With the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine in early 2022, many prospective travelers may wonder if trip cancellation insurance can provide coverage in instances of war and armed conflict, or are curious if there is travel insurance that covers war and terrorism.
While most travelers will not choose to book a trip to an active warzone, situations can change rapidly. The destination you are planning to visit may be far from any hostilities at the time you book your trip, only to become directly or indirectly involved shortly before your departure. Therefore, it is important to understand what is covered and excluded from trip cancellation coverage in regards to war by reading these frequently asked questions:
If I have to cancel my trip due my destination becoming involved in war, will my travel insurance cover it?
Most all travel insurance plans have exclusions for acts of war, whether they are declared or undeclared. This means that if you have to cancel, interrupt, or delay your trip due to an act of war, it would not be covered by your travel insurance policy unless there is specific policy wording that states otherwise.
However, most travel insurance plans can provide coverage if you have to cancel your trip due to an act of terrorism that affects your destination within a certain number of days of your scheduled arrival. It is important to note that the event must be declared an act of terrorism by the US government in order to qualify for this reason for cancellation.
What if an evacuation order or travel ban is instituted for my destination?
You may be able to make a claim for trip cancellation benefits if a destination specifically listed on your itinerary is subject to a travel ban, evacuation order, travel alert or travel warning of level four or higher by the US State Department after your effective date of trip cancellation, and within 30 days of your scheduled departure. Please read the certificate wording of the specific policy you’re considering for complete details.
Will I receive trip cancellation coverage if I am called into active military service?
If you, your traveling companion, family member, or host at your scheduled destination are called into active military service due to war or an act of war, you can receive trip cancellation coverage benefits pursuant to your travel insurance policy wording.
What if I feel uneasy about traveling to my destination due to the possibility of war? Would that be covered by trip cancellation insurance?
It would not. Though it is understandable to feel anxiety about traveling to a destination where war is even a remote possibility, this is not a covered reason for cancelling your trip.
If you have concerns about your travel destination and feel you may want to cancel your trip, consider purchasing cancel for any reason (CFAR) travel insurance.
CFAR travel insurance (trip cancellation insurance for any reason) allows you to recoup 50% to 75% of your trip’s costs if you decide to cancel for a reason that is not covered by standard trip cancellation insurance, including concerns about the safety of your travel destination. However, in order to utilize CFAR travel insurance, you must purchase the insurance within a certain duration of your initial trip deposit – usually 24 hours to 21 days – and insure the entirety of your prepaid trip costs, not just the nonrefundable portion.
Final Advice: Use Your Best Judgement
If you’re planning to travel soon, use your best judgement in regards to your destination. You may decide that it is not worth the risk of monetary loss if the destination borders a country currently involved in war. On the other hand, if your destination is on the other side of the continent, the chances of it being affected by hostilities may be much lower.
It is up to you to choose a destination that fits your level of comfort in the current geopolitical landscape. If you have anxiety about your destination and think you may decide not to go, research cancel for any reason (CFAR) travel insurance before booking your trip, and see how it can help you recoup some of your travel costs in the event of cancellation.