Earthquakes, volcanoes, terrorist attacks… you never know what could happen between booking a trip and your departure that could make you disinclined to travel. But would you have that option, or would you lose the entire sum paid in advance?
There have been quite a few news reports lately reminding travellers that many travel insurance policies exclude “Force Majeure”, natural catastrophes and/or terrorism. While these publications successfully highlighted potential gaps in cover, some didn’t seem to be aware that many of these gaps can be filled with cost-effective top-ups.
Safe Journey was the fist UK travel insurance policy to offer comprehensive cover for acts of terrorism, and we remain committed to making every journey safer – and every policy easier to understand.
Six Things You Need To Know
- Every policy is different
Don’t assume something is covered in one policy because it was covered by a previous policy – even if you purchased it from the same website, broker, etc.
- Reading Policy Wording is not optional
This is where you’ll find all the details and differences that affect what is covered and for how much. It may take 20 minutes to read but it can save you thousands.
- Many policies limit or exclude acts of terrorism
Even if a policy says it covers terrorism, you need to check what that includes. Sometimes terrorism will be covered but only if you’re injured and only up to a certain limit. Often, it’s completely excluded.
- Same applies to natural catastrophes
Check whether your policy covers things like floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and hurricanes.
- Check before you buy
Read that Policy Wording before you purchase your travel insurance so you know exactly what you’re getting.
You can add Safe Journey terrorism travel insurance to any other policy from only £5.17pp* but the same doesn’t apply for natural disasters – rather select those add-ons from the outset so you can see the full cost up front and don’t get stuck without cover. Try our sister site, www.onestop4.co.uk for comprehensive options.
- You can’t buy cover after the event
If an attack has already taken place, you can’t purchase a policy to cover that attack and then cancel your trip or make any other claims relating to that attack.
That’s why it’s always best to purchase your travel insurance when you book your trip – that way you’ll be covered all the way through according to your policy’s Ts+Cs.
What To Look For
In your policy wording – start with the General Exclusions section – scan down to terrorism. Here you will see if the policy provides any protection or if it is a blanket exclusion.
We know this isn’t a whole lot of fun, but this really is the only way to know for sure.
Look out for:
- Direct references to terrorism
- How does this policy define terrorism? This can be different on every policy!
- Make sure you can see what applies to terrorism, as opposed to political violence or crime
Are you covered for acts of terrorism?
- If terrorism is excluded as a whole, that could mean you wouldn’t be covered for ANY loss, delay, injury, or other claim caused by an act of terrorism.
- Some policies will include some cover for terrorism (for instance medical expenses only) and exclude other cover, such as cancellation.
- Many policies, for example, provide cover for injury, death and disablement resulting from terrorism, but don’t cover the cost of delays, loss of personal possessions, or other related expenses.
- Will it cover terrorism in your home country – or only international terrorism? An act in the UK may prevent you from getting to the airport, for instance.
How this applies to natural disasters and other cover
Checking for natural disaster cover is similar to checking for terrorism cover – you need to look for specific references to natural disasters/natural catastrophes, as well as the events that this includes in your specific policy.
Make sure the events covered are appropriate to your destination, for example if you’re visiting an area that can experience volcanic activity, that’s an essential piece of cover to have! The same if you are off to the Caribbean – tropical storms and hurricanes are not exactly rare in this area.
Just make sure you don’t miss out on cover for floods, adverse weather, or other natural disasters that aren’t region-specific.
(As we mentioned above, Safe Journey can’t cover natural catastrophes, but our sister company www.onestop4.co.uk can help with that.)
What should terrorism cover look like?
We designed Safe Journey to provide UK travellers with comprehensive cover in case they’re affected by terrorism – directly or indirectly.
Cancellation is the cover our customers tend to be most concerned about, and it’s also the item that’s most commonly excluded from other policies.
With Safe Journey, cancellation is covered if there’s an act of terrorism anywhere within a 40-mile radius of your destination, up to 6 weeks before your scheduled departure**. This is often called “disinclination to travel” so look out for that wording too!
If you’re affected by terrorism when you travel, Safe Journey also covers**:
- Curtailment – if you’re already travelling and there’s an act of terrorism within 40 miles of your accommodation
- Emergency temporary accommodation if you’re staying within 1 mile of the attack
- Loss of personal possessions
- Withdrawal of services
- Travel delays
- Medical expenses (emergency medical care, medical repatriation, funeral costs)
- Personal accident (death and disablement)
Be prepared, not scared! If you need to top up your travel insurance with terrorism cover we’re here to help, and don’t forget to check news updates and UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) information for your route and destination so you have all the information you need.
*£5.17 per person applies to a single trip policy of up to 8 days. You can also get an annual multi-trip policy for just £15.66pp that can be tagged on to any other policies you use during that year. Please read our policy wording for full terms, conditions and exclusions.
** This information is a summary of Safe Journey cover – again, please see our Policy Wording for full Ts+Cs.