The latest research shows growing concerns that terrorism will affect travel… What are the real risks?
We live in a changing world, and that makes regular research more important than ever. The latest lot was conducted by Safe Journey’s parent company, International Travel and Healthcare (ITHC) with YouGov, and one of its key findings is that 42% of British adults (aged 18 and over) are concerned about terrorism’s potential effects on their holiday plans.
Does that figure surprise us? Not really, to be perfectly honest. We’re concerned too - that’s why we created Safe Journey in the first place, and the past few months have seen dramatic increases in terrorists targeting public spaces and areas frequented by tourists.
We think it’s really important to remember though that your chances of being injured or killed in a terrorist attack are still remarkably low. The likelihood of financial losses though - delays, loss of possessions, cancelled plans, and trips that have to be cut short - has a far greater chance of affecting us when we travel.
It’s not only us!
Brits are not alone in worrying about the effects of terrorism. USA-based comparison website, Squaremouth, said in July that, “…in light of recent attacks, searches for travel insurance that covers cancellations or interruptions due to terrorism increased by 234 per cent from June 2015 to June 2016.2”
What are the risks?
At the start of the year, data analysts estimated that chances of being killed in an act of terrorism (anywhere in the world) were around 1:9.3 million – similar to the likelihood of being struck by lightning. That was calculated based on incidents all around the globe, including extremely volatile countries such as Iraq.
We believe it’s fair to assume that the risk in Western countries is relatively even lower. While countries such as France, Germany and Thailand have experienced more attacks in the past few months, we still don’t believe there’s enough of a threat to make us stay home - not by a long way.
The risks are in fact mostly financial, and it’s quite simple to protect ourselves against those with the right insurance.
The real threat
The biggest risk, many would say, is being afraid. Fear is what terrorists strive to create, and we simply can’t let them achieve that.
Security consultants, government departments, and officials of all sorts encourage preparedness and awareness as the first step to combating terrorism. Read up on reporting suspicious items so you can play your part, and make sure you know what to do in an emergency situation, so that even in an unfamiliar place, you can remain in control of your own actions and safety.
While many USA travel insurance policies do cover terrorism – limited in some cases, but it’s there – cancellation cover is not standard in many other parts of the world. In the UK, Safe Journey is the first policy ever to cover cancellation due to disinclination to travel after an act of terrorism.
“We believe that travellers have a right to cancel or curtail their trips if terrorism takes place near their accommodation or travel route,” explains Safe Journey Managing Director, Kate Huet. “If there’s a terrorist attack within 40 miles of the place you’re travelling in, to, or through, anywhere up to six weeks before you’re scheduled to depart, cancellation will be covered – up to £2000 per person.”
Safe Journey covers curtailment if your accommodation is within 40 miles of an attack, as well as emergency temporary accommodation if it’s within 1 mile. The policy also includes emergency medical treatment, medical repatriation, death and permanent disablement, delays, and even withdrawal of services due to terrorism.
You can add Safe Journey to any travel insurance policy to fill the gaps, so what are you waiting for? Be prepared, not scared, and top up your travel insurance today.
1 A survey was carried out online by YouGov Plc between 19-20 July 2016. Total sample size was 2026 GB adults (18+). The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
2 Reported by International Travel & Health Insurance Journal (ITIJ) 28 July 2016, in the article “Worries about terrorism grow among travellers”
3 Please note that this is a summary of just one element of cover provided by Safe Journey. For full details of items covered, as well as exclusions, terms, conditions, and complaint procedures, please have a look at our Policy Wording.
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