Of Travel Insurance and Terrorism

Many insurance providers have noticed a growing interest in travel insurance plans after a string of terror attacks hit France. According to once policy provider, since the Paris incident nearly a month ago, travel insurance agents have been receiving a surge of calls from travellers wishing to safeguard their trips with travel insurance.

The U.S. State Department had recently issued a worldwide travel alert, bringing the issue of terrorism and the need for travel safety nets at the forefront of discussion. The announcement encouraged a horde of travellers to purchase travel insurance for security's sake. An internal poll conducted by a renowned travel insurance company revealed that the top pieces of information requested by travellers were those related to terrorism and whether or not it is covered by insurance companies.

It has been reported that the most detailed travel insurance programs let clients cancel or interrupt their travel itinerary in the event of a terror act a certain distance from or within the said destination. The trip can be cancelled or interrupted for a set number of days prior to arrival. One caveat to this seemingly convenient agreement? Different policies apparently sport different definition of terrorism. Several providers don't adhere to the universally accepted definition of terrorism issued by the United States federal government and construct their own definition instead. Majority do incorporate the aforementioned into their respective travel insurance policies.

What sets the U.S. government's definition of terrorism from those normally placed in policies is that it specifically distinguishes terrorism from a riot or civil disorder. Either because they have yet to follow the trend or are simply hesitant to provide more legitimate grounds for coverage, some travel insurance policies do not allow their clients to cancel due to terrorism. A great number of providers discourage cancellation particularly if a policy is purchased following the issuance of a travel alert or warning. If the insured's itinerary focuses on cities situated far from where the terror acts occurred, cancellation may not be approved. Subsequently, there will be no coverage even if the attacks occurred in the same country. Distance is a prime consideration.

If you want comprehensive travel medical insurance protection and be covered for terrorism, the best option is to buy a plan at the earliest possible time. Buying only after something had already happened will only invalidate your plan. Always buy before anything happens. That is basically how protection works. Do not just settle for any plan. Research and exhaust all available options. Compare plans too. This will help you see which plans suit your needs for this particular trip. Each trip may require a different plan, depending on the activities you intend to undertake or the overall nature of your trip.

Make sure your plan includes a “Cancel for Any Reason” coverage. This will serve your best interest. Although it is merely an optional benefit, you are given the opportunity to cancel up to two days before your scheduled departure for any reason – even reasons not stipulated in or covered by your travel insurance policy. You can also be reimbursed up to 75 percent of non-refundable trip costs.

Here is another thing you have to take note of: trip cancellation or interruption only covers non-refundable trip costs. You cannot be covered for expenses that can be refunded. For instance, if your airline company offers a voucher for a trip cancelled due to terrorism or weather disturbances, you can no longer claim any benefit from your provider except for those other costs you incurred.

Word to the wise: travel safely and make sure you're well protected wherever you go.

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