Travel Insurance FAQ

What If a Terrorist Attack Occurs Before My Trip?

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On Friday a suicide bomber detonated a bomb outside the U.S. Embassy in Turkey, killing himself and one other. There was no serious damage to the Embassy building and no casualties to U.S. personnel. The White House determined the attack was initiated by a member of a recognized terrorist group, although his motives remain unknown.

This event is another unfortunate reminder that terrorist attacks can happen unexpectedly. When considering travel to areas where terrorism is of particular concern, travelers may find protection in some travel insurance plans.

Travelers can look for relief under the trip cancellation benefit. Many policies will cover cancellation due to terrorism if the incident occurs in a city listed on a traveler’s itinerary. In fact, most policies will cover travelers if the attack happens within 30 days of departure.

However, travelers should keep in mind that travel insurance providers define terrorism and political unrest differently, and they should not confuse the two.  Civil and political unrest are typically excluded from coverage. A terrorist act is usually defined as an act of violence that results in loss of life or damage to property by a person connected to a terrorist organization.

Travelers who understand how terrorism is defined in a policy can determine if the coverage is necessary and how it may be used.