The chances of being caught up in a terrorist attack are small, however, tragic events in countries such as France, Tunisia and Egypt have made some people concerned about foreign travel. Many holidaymakers will take out travel insurance but won’t check the small print to see if their policy covers terrorism or their plans being disrupted by it.
For those traveling to high-risk or unstable countries for business, charity work or adventure tourism there are specialist policies with terrorism cover included and benefits that are not available from mainstream travel insurance.
Bought By Many have researched the options for travel insurance with terrorism cover for specialist policies and standard holiday cover.
Specialist travel insurance with terrorism cover
Travel insurance is not just for tourists. Thousands of journalists, charity workers, engineers and government employees travel to dangerous countries that have a higher risk of terrorism and they need insurance that goes beyond a standard travel policy.
Battleface online quote
The choices are more limited but there are places you can go to get off-the-shelf cover for travel to conflict zones, challenging areas or remote locations. Battleface has an online quote form for Individual Travel Medical Expenses Insurance, which it says is not a comprehensive travel insurance policy. But it does offer war and terrorism cover, medical evacuation, cover for hospitalisation and emergency reunion.
Those are the headline features, it also says it can organise political evacuation, it will negotiate with kidnappers and in the event of blackmail and extortion it says: “If someone’s putting the squeeze on you, Battleface can help squeeze back.
Importantly, it covers travel to areas where the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has advised against visiting, which standard tourist travel insurance will not do. Although Battleface does not cover trips to the USA.
Despite the machismo it does appear to provide accessible, specialist cover and the testimonials on its site suggest it can deal with a range of issues. This one is from a UK citizen: “Whilst travelling to Libya I needed to see an English-speaking doctor for my shoulder pain. I contacted Battleface and spoke with Seham, who right away arranged for the doctor to see me and arranged for appointments.”
Prices will vary depending on factors such as your age and where you are travelling. But an online quote for a 29-year-old travelling to Iraq for two weeks with £175,600 of medical cover and a £176 excess was £73.05.
Battleface also publishes a well-written blog that features interviews and timely travel advice, such as its piece on the Zika virus outbreak. It is partnered with the Organisation for Better Security, which has a page with up-to-date travel alerts and a map that shows risk levels around the world.
Battleface is the only specialist provider we could find that has an online quote form, but there are rivals that you can contact for a quote. International SOS, Warzone Cover and Bellwood Prestbury all provide cover for travel to high-risk countries.
Using a broker
Battlefield’s policies are underwritten by Lloyd’s. Another option for people going to a place at risk of terrorism is to go through a broker. Chesterfield specialises in insurance for people operating in high-risk areas and also works with Lloyd’s.
Chesterfield has experience working with journalists, NGOs, the oil and gas industry, and in maritime security. It has a range of products including cargo insurance and cover for kidnap and ransom but you’ll need to get in touch with it to find out how much your policy will cost.
Travel insurance for tourists
Aviva is an exception in that it does include a higher level of terrorism cover than most competitors.
Don’t ignore Foreign Office advice
In fact, many insurers will cover cancellation if Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel advice about your destination changes after you have bought your ticket and insurance policy. Again, they ask you to get in touch with your airline or travel operator first to see if they can help.
Most policies state that you will not be covered if the FCO advises against all or all but essential travel to an area or country. You can check the latest FCO advice here.
If your reason for travel is essential it’s worth looking at LV=. It says it can agree cover to a region the FCO advises against visiting if it can be proven the trip is essential. There is no set definition of ‘essential’ so it’s best to contact LV= or your insurer to ensure you’re covered.
Even if you’re not caught up in a terrorist attack you can face disruption caused by one. When a Russian airline exploded after taking off from Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt in October, killing all 224 people on board, flights from the airport were suspended. It meant hundreds of Brits were stranded there and many more in the UK had their holidays cancelled. Flights from the UK remain on hold while work is being carried out to improve security at the airport and it looks like they won’t resume until around May 2016.
In these situations it might not be clear who to contact for advice or to get a refund. Your options will depend on the type of incident that has occurred and the specifics of your travel insurance. LV= produced a useful guide relating to the Sharm el-Sheikh incident. It explains the steps you should take if you are affected and what its policies cover.
Whether you’re traveling for work or leisure there are insurance policies that cover terrorism but if it’s something you’re particularly concerned about it’s important to check the small print and speak to your insurer so that you know exactly what is covered.