What Bin Laden's Death Means for Travelers
The U.S. State Department issued a worldwide travel warning after President Obama announced Sunday night that American forces killed terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. It says there is an increased risk for anti-American violence and is encouraging anyone who is traveling abroad to sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.
The free program provides travelers with current information about the country they're visiting, including warnings about long-term conditions that make a country dangerous and alerts about short-term conditions that pose risks to Americans traveling overseas. The information you provide about your trip when you enroll also will allow the State Department to better assist you in case of an emergency. To learn more about the type of assistance you can receive, see What the State Department Can and Can't Do in a Crisis.
If you're booking travel overseas, consider paying a little extra for travel insurance. A standard trip-cancellation policy will cover nonrefundable, prepaid costs if you have to cancel or interrupt a trip because of a terror attack in any of the cities on your itinerary. To be reimbursed, the event must be declared a terrorist attack by the U.S. government and must occur within 30 to 90 days (depending on the policy) of your planned travel, says Vikki Corliss, a spokesperson for InsureMyTrip.com.
Travel insurance does not cover civil unrest or foreseen events. Even though the State Department has issued a worldwide travel warning, travel insurance underwriters will not view terror attacks as foreseen events and will provide coverage as usual, Corliss says. To learn more about the cost and what is -- and is not -- covered, see The Case for Travel Insurance. And to compare plans, visit InsureMyTrip.com, TravelGuard.com or SquareMouth.com.