Travel insurance at affordable premiums

Travel insurance and acts of terrorism

Terrorism is in the news all the time these days. But although the stories we read are terrifying, most of us know that we would have to be very unfortunate to be affected by terrorism while overseas.

Despite that, it is something that you may want to consider carefully when you go on a trip abroad, especially when it comes to the issue of your travel insurance.

Always follow government advice

The very first thing to consider is your destination country. There are some countries that the FCO warns against visiting, and you can find constantly updated details at the foreign travel advice section of the Gov.uk site.

If the FCO warns against travel to the country, you should usually take this as a good enough reason not to go there for your own personal safety.

But there is another important reason why you may want to avoid these countries, which is that insurers will often refuse to cover you if you end up in difficulties. This is because the risks are seen as too great.

Whether you need European travel insurance or you plan to travel somewhere else, check with your insurer that your destination is covered. But remember that you are unlikely to be protected if you travel against the government recommendations.

Potential problems with terrorist activity

The Guardian recently reported on the potential problems that may be caused for travellers by terrorist activity. It suggests that the cheapest travel insurance policies may not provide cover in the event that a terrorist threat means you have to return home (in Tunisia, for example).

The advice is to spend a bit more for a more comprehensive policy because the cheapest policies tend to only focus on the basics like healthcare.

What you can do

Always consider your destination when you are planning your trip. For example, at the time of writing, the government advises against all but essential travel to Tunisia.

If you decide you still want to go, make sure you check with an insurer that they will cover you. For example, if you buy your cover with us at Bengo Travel, you can always call us to ask.

Wherever you are going, look at the cover provided for acts of terrorism. What would happen if you needed to return home? Would you be covered? Always ask insurers before you purchase a policy, especially if you are going to a country that, while not considered dangerous, has experienced recent terrorist activity.

Also remember that you may be able to purchase an add-on to your standard policy for such eventualities.

What if you have already purchased cover?

If you have already purchased a policy, read through the summary. You have 14 days to cancel any policy, so it is better to find out what the details of the cover are before you go abroad.

If that 14-day window is over and you now realise your cover is not suitable, you could still try to cancel it. Alternatively, you could find out about additional cover to add on from the same provider, or you could simply cut your losses and buy a new policy.

What if your claim is refused?

If your claim is refused by your insurer, you can still take action by going to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). The same Guardian article referenced above claims that over 2,000 people raised issues regarding travel insurance last year, and that the FOS found in favour of more than half of them, so it is worth investigating.

Always read the summary

The key rule whenever you buy insurance is to read through the summary so that you know exactly what is covered. And it is not just terrorism to look out for – other issues where cover may be limited include incidents of civil unrest, certain hazardous activities, and accidents that occur under the influence of alcohol.

So always check the details so you know exactly what is covered before you go away.