Does travel insurance cover war? Rising tensions between Iran and the US are making many hesitant to travel to the Middle East. An insurance expert explains whether travel insurance covers assistance in a country where war has been declared and what assistance is provided.
“While the Foreign Ministry’s warning about traveling to Iran and Iraq concerns only a fraction of Estonians, others who plan to spend their winter holidays in neighboring countries, such as Egypt or the United Arab Emirates, are also concerned about the tension on external relations in the region,” says Jonatan Jõks, Seesam’s travel insurance product manager.
In light of current political events, the insurer is urging customers to pay close attention to the terms of the travel insurance policy to ensure they are assisted when needed.
Does Travel Insurance Cover War?
Does travel insurance cover war, civil unrest, or terrorism? The short answer is that travel insurance usually covers terrorism or kidnapping, but usually not war or civil unrest. Let’s differentiate between these and give examples of Chase Sapphire Reserve’s Trip Interruption and Trip Cancellation insurance, as well as TravelGuard travel insurance, the third-party liability insurance that most of my clients choose whether they have no coverage or are simply underinsured by Sapphire Reserve or Sapphire Preferred.
War on Civil Unrest on Terrorism
War, declared or not, implies military action. Civil unrest or civil unrest refers to people who rebel against or oppose a government or civil authority, such as what is currently happening in Hong Kong.
Terrorism, on the other hand, for most U.S. travel insurance policies (although, as always, read the definition in your policy) refers to violence committed by a person acting on behalf of or in connection with an organization classified as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. Department of State. Affairs.
Health insurance is a mandatory part of travel insurance, which covers medical treatment and transportation costs associated with unexpected illnesses or accidents during a trip. “It covers, among other things, illnesses and injuries during the war (or a situation similar to war) that occur during a journey. However, we cannot help you if you make an informed decision to travel to a country after a declaration of war has been made and you suffer damage as a result,” explains Jõks.
Trip Interruption Insurance
Trip interruption insurance helps cover the costs incurred when the trip is suspended or cut short. Insurance companies do not consider war or war-like situations a direct barrier to travel, but schedule changes or flight cancellations due to escalating conflict at the destination are covered as insured events. “There are several types of travel interruption insurance on the market, and it is always a good idea to pay attention to the scope of coverage of a specific policy. As a general rule, travel interruption insurance coverage is only valid when an airline announces schedule changes or cancels a flight after your trip has started or up to 24 hours before the start of your trip.
If you have paid for additional coverage, you are entitled to compensation even for schedule changes announced more than 24 hours before the start of your trip,” says the Seesam representative with practical advice.
However, if you have chosen a policy that covers the cancellation of a trip for any reason, for example, due to unexpected professional engagements or accidents involving family members or pets, you can cancel your trip for any reason. Or, as in this case, for fear of war. Please note that the option to cancel your trip for any reason must be added within two weeks of purchasing airline tickets or paying for your trip.
The insurer strongly recommends that you take out travel insurance immediately after purchasing your travel tickets. To save on insurance, inform yourself about possible risks and choose the optimal cover, taking into account your destination and the nature of your trip.
What does travel insurance cover?
Most plans typically cover a variety of travel protections, including accidental death and mutilation, delayed or lost baggage, emergency medical coverage and evacuation, trip cancellation, delay or interruption, and more. Here’s a closer look at each.
Accidental Death and Mutilation
Accidental death and mutilation insurance provide cover for death or loss of limb or sight as a result of an accident. Please note that death from natural causes, illness, or suicide is not covered, so it is not the same as life insurance.
Luggage delay insurance will cover the cost of essential items, such as clothing, toiletries, or a phone charger, that you may need to purchase if your luggage is delayed. Your baggage must be delayed by a certain number of hours to be covered; usually, the range is six to 24 hours, depending on the policy.
Lost Baggage Insurance will cover the cost of your bag and belongings if a checked bag is lost, stolen, or damaged during a covered trip.
Emergency Medical Evacuation and Repatriation
This benefit covers the costs associated with medical evacuation if you have a medical emergency and cannot receive treatment at the nearest facility. It covers transport costs to another hospital or your home country, if necessary, and also includes the transport of mortal remains.
A missed connection benefit covers additional costs if, for example, an ordinary airline delay causes you to miss an organized tour or cruise, and you have to pay more to catch up at the next port of call.
Reset Frequent Flyer Awards
If you paid for a trip with airline miles or hotel points and it is later canceled, this benefit covers all costs required to re-deposit your rewards to your frequent flyer account.
Travel cancellation insurance will reimburse non-refundable, prepaid expenses if you need to cancel a trip for a covered reason. Reasons that are usually covered include:
- Illness or death of a family member.
- Financial insolvency.
- Natural disaster.
- Airline strike.
- Bad weather.
- jury service.
- Military service.
- Stolen passport or visa.
- Job is losing.
Travel delay covers the costs associated with transportation, meals, or accommodation if your regular carrier is delayed, as well as the refund of any prepaid non-refundable expenses. Travel delay cover starts after a certain period under the policy, but usually ranges from five to twelve hours.
Trip Interruption Insurance will reimburse you for unused, non-refundable expenses if you have to interrupt your trip and return home for a covered reason, including illness or death in the family, terrorism, bad weather, or a natural disaster, among others.
Conclusion: Does Travel Insurance Cover War, Riots, And Civil Unrest?
In conclusion, the answer to the question does travel insurance cover war is Yes, your cancellation and trip interruption insurance will cover you in the event of war, riots, and/or civil unrest, as long as the US government books or the date the insurance was purchased, whichever is later.
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