The U.S. Travel Insurance Association (UStiA) recently shared some good tips related to the growing threat of terrorism facing travelers today. Naturally, it emphasized the value of having travel insurance in the worst case scenario. Well, first things first: That worst case scenario is a long shot, and it’s important to remember that. According to this Forbes report, for example, the chances of being killed by a terrorism-related event in France were one in 267,206 (less than 0.0004%) as of 2017. Inside the U.S., your chances (0.00002%) were on par with those of you being killed by food poisoning or by getting out of bed.
All that said, the UStiA has helpful advice for anyone considering traveling with a good insurance plan as I do (I have an annual plan, which I wrote about here). Here they are:
- If your destination experiences a terrorist attack during or shortly before your stay (most policies specify an amount of time), a travel protection plan may cover cancellation or interruption of your trip. As to the difference between trip cancellation and interruption coverage: Trip cancellation makes it possible to reschedule a trip or even book a trip to a different destination. Trip interruption coverage allows you to cancel a trip and return home if there is a terror event while you are at your destination. Of course, it’s important to know going in what your plan covers.
- Many travel protection plans include 24-hour emergency assistance services, which you can use for assistance with alternative travel arrangements, emergency cash, messages to family members, and more.
- Travelers should check travel.state.gov for destination-specific information related to traveler safety as well as practical tips for use on the ground and more.
- A travel alert or advisory does not on its own kick most insurance plans into action. For the freedom to cancel a trip as you yourself decide it necessary, Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) coverage allows just that. Such a policy doesn’t always return 100% of the trip cost back and is more expensive than most of the other plans you’ll see available.
- Many insurance policies offer benefits contingent upon the time of purchase. Pre-existing medical conditions at the time of purchase, for example, can change what you’re entitled to, and when it comes to hurricanes, if a storm has already been named it’s too late to purchase protection against it. The sooner your trip is protected, the more likely that an event that derails your trip is covered.
Have your own tips or thoughts related to insurance and terrorism? Share in the comments below.
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