The U.S. Department of State issued an updated travel warning to U.S. citizens recently, advising against all travel to Iraq because of the current security situation. Those who continue to travel despite the warning should consider carrying the appropriate travel insurance coverage in case of terrorism or civil unrest.
U.S. citizens remain at a high risk of kidnappings and violence. Various terrorist groups are active throughout Iraq, posing a potential threat for terrorist incidents to interfere with travel. If a terrorist incident strikes in a city listed on a traveler’s itinerary, they may be able to cancel the trip as long as their travel insurance policy provides this coverage.
Travelers should also understand that travel insurance providers make a distinction between terrorist incidents and acts of civil or political unrest. Political protests and demonstrations are common in Iraq and often turn violent. However, travel insurance policies typically do not cover travelers for trip cancellation or interruption because of these types of events.
The event would need to be considered an act of terrorism by the United States Government for a travel insurance policy to cover travelers for trip cancellation or interruption.
Travelers may, however, have some protection against civil or political unrest with the non-medical evacuation benefit included in some policies. Non-medical evacuation can be arranged by the travel insurance provider so that travelers can be transported to a place of safety or home.
Otherwise, travelers may choose to include “cancel for any reason” coverage in their travel insurance policy. This benefit would allow travelers the option to cancel their trip without providing a reason to the travel insurance provider. Travelers should keep in mind that this benefit can be an expensive upgrade. It also requires travelers to cancel at least 48 hours prior to departure and it will not provide 100% reimbursement of travel expenses.
For more on the latest security information for Iraq, travelers may visit the U.S. Department of State’s website here.