In the wake of multiple terrorist attacks around the world—the latest one in Barcelona, Spain—the number of travelers searching specifically for “terrorism insurance” has nearly doubled, says Steven Benna, a spokesman for Squaremouth, a comparison website and insurance broker. 



Coverage for terrorism hasn’t always been included in travel insurance policies. But since the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, it has become more common.

“About five years ago, approximately half of the companies on our site offered policies that covered terrorism,” says Lynne Peters, director of product at InsureMyTrip, an online travel insurance broker. “Now almost all of them do.”

Travel insurance policies typically cover otherwise nonrefundable costs—such as if you have to cancel a trip, return home early because of a death in the family, or change your travel plans because of, say, a hurricane at your destination. Coverage for costs associated with terrorism is now often included.

Finding such a policy isn’t difficult. On InsureMyTrip and QuoteWright, among other sites, you can narrow the plans by looking for those that offer “trip cancellation” or “trip interruption” insurance. Squaremouth has a drop-down menu that lets you search specifically for policies that offer terrorism coverage.  

Tips for Buying Travel Insurance

If you are concerned about the risk of terrorism while you travel, follow these suggestions before paying for a policy. 

Shop at an insurance broker. A broker gives you many more options than a travel agent. For example, InsureMyTrip (800-487-4722) sells more than 250 policies from 28 insurance companies. Another broker, Squaremouth (800-240-0369), offers 112 policies from 22 insurers. 

Ask about geographic coverage. Though terrorism coverage allows cancellation if an attack takes place in any of the cities you plan to visit, including stopovers, some policies will also cover you if there is an attack in a region that is 50 to 100 miles away from your destination, Benna says. 

Find out whether healthcare coverage is included in your policy. In most cases, standard Medicare doesn’t cover you outside the U.S. Though private U.S. health insurance policies often provide some limited coverage, you will probably be expected to pay up front for medical expenses out of country, and you may be reimbursed for expenses at out-of-network rates, which means your costs will be higher.

You can also fill in the gaps in your health insurance coverage by opting for a more comprehensive travel insurance plan that includes international health insurance. In some policies, you'll also have to pay upfront and you’ll have the option of choosing a policy with no deductible or up to a $2,500 deductible for healthcare expenses, depending on the company and the policy. Be sure to find out the maximum the policy will pay out.