On October 31, 2017 (Halloween day), New York City experienced its deadliest terror attack since 9/11. A terrorist evidently turned to violence through ISIS-inspired propaganda and plowed a truck along a bike path in downtown Manhattan. His ride of terror along a peaceful bike trail killed eight innocent civilians as well as leaving another twelve injured. And, as a minor consequence, some events were canceled or postponed, and travel in the area became impossible. The U.S. State Department officially declared this a terrorist attack.
Such a horrific act accents the unpredictability of the world that we live in. There is a significant lesson to be learned from this incident by every traveler inside or outside of the United States: Travel insurance is a necessary hedge against the unlikely and unforeseen.
What Is Domestic Travel Insurance?
Domestic travel insurance is available for the U.S. traveler who is traveling within the United States and not traveling abroad. Included in the typical domestic trip insurance package are trip cancellation, trip interruption coverage, travel delays and more. Travel insurance policy holders can also generally recoup the cost of lost baggage or the delay of baggage if they purchased a policy with those coverage items. They also receive twenty-four hour emergency assistance including travel assistance, concierge service, and more.
Every traveler should consider a few options. If the traveler or anyone in the family has a pre-existing condition, they should look for a policy that offers a pre-existing condition exclusion waiver (meaning it covers pre-existing conditions if certain conditions are met). Also, travel and flight accident insurance may be added to enhance the emergency medical coverage already included in every travel insurance policy whether foreign or domestic.
What Options Are Available to American Travelers?
From this terrorist attack incident, a traveler can determine that the unlikely can and will happen. The likelihood of some fanatic driving a truck down a bike path to bring death, injury, and mayhem to the innocent during a holiday is extremely low. However, it happened. A traveler who takes this into account is faced with two possibilities: cancel all travel plans, or take steps to protect themselves as much as possible going forward.
Cancelling travel plans can lead to forfeiture of your pre-paid and non-refundable trip costs. It is completely understandable to be fearful of a certain destination if terror attacks at that destination are on the rise, but the fear or worry about a destination is typically not able to be covered by travel insurance.
The remaining choice, to take steps to protect themselves as much as possible, is the wise choice. Purchasing a trip insurance policy can offer protection for your travel bookings, and provides medical security in the case of an emergency. The peace of mind factor alone makes the purchase of travel insurance a must before you take your next trip.
How Could the Purchase Of Travel Insurance Have Helped In This Incident?
- For those killed in this incident, there is no amount of monies that can assuage the grief of loved ones who experienced the loss. No amount of insurance can cover that.
- For those physically injured in this attack, the inclusion of emergency medical coverage in their travel insurance policy alleviates any monetary loss from such terrorist activity.
- For those with a trip cancellation plan (that includes the covered reason of a “Terrorist Attack” in one of their destination cities), the plan could allow for reimbursement of pre-paid and non-refundable trip costs if the insured cancelled the trip due to the terror attack. In order to be covered, the terrorist attack must have happened within 7 to 30 days (varies by plan) of a traveler’s arrival in New York.
- For those with a “Cancel For Any Reason” upgrade on their travel insurance plan, the plan would allow the traveler to cancel for any reason at all and be reimbursed 50-75% of their pre-paid and non-refundable trip costs (varies by plan).
There can be no word or group of words that can console those affected by this incident. But, travelers do have options to purchase travel insurance that covers terrorist attacks at their destination as well as many other benefits for varied situations in the future.