ST. PETERSBURG — Are travellers covered to cancel upcoming trips to Istanbul?
On Tuesday, January 12, the U.S. Department of State officially declared the Istanbul bombing an act of terrorism. This means travellers who purchased a travel insurance policy prior to January 12 may be able to cancel an upcoming trip to Istanbul, depending on their policy’s coverage.
In order for a travellers to be covered to cancel their trip and receive a refund, travel insurance policies typically require that the terrorist attack occur in or near a city on their itinerary, and occur within 7-30 days of the their departure date.
Can travellers purchase travel insurance for a future trip to Istanbul?
It is too late to purchase travel insurance with coverage for the recent bombing in Istanbul. However, travellers can still purchase policies for cancellation coverage in the event there is a future attack.
“Some policies may exclude coverage for another terrorist attack in the same city within a certain period of time, typically 30-90 days,” said Squaremouth CEO Chris Harvey. “This means there may be some policies that will not provide coverage if another attack occurs in Istanbul soon after the bombing.”
What if travellers are too afraid to travel?
While most Trip Cancellation policies include Terrorism coverage, an event must meet the policy’s definition of terrorism in order for it to be covered. Canceling out of fear never meets this definition.
The only option for travellers who want the option to cancel out of fear, is to purchase a policy with the Cancel For Any Reason upgrade. Policies with this benefit allow travelers to cancel their trips for an otherwise uncovered reason, including fear. However, with this increased coverage comes an increased price tag and requirements.
The Cancel For Any Reason upgrade requires travellers insure their entire trip cost, and is only available if purchased within 14-30 days of a traveler’s initial trip deposit. Cancel For Any Reason will only reimburse up to 75% of trip costs, and travellers must cancel within at least 2-3 days of their departure date.