How Terror in Europe is Affecting Travel Insurers
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All indications are travel insurance is an increased priority among consumers planning leisure travel to Europe and other destinations following the Brussels attacks and similar recent events. Several travel insurance providers are reporting heightened activity in the wake of these incidents.
Officials at Allianz Global Assistance received 200 calls by Friday from clients scheduled to travel to Europe who are “concerned” about the violence in Brussels. About 60 customers planning traveling to or through Brussels have indicated they are canceling their trips and intend to file a travel insurance claim, said Daniel Durazo, an Allianz spokesman.
While he did not provide numbers, Jim Krampen, chief revenue officer of Seven Corners Travel Insurance, said his company has recorded a “substantial” increase in calls this week “relating to how our specific insurance policies apply to the Brussels terror attacks and their travel plans.”
“Each of our agents has received about three to five calls per day since the attack, though most customers are simply asking if their particular policy covers cancelling their trip,” said Krampen. “We have dedicated extra time and resources to assisting travelers’ concerns regarding their travel plans,” following the inquiry uptick.
READ MORE: Terror in Brussels: Travel Agents React
Officials at World Nomads Travel Insurance have received “numerous calls about the situation in Brussels,” said Christina Tunnah, the company’s regional manager of the Americas. Fifteen percent of recent emails received from clients express concern regarding terrorism, Tunnah said, and “a few were specific about the Brussels attack.”
In general, travelers who opt for one of a growing menu of trip-cancellation and –interruption coverages can receive assistance, benefits, services and emergency funds in case of terrorist events as long as the policy is purchased 30 days prior to travel. Simply put, there’s no way to buy travel insurance for coverage after an event has occurred.
“Allianz Travel Insurance may provide coverage for trip cancellation and interruption when there is a terrorist event at the customer's destination within 30 days of the day they are scheduled to arrive,” said Durazo.
“Customers who have this coverage included in their policy and are scheduled to arrive in Brussels within 30 days of the attacks may cancel their trip and may receive payment for their non-refundable trip costs,” he said. “To be eligible for this coverage, customers would have had to purchase their policy prior to the attacks."
Said Krampen, “Seven Corners’ Liaison policies and Wander Frequent Traveler policy offer coverage up to $50,000 for injuries and illnesses that are a result of a terrorist attack.” He added, “Our Round Trip protection policies allow customers to cancel and receive trip reimbursement if the terror incident occurs within 30 days prior to [their] departure date.”
Tunnah said World Nomads has received an e-mail from a traveler already in Europe who was planning to continue on to Brussels. That traveler was refunded the price for the Brussels tour.
None of the insurance providers indicated that Europe-bound travelers are expressing more than an expected level of concern regarding the attacks. Said Durazo, “We believe that Europe is still one of the safest destinations in the world for Americans, but we understand that the attacks in Brussels may cause travelers to consider postponing their trip.”
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