A simples guide

Does travel insurance cover acts of terrorism?

Recent terror attacks in Orlando, Istanbul, Paris, Brussels and Sharm el Sheikh have brought home to many, the threat that terrorists pose to disrupt lives and travel preparations.

While the chances of being caught up in an attack are mercifully tiny terrorism can cause massive disruption to the area affected.

For peace of mind, it’s a good idea to consider terrorism cover when you take out your travel insurance. To do this, check the policy detail to ensure that you have the coverage that you think you need.

Beware, if you buy purely on price, you’re likely to find that you have only the most basic of cover. While it’s always worth comparing policies and prices, you can usually expect that the more you pay, the broader your basic level of cover.

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What’s typically included?

With regard to terrorism cover, most policies will typically cover emergency medical costs related to an attack. So, in the event that you are hurt, your insurance policy would cover you for immediate treatment afterwards. However, most travel insurance policy coverage stops there.

There are exceptions though, some insurers do extend their standard cover to include repatriation back to the UK for example, so it’s worth looking around.

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What’s typically not included?

Most policies, even from leading insurers, list terrorism in the exclusions section of their small print. This means that claims related to terrorist events could well be rejected. Whilst you’d receive emergency treatment and be covered for that, you’d not be covered for any flights home with supporting doctors for example.

Terrorist incidents bring massive disruption as well as the risk of injury. If an attack closes an airport or even air space, travellers may be stuck at a destination for a matter of days or even longer.

Costs related to this are unlikely to be part of standard travel insurance coverage. In the event that you are delayed as a result of an attack, your airline or travel agent have a duty to get you home as soon as it’s possible and safe to do so.

If you change your mind about travelling, it’s unlikely that you’ll be covered for the cost of any flights or hotels you’ve booked. Say for example, there’s an attack abroad and you’re nervous about travelling, you’re unlikely to simply be able to claim a refund.

The exception to this is likely to be in the event that the Government advises against ‘all but essential travel.’ In this situation, your travel provider should offer you a refund.

Getting extra cover

If you’ve checked your standard cover and don’t believe it is sufficient, talk to your insurer to see if you can extend the coverage. Some insurers will be able to enhance the level of cover offered, though of course they will charge you an extra premium for doing so.

Listen to advice

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office issue advice on all travel destinations. They will advise when they believe a country is unsafe to travel to. They’ll also offer advice on actions you can take in other countries that do not have quite such a severe risk.


Remember, the chances of terrorism affecting your trip are tiny but that’s not a good reason to be unprepared. If you’re concerned, check your policy documentation and talk to your insurer. Why not compare travel insurance premiums today? Tell us a bit about you and where you plan to travel and we’ll do all the leg work for you. Just see how much you could save!

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