St Pete Beach, FL October 5th, 2010 — Cancellation options within travel insurance will only pay out if there has been an advisory not to travel. “Travelers to Europe should pay close attention to the wording in their travel insurance policies as an alert is not a covered reason to cancel” warns Squaremouth CEO Chris Harvey.
The travel alert issued by the State Department on October 3rd alerts U.S. citizens to the potential for terrorist attacks in Europe. State Department Undersecretary Patrick Kennedy said “We are not — repeat, not — advising Americans not to go to Europe.”
When a policy is purchased has a huge impact on what it will cover. “Now that the terror threat is in the news, no new policy will cover it even if the advisory changes,” advises Harvey.
Terrorism is covered in most travel insurance policies that contain cancellation cover. However, the degree of protection varies considerably from policy to policy.
“It’s always wise to take a good look at the small print of an insurance policy, but even more where terrorism is concerned,” said Harvey.
Some policies provide no coverage at all; while others offer full benefits. The very meaning of “terrorism” is open to different interpretation by different insurance companies. And “civil disorder,” “riots” and “acts of war” aren’t considered terrorism, excluding them from cover.
Policies that specifically mention “terrorism” will usually reimburse non-refundable trip costs if you cancel or interrupt your trip because of an attack. But often these need to be purchased within two weeks of a first trip payment for coverage to kick in.
If you are concerned about terrorism and how it might affect your travel insurance, Harvey advised taking note of these basic points:
- Some policies offer coverage for foreign incidents only; while others offer protection for both foreign and domestic acts of terrorism — which would include an incident in the travelers departure city.
- For foreign coverage, the incident must usually take place in a city listed on the trip’s itinerary.
- Importantly, where Europe is concerned, if there has already been a recent terrorist event in your travel destination, or the State Department has issued a warning against traveling there before a policy is purchased, coverage may be excluded.
- Typically, a traveler must be scheduled to arrive at their destination within a time-frame from the terrorist incident, usually 30 days; however, some policies apply only if they arrive within seven to 10 days of the incident.
Squaremouth is America’s fastest growing travel insurance comparison site, helping customers instantly quote, compare and buy policies from every major carrier. Squaremouth has web sites in the US and UK, and an extensive network of partner sites worldwide. The company is headquartered in St Pete Beach, FL., with offices in Fort Wayne, IN. Visit Squaremouth.com or Squaremouth.co.uk.
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