrorism, so it is important to choose coverage carefully.
Financial coverage Financial protection provides reimbursement for non-refundable trip costs if a traveller cancels a trip due to terrorist activity. This is important if the trip represents a large financial investment for the traveller because it will help him or her recover money already paid for the trip.
This benefit typically allows insured persons to cancel or interrupt their trip if a terrorist attack results in complete cessation of travel services and if the event occurs at the traveller’s destination.
In the second situation, the plan will likely require that the event occurs within a specified distance of the destination, such as 50 miles. It also limits the covered time period to a stated number of days before departure, such as seven to 30 days.
Medical coverage Medical expenses for injuries related to a terrorist event are covered if the traveller is not a participant in the event and if the event occurs in a covered location. Destinations with a travel warning or a high likelihood of terrorist events may not be covered, likewise if a traveller remains in a country after being warned to leave.
Emergency travel assistance Most travel insurance plans include 24/7 emergency assistance, which is a key service for any traveller who is concerned about terrorism. In this type of crisis situation, an experienced team can help an insured person navigate through complicated medical and travel scenarios.
Checking if terror attacks are covered The best way to ensure there is coverage is to review the policy and ask questions, obtaining specifics for benefits provided.
You can also search the policy using “Ctrl +F” for terror and read each instance of the word. Pay special attention to the exclusions in the policy; if terrorism is listed as excluded, it is not covered.
Review the definition for terrorism as well and understand that some plans will require the US government to deem an event a terrorist incident before coverage is provided. Finally, verify that your destination is covered.
To travel or not When travelling, there is no way to predict if a terrorist event will occur, but by purchasing an insurance plan with terrorism coverage, travellers can arm themselves with a layer of financial and medical protection and emergency assistance services. All of these components can be crucial in helping a traveller successfully deal with a terrorist event.
Jim Krampen, co-founder and chief revenue officer of international travel insurance company Seven Corners, US, has over 25 years of experience in the industry.
This article was first published in TTG Asia December 2016 issue. To read more, please view our digital edition or click here to subscribe.