ST. PETERSBURG, FL March 24, 2016 — The recent terrorist attacks in Brussels have led to a Europe Travel Alert issued by the U.S. Department of State. Squaremouth, a leading travel insurance comparison site, answers the most commonly asked questions about travel insurance coverage related to the travel alert for European countries, which account for three of the five most popular international destinations for its customers.
“More than a third of our customers traveling internationally in the spring months are going to Europe,” said Squaremouth Customer Service Director Jessica Harvey. “We’re continuing to see an increase in questions about travel insurance from people who are nervous about their trips because of terrorist attacks in popular European vacation destinations.”
Can I cancel my trip because of the Europe Travel Alert?
Travel insurance will not cover you to cancel your trip because of the Europe Travel Alert unless you have Cancel For Any Reason coverage. Despite “potential risks” of travel, a travel alert alone is not a covered reason to cancel a trip on standard travel insurance policies.
“Unfortunately, the threat of terrorism is not enough to trigger a policy’s Terrorism coverage,” said Squaremouth Product Manager Adam Rusin. “Right now, this coverage would only apply to those traveling to Brussels in the near future.”
Travelers departing for Europe in the next month who have Brussels on their itinerary may be able to cancel due to the Brussels terrorist attacks if they have a policy with Terrorism coverage. If they do not qualify for this coverage, travelers who have a policy with the Cancel For Any Reason upgrade can cancel for any reason, including fear of traveling due to a travel alert.
Can I cancel my trip if another terrorist attack occurs in Europe?
If your travel insurance policy includes Terrorism coverage, you may be able to cancel your trip if another terrorist attack occurs. However, you must meet the policy’s requirements to cancel for this reason. Typically, this means the attack must occur in or near a city on your itinerary within 7-30 days of your departure date. The attack must be declared a terrorist act by the U.S. Department of State. Some policies will not provide coverage if a previous attack has occurred within the past 30-90 days.
Does the Europe Travel Alert affect the availability of travel insurance?
The travel alert does not affect the availability of travel insurance coverage. Travelers can still purchase travel insurance for future trips to Europe, including cancellation policies with Terrorism coverage. While it is too late to purchase travel insurance coverage for any losses related to the March 22 terrorist attacks in Brussels, travelers can still buy policies with coverage for any future terrorist attacks that may occur in Europe.
What if I don’t want to travel to Europe because of the Europe Travel Alert?
Fear of traveling is not a covered reason to cancel a trip on standard travel insurance. Only the Cancel For Any Reason benefit would cover you to cancel because you are nervous about traveling to a destination with a travel alert. This allows you to cancel for a reason not otherwise covered within the policy, such as a travel alert, and receive reimbursement of up to 75% of your trip cost. The Cancel For Any Reason upgrade also significantly increases the cost of the policy and has some restrictions.
Squaremouth has updated its Brussels Terrorist Attacks and Travel Insurance Information Center to include information about travel insurance coverage related to the European Travel Alert. This online resource is updated with official provider position statements, answers to frequently asked questions, and current government travel alerts and notices related to the terrorist attacks in Belgium and the subsequent travel alert for Europe.
Squaremouth is an online company that compares travel insurance products from virtually every major travel insurance provider in the United States. Using Squaremouth’s comparison engine and third party customer reviews, travelers can research and compare insurance products side-by-side. More information can be found at www.squaremouth.com.