Does travel insurance cover terrorism?

Travel insurance is designed to protect you when the unexpected happens. Sometimes, travel plans are derailed by things like bad weather or scheduling conflicts. Unfortunately, occasionally the event that causes you to cancel your trip is more nefarious—an act of terrorism.

Even if you’ve followed the United States government travel warning regarding the safety of your specific destination, sometimes terrorist incidents happen when and where we least expect them.

Here’s everything you need to know about what travel insurance will cover if your travel plans are interrupted due to a terrorist attack.

What is considered an act of terrorism?

battleface defines an act of terrorism as an act of violence that is deemed terrorism by the US Department of State, or that is committed by any person acting on behalf of, or in connection with, any organization which is classified as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the State Department.

An act of war (whether declared or undeclared), civil disorders, and riots are not considered terrorist incidents.

Keep in mind, most travel insurance plans also exclude certain destinations from coverage. For example, battleface doesn’t offer travel insurance for trips to Afghanistan, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Niger, North Korea, Mauritania, Somalia, Republic of South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen (as of September 2021. Excluded countries are subject to change).

How does travel insurance protect me when a terrorist attack occurs?

Travel insurance does cover acts of terrorism and can provide peace of mind if a terrorist attack happens either before our during your trip. Here are some examples:

  • You’re leaving on an international trip within 30 days. During that time, a politically motivated terrorist incident happens within a 50-mile radius of the city on your itinerary and the United States government issues a travel advisory indicating that Americans shouldn’t travel to that destination.

Your travel insurance will reimburse you for trip cancellation, up to the amount of trip cost you insured.

  • You’re mid-vacation when a terrorist attack happens in a city on your itinerary, whether you’re already in town or on your way. Optional trip interruption coverage will reimburse you for the unused, non-refundable portion of your trip cost, plus the expense (such as additional airfare) to return home, often up to 150% of your original trip cost. Optional trip delay coverage can reimburse you for extra hotel nights, on-the-go meals, and transportation charges.
  • In a worst case scenario, you’re the victim of an act of terrorism. A travel insurance plan allows you to purchase a travel medical package, which pays for unexpected medical expenses while you’re abroad. If you’re a victim of a terrorist attack while you’re outside of the United States, your American-based health insurance coverage may not cover you, and costs can add up quickly. For just a small deductible, your travel insurance company can provide medical coverage (a deductible may apply), plus emergency evacuation coverage and even repatriation of remains.
  • You’re in a destination when an act of terrorism takes place and you need immediate assistance booking a departure flight. Or, you simply want to alert friends and family that you are okay on the ground. This is where global assistance comes in, where you have access to a 24/7 hotline to help make any necessary arrangements.

What if I’m just worried about a terrorist act?

Unfortunately, most travel insurance policies won’t cover you if you decide to cancel a trip because of concern over a potential attack. Remember, travel insurance policies require a declaration from the US Department of State to qualify for terrorism coverage.

However, you can always opt in to Cancel for Any Reason coverage, which, as the name indicates, allows you to cancel an upcoming trip for any reason, up to a set percentage of your forfeited, non-refundable payments or deposits (like hotel reservations you’ve already paid for or non-refundable flights.

Should I buy travel insurance that covers terrorism?

You may want to consider coverage for terrorism if you plan to travel to a country or region that has experienced terrorist attacks in the past. Of course, some foreign destinations are more dangerous than others. However, the nature of terrorist attacks is that they’re unexpected, so it’s always best to be prepared, regardless of your destination. The good news is that most travel insurance policies, including those from battleface, include terrorism coverage with their standard policies, no additional costs required.

Plus, if you’ve opted into baggage coverage, rental vehicle coverage, or even pet coverage, you’ll be well protected if a terrorist attack wreaks havoc on your vacation plans.

Still have a question?

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