In the days after a van drove into a crowd in Barcelona, Spain, killing 17 people and injuring more than 100 others, many already traveling in the area—and many more planning trips—were left wondering what to do in the face of an incident that was labeled a terrorist attack.
British Airways came out immediately saying they would offer “a range of options” for those wishing to change pending flight plans. Many who were not able to secure accommodations from their airline turned to travel insurance in the hopes that plans without a terror add-on would still cover adjustments, even though a travel advisory has not been issued by the government.
A representative from Allianz Global Assistance said that the company “may provide coverage for trip cancellation when there is a terrorist event at the customer’s destination within 30 days of the day they are scheduled to arrive, or for interruption if a terrorist event occurs while they are there.” As of Tuesday, the company had received 40 claims connected to the Barcelona attack (44 cancellations claims and 11 interruption claims as of publication date).
Some travel insurance cover extra expenses for changing tickets after an attack. Even if they don’t, some credit card companies include travel accident insurance that may offer some protection. The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 requires insurance companies to make terrorism insurance available for businesses, but coverage can vary and not all businesses purchase it.
For those wondering what to do if caught in situation similar to what happened in Barcelona, Allianz had the following suggestions:
- Read your policy before you travel so you understand what coverage and services are available to assist you.
- Contact your travel suppliers (airline, railroad, tour bus) before you cancel your trip. Some may allow you to change your trip without penalty.
- If you change the dates of your trip, be sure to change the dates of your travel insurance policy to match.
- Be sure to take your travel insurance card with you on your trip. It includes your policy number and contact information.