Travel insurance at affordable premiums

Travel and terrorism - what is covered

Acts of terrorism grab a disappointing and alarming number of news headline these days. For those parts of the world suffering various and unpredictable terrorist acts, yet which also rely on visits by tourists may be especially hard hit.

This raises the question about travel and the travel insurance you are likely to have arranged for your protection – so, just where do you stand as far as personal injury, loss or damage as the result of terrorist attacks are concerned?

No fear – but caution

As far as many travellers are concerned, it seems to have been important to make an active demonstration of not being afraid – despite the threat of terrorism, life goes on, and life includes a fair share of travel.

Against the background of such laudable sentiments, however, it also needs to be recognised that travellers themselves also share some responsibility for behaving with prudence and caution in the destinations they may choose.


But what are terrorist acts anyway?

Surprisingly, perhaps – given the prevalence of terrorism these days – Wikipedia reports an absence of consensus on its definition.

Perhaps the closest one comes is that used by the United Nations and which reads in part: “Criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the public”.

Insurance against acts of terrorism

· the difficulty in pinning down just what might be meant by the word may also contribute to the wide variation in approaches taken by travel insurers:

· some might cover the cost of emergency medical treatment if you are injured and the cost of any repatriation that is needed;

· some policies might also cover damage to property as a result of terrorist activities; and

· others might cover the additional costs you face through flights being delayed or cancelled as a result of terrorism.

A report in the Telegraph newspaper on the 6th of November 2015 attempted a summary of what cover was offered and which was excluded by a number of major travel insurers.

If it is something about which you are worried, or if you want to know more about your particular insurer’s attitude towards cover for terrorist acts, you may need to read the policy document especially carefully – or, of course, ask the insurers directly.

Travel advice

In any event, it is important to remember one of the basic principles of any kind of general insurance contract, including travel insurance, and that is your responsibility for taking all reasonable steps to mitigate the risk of loss or damage.

In the case of travel insurance, therefore, this is likely to include the avoidance of travel in those parts of the world the authorities have specifically warned against visiting.

The leading authority for such advice, of course, is the Foreign and Commonwealth (FCO) which regularly updates warnings about travel in some 225 countries and territories – including known terrorist hotspots. In the case of Afghanistan, for instance, there has been a consistent warning against “all or all but essential travel” to the country.

By ignoring advice from such an authoritative source, of course, you may be jeopardising any travel insurance you have arranged.