As we told you last week when we looked at terrorism statistics from the Institute for Economics & Peace’s Global Terrorism Index (GTI) 2016, there have been considerable changes, not only in the areas affected by acts of terrorism, but in the manner in which attacks are planned and carried out.
These are the 5 trends which we at Safe Journey feel are most significant in terms of our safety when travelling, and which make travel insurance with terrorism cover more important than ever.
1. Increase in civilian targets
One of the most alarming trends in 2014, 2015 and 2016 is the number of terrorists specifically targeting the public, such as the 2015 Paris shootings, and the more recent Christmas market attack in Berlin.[caption id="attachment_829" align="alignnone" width="440"] Increase in civilian deaths due to terrorism. Source: Institute for Economics & Peace, Global Terrorism Index 2016[/caption]
There was fortunately a decrease in civilian deaths from 2014 to 2015, largely due to fewer attacks by Boko Haram, however 1 in every 3 attacks in 2015 targeted civilians.
Statistically, this increases chances of being injured or killed to some degree, but the potential indirect impact on travellers is far greater as even those not present when an attack takes place can be affected by delays, loss of transport, and other knock-on effects.
2. Increase in attacks on OECD countries
OECD is the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; its members include 25 European countries and North America, as well as Australia, Chile, Israel, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea. In 2015, there were attacks in 21 of these 34 countries.
It's interesting to note that 36% of bombings and explosions resulted in no casualties. It’s still possible to be affected indirectly by these attacks, e.g. if airports and stations are closed, or if your accommodation is affected.
Disinclination to travel is another possible impact – when you simply don’t want to go anymore – and if an attack occurs within 40 miles of your booked travel route or accommodation, up to 6 weeks prior to your departure, Safe Journey travel insurance will cover that disinclination.
3. ISIL responsible for more than 50% of acts of terrorism in OECD countries
The GTI states that, “There were 18 deaths caused by ISIL-affiliated attacks in the OECD in 2014. This number increased significantly in 2015, to 313 deaths from 67 attacks."
More than half of deaths due to terrorism in the OECD from January 2014 to July 2016 had a connection with ISIL (also known as ISIS, Islamic State, and Daesh). Some were organised by ISIL directly, while others were carried out by lone actors who were “inspired” by ISIL.
29% of all attacks that were inspired by ISIL occurred in the United States, followed by 19% in France.
4. Increase in “lone actor” terrorism
Vehicle attacks and shootings are easy for an individual to carry out with little or no backup from a larger organisation, and we have seen more of these taking place recently.
Increased security measures in many countries, particularly around popular attractions and events, are being implemented, but it’s always important to be alert wherever you are. Report suspicious activity or items, and don’t stand around in an area if you think something suspicious is going on – report it and move away as quickly as you can.
5. Number of incidents per year remains high
2014 experienced the highest number of acts of terrorism according to the GTI, and there were significant increases, such as an 80% increase in total deaths, compared to the previous year.
The 2016 GTI report notes that while 2015 statistics were not higher than 2014, they didn’t decrease much either and there was more of a “plateau” – in other words, overall levels of terrorism remain higher than in years prior to 2014.
Here at Safe Journey, we don’t believe in staying home, and we’re confident that while terrorism is changing, the likelihood of being injured or killed is still not high enough to make us stop travelling. We do believe though that being prepared and having the appropriate travel insurance in place is essential, and that’s why we’ve made it so easy to get.
From as little as £4.96 per person for up to 8 days, you can rest assured that your travel insurance covers terrorism – including cancellation due to disinclination to travel that we mentioned above. This is just one of the items covered that can help to make every journey safer– for full cover, terms, conditions and exclusions, read our policy wording.
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