If you slip and fall on the steps of the Basilica, chances are that your travel insurance coupled with your health insurance will cover the bill and reduce the inconvenience.
If your home is burgled while you’re abroad and you need to return home quickly, the right travel cover will reimburse you part of the cost of your aborted holiday and pay for your return trip home. But until recently, if you incurred a loss due to a terrorist attack, you might just have had to foot the bill yourself.
Recent changes made by many insurers expand the cover offered by their policies in case of terrorist acts, but there’s a very wide variation on what expenses are covered and which will be your own responsibility.
First, it’s important to note that your chance of being affected by terrorist activity is minute. Millions of UK citizens travel abroad every year with no incident. When it does happen, though, such attacks are widely publicized and make it seem that the chances of being affected are rising. “Being affected” is also a wide ranging phrase which can cover anything from being directly injured by a terrorist attack to having your personal belongings destroyed in a search because of a terrorist threat. When there is an imminent threat of an incident, airports may shut down, flights may be delayed and travelers may have to pay for overnight lodgings while they await another flight. Whether or not these additional expenses are covered varies widely by individual insurer, and the only way to be certain is to read your policy carefully.
There are a few rules of thumb of which you can be fairly certain, though. War and terrorism are almost universally excluded from coverage by most insurers. Some insurers will cover the cost of emergency return home under certain conditions. If, for instance, the country you are visiting becomes unsafe for British travelers while you are there and the Foreign Office advises travelers to leave it, many insurers will cover the cost of emergency transportation home. Others will cover the cost of hotel and/or a replacement flight if the one on which you are booked is canceled or delayed due to a terrorist act or threat. Many will cover medical expenses for treatment of injuries or illness that arises from terrorist activity, and a very few will reimburse you for losses to personal property arising from terrorist activity.
Also read: How to Handle Health Issues While Traveling
The best way to find out precisely what cover you have in case of terrorist attack or incident is to carefully read the fine print of your policy, and to ask your agent. You should also be aware of the following policies regarding airline return and refund policies for canceled and delayed flights:
1. If your flight or holiday is canceled due to any reason, including terrorist threat or attack, your airline or travel agent must make a refund. If the cancellation is due to terrorism, though, they are not required to pay compensation for inconvenience or extra cost to you. Check with your insurance company to see if you can claim those expenses.
2. If your flight is delayed eight hours or more due to a terrorist or security threat, you may be able to recover accommodation and meal expenses from the airline. About 50% of travel policies will pay out for accommodation and expenses incurred because of terrorists.
3. If you travel to a foreign country against Foreign Office advice, few companies will cover you for incidents due to terrorism. You can, however, often find policies specifically to cover you for losses due to terrorist activities at a somewhat higher cost than typical travel insurance.
4. If you cancel a trip due to concern about terrorism in the area, you will probably not be due any refund for your expenses to date.
5. If a connecting flight is cancelled or delayed more than five hours due to security threat, you may be due a refund of your entire trip. Again, your best option is to check with your airline, travel agent and insurer to find out exactly what rights you have.
Article written by Simon Christopher from Travel Insurance Companies Directory.