A heightened risk of terrorism is now being experienced across the world, as political events and the war in Gaza stoke religious tensions. Muslim terror groups have already issued calls for terror attacks in response to the bombardment of Gaza. The UK Government has also stated that international terrorism remains a serious threat to British nationals living or travelling abroad.
For anyone travelling overseas, this is food for thought. Places of touristic interest might well become targets in the eyes of international terrorists, particularly if they are places of religious worship or have associations with a particular faith.
Public spaces, bars, restaurants and transport systems are typically other types of target. Some attacks also occur around festivals and anniversaries of events. Then there is a specific focus, at times, on countries in which the Qu’ran is deemed to have been blasphemed. Such is the current situation with regard to Sweden, with Swedish nationals already having been victims of terror-inspired murder, whilst visiting Belgium for a football match.
Countries in which the terrorism risk is historically higher
Although the greatest terrorism risks are concentrated in countries in Africa and the Middle East, there are many popular tourism destinations in the top 40 list of terrorist-hit countries. India stands at position 12. Colombia is 14th, followed by Egypt at 15th. Chile is 18th, Kenya 20th and hugely popular Thailand is 22nd.
In 23rd place sits Turkey, a holiday destination that has boomed in popularity in recent times. Sri Lanka is 25th in the list and the USA is 28th. Even Greece, which might be thought of as being relatively safe, is 29th, followed by the UK in 31st position, Germany in 33rd, France in 35th and Tunisia in 38th.
Stay vigilant and aware
The reality is that you cannot be sure of staying safe anywhere and that is just a fact of life for the modern traveller. The key is to try to be vigilant and follow the news. Whilst overseas, it is essential to not stand out from the crowd too much, to protect your travel plan information by not sharing it with all and sundry on social media, and to keep your mobile charged up, with pre-loaded emergency numbers at hand.
Learning how to respond, if caught up in an attack, by following the RUN, HIDE, TELL advice, is also important.
It is essential travellers recognise the increased threat at present. This could cause issues whilst in destination, forcing them to evacuate or cancel elements of their plans. It could also scupper their intended travel plans, in advance of arriving for their holiday or trip.
Safeguarding against terror-related travel losses
A standard travel insurance policy will not typically cover any losses for cancellation or curtailment, if terrorism is the cause. However, with Europesure, what you can do is to take out an optional Terrorism Disruption Cover and add this on to your policy. This will allow you to claim back costs incurred by trip cancellation or curtailment, taken on the advice of a relevant authority like the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), or international World Health Organisation (WHO), or other country authority that issues a directive warning against travel because of a terror threat.
As Europesure offers comprehensive travel insurance cover to European nationals from across the UK, EU, EEA, Gibraltar and Monaco, we recognise that the advice of an individual European government may influence a customer’s decision not to travel. It will not always be the FCDO.
What Europesure’s terrorism disruption cover option offers
If you are unable to travel and use pre-booked accommodation, or have a trip cancelled, the terrorism disruption cover extension to your policy should provide compensation, as long as you were not aware of the terrorism situation at the time of booking. If you are forced to abandon your holiday accommodation or be evacuated from the country because of terrorism, you will also be able to claim for losses through this eventuality.
The policy covers independent holidaymakers, rather than those travelling on a packaged holiday. It provides compensation if it is either yourself or a travelling companion who is affected.
Given the current political situation, it would pay for all customers to consider the optional terrorism disruption cover extension. You can easily add this on to your policy, at time of purchase, when buying online, or discuss it with your Europesure broker.
Alternatively, if you wish to add it on to an annual policy that you currently hold with Europesure, please contact your broker or contact Europesure at email@example.com
Photo credit: Fabien Maurin, on Unsplash