Travel insurance and terrorism: What to do if an attack affects your holiday
Terrorism or the threat of terrorism can affect your holiday, no matter where in the world you choose to travel.
This quick guide is intended to help you know what to do, who to contact and what travel insurance cover you have, if a terrorist incident affects your holiday, either before you leave home or whilst you are abroad.
If a terrorist attack happens before you leave home
Check the latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). The FCO will publish the latest information about the situation in the country affected as well as specific advice for British nationals in that country or due to travel. They may or may not be advising against all travel, or all but essential travel (holidays are not considered to be essential travel) to the country or specific areas.
If the FCO are advising against travel you should not proceed with your holiday to that destination. Get in touch with your tour operator or travel provider, they have a contract with you to get you to a certain destination at a certain time, if they are unable to fulfil this contract they have a duty to offer you a full refund or alternative travel arrangements.
If your holiday dates or destination have changed due to a terrorist attack, you will be able to move or amend your travel insurance policy (single trip only) to cover the new trip. If you are no longer travelling you will be able to cancel your travel insurance (single trip only) and obtain a refund.
Your travel insurance does not provide cover for cancellation due to Foreign Office travel alerts.
Please note, if you decide to travel against the advice of the FCO your travel insurance will become void and there will be no cover provided under any of the sections.
If after a terrorist attack the FCO deems that it is still safe for British citizens to travel i.e. does not issue an alert advising against travel, but you decide that you no longer want to go to that destination you should contact your tour operator or travel provider, they may be able to offer you an alternative holiday, but they are under no obligation to do so.
Travel insurance does not provide cancellation cover if you simply decide that you no longer wish to travel.
If you are affected by a terrorist attack whilst you are away
You must follow the advice of the police and other local authorities.
Check the FCO website for the latest information specifically for British nationals. The FCO could advise that you leave the area as soon as possible, or they may consider it safe for you to remain so long as you avoid crowded places. If the FCO advise you to leave you should contact your travel provider immediately to find out when and how you can get home. In rare cases the FCO have also chartered flights to get British nationals out of an area which they deem to be dangerous.
You should keep in touch with your tour operator or travel provider for the latest information about returning to the UK.
In the event that you are caught up in a terrorist attack overseas your travel insurance will provide cover, up to £10 million, under the medical and repatriation expenses section of the policy.
If you are injured in an attack and require medical treatment you should contact the 24 hour medical emergency assistance team as soon as you possible in order for them to authorise the payment of hospital bills, help you get the treatment you need and organise repatriation back to the UK where necessary.
If you are unable to travel home on your planned return date, due to the consequences of a terrorist attack which are beyond your control, your travel insurance cover is likely to be extended until you can return home, provided you do so at the earliest opportunity. Please check.