Violent incidents trigger increased insurance needs

Violence/terror coverage has always been a grey area in insuring events as well as personal travel and current incidents across the globe have emphasised the increasing needs for coverage in the Insurance industry.

ICA advises Australians to review their travel insurance following violent incidents

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has advised Australians to check their travel insurance if they intend making in claim in relation to the weekend’s thwarted military coup in Turkey. ICA CEO Rob Whelan said claims arising from riots, wars, rebellions, civil unrest or military insurrections were common exclusions in travel insurance policies. “The attempted coup doesn’t void travel insurance policies, and policyholders in Turkey will still be able to lodge claims for a wide range of losses that are unrelated to the uprising,” Mr Whelan said.

“Each travel insurer has different terms and conditions. Travellers should review their policy document to check its inclusions and exclusions, and contact their insurer if they have questions. Australians in Turkey should monitor local media to avoid disruptions and trouble.”

A number of planned events have been cancelled in the aftermath of France’s Bastille Day attack including the Nice Jazz Festival and a leg of Rihanna’s Anti tour. It remains to be seen whether financial losses for entertainers will be covered by insurers.

Frank Zuccarello, partner at Exceptional Risk Advisors, says in this report such coverage comes with very specific requirements, which can often be overlooked by those insuring events and entertainment. Whether or not Rihanna and other scheduled entertainment had sufficient coverage, the cause of attack is an important factor in whether policies will trigger.

Zuccarello says that as terrorist incidents are increasingly reported, the demand for coverages is increasing. “I’ve been getting a lot more inquiries about it, and not only what we’re calling terrorism but violent acts in general,” he says, pointing to the recent shooting that claimed the lives of five police officers in Dallas.

“A mass shooting, such as the Dallas thing; was that terrorism or a man shooting? It’s hard to describe. I would definitely call it a violent act that was impactful upon the nation. Any event in Dallas would be hard pressed to go on within a couple of days of that happening.”

Post the attacks in Dhaka Australian Government Smart Traveller website  has advised travellers to Bangladesh to reconsider their need to travel and organise comprehensive travel insurance and check what circumstances and activities are not covered by their policy.

New Zealanders travelling or residing in Bangladesh have been advised to have a comprehensive travel insurance policy that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.  The UK Department for Transport (DfT) recently carried out assessments of security at Dhaka International Airport. Following this, the DfT has assessed that security at Dhaka airport does not meet some international security requirements.

The consistent reporting of incidents across the globe and the increasing number of violent events are triggering the need for heightened risk assessment and management.