Terrorism attacks have increased by 274 per cent around the world and if you are travelling for work or for pleasure, seeking cover should be one of your top priorities.
The whole idea behind taking cover when travelling is to safeguard oneself from risks of accidents, injuries and loss of goods, baggage, but most insurance companies today fail to protect travellers from the highest potential calamity -- terrorism.
Wonder how many passengers in the two aircraft that hit World Trade Centre were insured? All surely considering everyone has a credit card these days, which more often than not, includes personal accident cover.
Moreover, overseas travel insurance plans also include compensation in the event of hijacking of a common carrier.
Insurance companies are willing to cover hijacking under overseas travel plans. Most credit cards, however, exclude terrorism from their travel accident insurance coverage.
Many travellers today have found that their insurance does not cover terrorism risks or would pay only a fraction of what it used to earlier.
Many insurers do offer protection under personal accident covers even when the policyholder is travelling abroad.
They, however, do exclude terrorism risks. Most, not all -- it would thus be wise to select an insurer that does offer the protection.
Public sector non-life insurance companies continue to include terrorism cover under their overseas travel and personal accident covers.
Among the private insurers, Bajaj Allianz General is the sole company to date offering this coverage. ICICI Lombard proposes to include terrorism cover once it revamps its personal accident and overseas travel plans.
Since the attacks on US back in 2001, most overseas travel insurance companies have imposed blanket terrorism exclusions on their policies.
Many policyholders were left high and dry when the bombings in Bali took place. Overseas travellers caught in a terrorist attack, could end up shelling out huge medical bills or be left stranded in the event of the insurance company not willing to pay for their flight back home.
Travel cover is just as crucial these days as your baggage and visas. "We cover transporting the remains of the insured traveller," said a senior executive at a call centre of one of the leading Mumbai-based insurance companies.
But she was quick to add that this would not be in the case of a terrorist attack. Very few insurers are willing to insure against such a massive and now, what is considered, a common risk.
With terrorist attacks becoming a growing threat, it would be better to ensure some sort of coverage before travelling overseas.
While most insurance companies exclude terrorism cover under their overseas travel plans, it might be wise to check out the possibility of buying personal accident cover instead.
"If one has bought a personal accident cover from Bajaj Allianz, then terrorism risk is covered even when travelling overseas," said a senior travel agent, trying to palm off a personal accident policy on being asked about the various insurance companies offering terrorism coverage.
The call centre of ICICI Lombard, however, empathetically stated that there was no company in the country today offering such coverage.
She however, was gracious to tell me that ICICI Lombard would be launching such a plan shortly. Shortly would be a tad late, considering that I'd be flying off to the UK shortly.
Obviously when the recent occurrence of four bombings in a single day that brought the entire London to a halt, one cannot afford not to take cover.
Run for cover
Insurance companies are willing to cover hijacking under overseas travel plans. Most credit cards, however, exclude terrorism from their travel accident insurance coverage
Many insurers do offer protection under personal accident covers even when the policyholder is travelling abroad. They, however, exclude terrorism risks
Public non-life insurers include terrorism cover under their overseas travel and personal accident covers
- Among private insurers, Bajaj Allianz General is the sole company to offer this coverage. ICICI Lombard proposes to include terrorism cover once it revamps its personal accident and overseas travel policies