Does travel insurance provide coverage for wars and terrorism?

11.14.23 by Travelex Insurance
Image credit: Getty Images
Looking for travel insurance that covers wars, terrorism, or civil unrest? Learn more about what coverage we do — and don’t — provide in these situations.

Travel insurance can serve as a safety net for globetrotters, insuring an array of potential mishaps from minor inconveniences to life-threatening emergencies. However, specific high-risk scenarios like war are often left out from standard policies. 

With increasing geopolitical instability in certain parts of world, understanding how — or if — your travel insurance policy provides coverage in such extreme circumstances is of paramount importance. Here, you’ll find the answers to some commonly asked questions about travel insurance coverage for wars, terrorist incidents, and civil unrest.  

What are the definitions of war, terrorist incident, and civil unrest in relation to travel insurance? 

It’s important to note the difference between “war”, a “terrorist incident”, and “civil unrest” as they are three distinct situations. Travel insurance companies typically define:  

  • War as any official conflict between nations or states — whether it is declared or undeclared. 
  • A terrorist incident as a violent act carried out by any individual or group with the motive of taking over or influencing the control of a government. This type of incident is recognized as terrorism by the United States Government and is not considered a civil disorder or riot. A terrorist incident is also not an act of war, whether declared or undeclared, and leads to the loss of life or causes significant property damage. 
  • Civil unrest as conflict between different groups of people living in the same country. The conflict can be violent or peaceful, and range in scale from involving a small rally with few people to a large demonstration with thousands of people. 

It is crucial to note, however, that the specifics may vary slightly from one provider to the next, and travel insurance policies can have different coverage — or lack thereof — for incidents labeled as war, terrorism, civil disorder, and riots. 

Always remember to read the details of your policy and reach out to customer service to fully understand what is insured if you are concerned. 

Does Travelex travel insurance provide coverage for war? 

Both declared and undeclared war and acts of war are excluded from coverage under all our travel insurance policies. So, if you are impacted by an unforeseen situation that occurs because of war in your destination, know this scenario will not be insured by your Travelex policy.  

Does Travelex provide terrorism travel insurance coverage? 

Our Travel Select plan may offer coverage for terrorist incidents under the trip cancellation and trip interruption benefits. However, the covered event must occur at a city listed on your itinerary within 30 days of your scheduled arrival or during your trip for coverage to apply.   

Does Travelex provide travel insurance that covers civil unrest? 

If you’re looking for travel insurance for civil unrest, it’s important to know that we do not include coverage for civil unrest in any of our plans. If you have a Travelex policy, you will not be insured if your trip is affected by or you participated in civil disorder, riots, insurrections, or unrest.

FAQs on travel insurance coverage for wars and terrorism

Do you have more specific questions about travel insurance coverage in war-torn destinations? Here are some commonly asked questions about travel insurance that covers wars and terrorism.  

How can I access Travelex’s 24/7 assistance if I’m at a destination involved in a terrorist incident, civil unrest, or war? 

If you’re a Travelex policyholder, you can access our help at any time in two ways:

  • Via our Travelex Travel On app, which has a tap-to-call travel assistance feature. You can download the app before your trip so you can access its features and your policy details easily in the palm of your hand. 
  • Via our travel assistance services at 1-844-215-1672 (toll-free) if you're in the U.S. or Canada or 1-647-775-8042 (collect) if you're outside of the U.S. or Canada. 

Are there certain countries that Travelex does not provide coverage for? 

Our travel insurance plans do not offer coverage for a destination that has been sanctioned by the U.S. government. To understand which destinations have active sanctions, visit the Office of Foreign Assets Control. Additionally, Travelex does not provide coverage for travel to Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Israel, or Palestinian Territories.

How do I know if my destination is affected by war or terrorism? 

It’s important to stay updated with the political climate in your intended destination. You can stay updated with the travel advisories posted by the U.S. Department of State, as well as the war travel alerts on our website that may affect your policy coverage.

Travelex policyholders receive access to our Travel On app, which offers real-time security alerts, location information, immediate travel assistance, and more. Downloading this as soon as you’ve purchased your policy can help you stay informed if there is an act of war or terrorist incident at your chosen destination(s). 

If I added the cancel for any reason upgrade to my travel insurance policy, will I have travel insurance that covers war, terrorism, or civil unrest? 

Yes, this is the only instance where you may receive travel insurance coverage for civil unrest or in the event of a war.

If you have the cancel for any reason upgrade with our Travel Select plan, you can cancel because of war or a terrorist incident — or any other reason — up to 48 hours before your departure date and receive reimbursement of up to 75% of your insured trip expenses (up to $7,500). 

To be eligible to use this upgrade, the following must apply:  

  • Your policy coverage includes all pre-paid non-refundable trip costs (up to $10,000) when first purchased; 
  • Your trip lasts 30 days or fewer; and
  • You added the cancel for any reason upgrade when you first bought your Travel Select policy, and that occurred within 15 days of your first trip payment.

What if a war or terrorist incident occurs while I am already at my destination? Will I have travel insurance that covers war and terrorism? 

You will not receive travel insurance coverage for any incident that occurs because of war or an act of war.

If a terrorist incident occurs while you are abroad, take necessary steps to stay safe and use our Travel On app’s tap-to-call travel assistance feature for support from our team of assistance specialists. 

Once you have arrived at your destination, on the Travel Select plan you are eligible to receive coverage for a terrorist incident that happens while you are on your trip.

What steps can I take to try to stay safe if war or a terrorist incident occur while I am at my destination? 

If you’re a Travelex policyholder, be sure to download our Travel On app before you depart so you can access real-time safety alerts, destination details, and tap-to-call travel assistance at any time before and during your trip.

As an American traveler, you can also enroll in the STEP program with the U.S. Department of State to receive security alerts. 

Using both methods can help you stay in the know if an act of war or terrorism occurs before or during your travels.

It’s also smart to save emergency contact numbers—such as the number for the U.S. embassy at your destination—before traveling in case a terrorist incident happens. You can access these in our Travel On app or on the government website.

Plus, you can follow the U.S. State Department’s safety guidelines for terrorist attacks on their website and monitor their posted travel advisories.

How do I file a claim for a terrorist incident? 

If you’re a Travelex policyholder, you can file a claim for a terrorist incident via our online claims portal.

If you want help filing a claim or have more questions about submitting your terrorism-related claim, please contact our claims administrator:

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company

Stay updated, safer, and protected with travel insurance

Having travel insurance is an essential consideration for any traveler, but understanding its limitations, particularly in relation to high-risk scenarios like war, terrorism, and civil unrest is equally important. Always remember to reach out to our customer service team on 1-800-228-9792 with any questions to ensure you are fully informed before you depart.

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