An Expert Explains: Does Travel Insurance Cover Acts of War?[21.01]
It is only logical that mounting tensions between Iran and USA make many hesitant about travelling to the Middle East. An insurance expert explains whether travel insurance covers assistance in a country where war has been declared and what kind of assistance is provided.
“Although the warning issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about travelling to Iran and Iraq concerns only a fraction of Estonians, others who have planned to spend their winter vacation in neighbouring countries, such as Egypt or the UAE, are also worried about tense
external relations in the region,” says Jonatan Jõks, travel insurance product manager at Seesam.
In the light of current political developments, the insurer urges clients to pay special attention to travel insurance terms and conditions to make sure that they will be provided assistance, if necessary.
Medical care insurance
Medical care insurance is a compulsory component of travel insurance, covering the medical treatment and transportation expenses associated with unexpected illness or accident while on a trip. “Among other things, it covers illness and injuries during war (or a war-like situation) that occurs during a trip. However, we are unable to provide help if you make an informed decision to travel to a country after a declaration of war has been made and as a consequence you are harmed,“ explains Jõks.
Travel interruption insurance
Travel interruption insurance helps cover the expenses incurred when the trip is called off or interrupted. Insurance companies don’t consider war or war-like situations a direct obstacle to travel, but flight schedule changes or flight cancellations due to conflict escalation at the destination are covered as insured events. “There is a variety of travel interruption insurance types available on the market, and it is always a good idea to pay attention to the extent of the coverage of a specific policy. As a rule, travel interruption insurance cover is valid only when an airline announces schedule changes or cancels a flight after you have started your trip or up to 24 hours before the start of your trip.
If you have paid for additional cover, you are entitled to compensation even for schedule changes announced more than 24 hours prior to the start of your trip,” says Seesam’s representative, giving practical advice.
But when you have chosen a policy that covers cancellation of a trip for any reason – for example, due to unexpected professional responsibilities or accidents involving family members or pets – you are free to call off your trip for any reason whatsoever. Or, as in this case, because of fear of war. Keep in mind that the option to cancel your trip for any reason must be added within two weeks of buying plane tickets or paying for your trip.
The insurer strongly recommends obtaining a travel insurance policy immediately after purchasing your travel tickets To save on insurance, be well informed about potential risks and choose optimum coverage, taking into account your destination and the nature of your trip.