The Moscow Airport Bombing and Travel Insurance

Published by January 26, 2011

The recent bombing at the Domodedovo airport in Moscow has travelers asking how travel insurance terrorism coverage can help in this situation.  The following excerpt from ABC provides details about the incident.

An explosion rocked Moscow’s busiest airport today in an apparent “terrorist attack”, killing 35 and injuring dozens more, according to Russian officials.

The blast erupted in the arrivals area of the Domodedovo airport at 4:40 p.m. Moscow time. In addition to the 35 dead, another 130 were injured in what investigators called a suicide bombing.

Such an attack is tragic and while people’s first concerns are for the safety of the victims, many travelers are also worried about their trip that includes a stop in Moscow.

Travel insurance plans usually include coverage for trip cancellation and trip interruption.  This reimburses expenses not refunded by travel suppliers if the trip must end early or be scrapped entirely.  In order for benefits to apply, the cause of cancellation or interruption must be a covered reason listed in the policy.  Most travel insurance policies cover trip cancellation because of a terrorist attack, however, it is important to understand the details of when coverage applies.

First, the attack must be declared an act of terrorism by the U.S. Department of State.  Keep in mind, some incidents are unsuccessful attacks, such as the flight over Detroit during Christmas of 2009.  That was officially an attempted act of terrorism, not a terrorist attack.  The bombing in Moscow, however, has been declared an act of terrorism.

Second, depending on the plan, it can be required the attack occur within the city limits of a city listed on the travel itinerary.   Also, look closely because some plans only cover foreign terrorist attacks, while others cover foreign and domestic.

Also, different plans require an attack occur within a set time of departure in order for benefits to apply, normally within 10 or 30 days.

Furthermore, some plans only apply benefits if no other terrorist attack has happened in that city within the last 30, 90 or 180 days.

Last, it is important to note that no travel insurance will cover an event that is considered foreseeable.  In this instance, the attack has already occurred, so a new policy will not cover this terrorist attack.

Compare travel insurance plans closely because these subtle distinctions can be the difference between getting reimbursed through a claim or losing the vacation investment.  Always refer to the certificate of insurance for details.

Source: ‘Terrorist Attack’ at Moscow Airport Leaves 35 Dead