Aug 24, 2017

Injured in a terrorist attack? Your travel insurance might not cover you

Travel insurance is a necessity for peace of mind, however you likely won't be covered if a victim of terrorism, explains Bhakthi Puvanenthiran.

It’s a well known fact that anywhere on Earth you’ll find a happy-go-lucky Australian traveler with an accent broad enough to make you cringe. What’s less well known is that Aussie's travel insurance won't cover anything -- delay of trip, medical treatment, damage to possessions -- caused by a terrorist incident.  

This was the situation slain child Julian Cadman’s mother, Jom, found herself in after the Barcelona attack. Family friend Scott Bowman set up a crowdfunding site to help with funeral costs for Julian and her (potentially years of) ongoing surgery. The crowdfunding site has currently raised $170,000.

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10 thoughts on “Injured in a terrorist attack? Your travel insurance might not cover you

  1. Wayne Robinson

    I hope the spelling ‘traveler’ is just a typo’ and not an acceptance of the American spelling instead of ‘traveller’. It’s an offence, and rather offensive, to use the American spellings instead of the good old, and very logical, British spelling.

  2. AR

    The insurance industry, always alacritous updating charges are curiously tardy, not to say dilatory, when it comes to updating risks.
    Now that terrorism, thanks to the West’s wildly overfunded spook establishment, is as normal as Delhi belly or a bite from a rabid monkey in Bali, surely it should be just another line in the fine print?
    Or could it be that insurance doesn’t want to come within cooee of “existential threats” anymore than it does floods caused by rain/dam burst/Act of Spaghetti Monster?
    Anyone tried to buy climate change coverage?
    Munich Re, one of the largest – struggled for a couple of years

    1. Campbell

      Hi AR – 96 per cent of household policies bought in Australia have flood cover. Some insurers cover terrorism under certain circumstances and more will do so as they develop a better understanding of the risk and how to price that risk.

  3. Richard

    Has always been the case.
    Most travel insurance does not cover acts of so called conventional war, either.

  4. Campbell

    The statement the Insurance Council provided to Crikey says:
    Travel insurance policies may not cover financial losses resulting from acts of terrorism. However each policy is different. Some policies may provide cover under certain conditions for affected travellers who have already embarked on their trip. Many policies will cover medical costs. Some will also pay for additional travel and accommodation costs, lost luggage or repatriation, while a small number may cover cancelations due to acts of terrorism.
    In other policies, terrorism remains a general exclusion and is not covered at all, so it is important that travellers check each company’s product disclosure statement (PDS) if this type of cover is important to them. Travellers who have been affected or are considering cancelling their trip should contact their insurer for guidance.

  5. AR

    Campbell (insurance industry flak?) – “96 per cent of household policies bought in Australia have flood cover” which they resist paying out on by arguing when a flood is not a flood.
    Is it pluvial or fluvial, blocked drains a hundred kliks away or uncompleted levees as swamped Lismore?

    1. Campbell

      AR – I am head of communications for the Insurance Council and provided my details to the Crikey journalist when she contacted me for this misleading article.
      Please refer to the Federal Government’s standard definition of flood, introduced in 2012. It applies to home, contents and small business policies.
      The definition of flood is:
      • the covering of normally dry land by water that has escaped or been released from
      the normal confines of:
      • any lake, or any river, creek or other natural watercourse, whether or not altered or
      modified; or
      • any reservoir, canal, or dam.

      1. Wayne Robinson


        So a pluvial flood wouldn’t be covered by an insurance policy, since there’s been no escape of water from any lake, natural watercourse, reservoir or canal? If the flooding of a house is due to severe rainfall on a bitumen surface just up the road?

        1. Campbell

          Hi Wayne – storm damage is covered in home and contents policies. Once storm water flows into a river, and the river breaks its banks, it’s a flood. In some cases a property may have both types of damage.

  6. Peter Sutherland

    While travel insurance may be invalidated by terrorism, each victim who is an Australian citizen is likely to be qualified for an Australian Victim of Terrorism Overseas Payment under Part 2.24AA of the Social Security Act. The ATOV payment is capped at $75,000.

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