Does travel insurance allow you to cancel your trip to Istanbul after the deadly terrorist attack?

Istanbul, Turkey

A carnation is left near the site of an explosion Tuesday in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet Square that killed 10 people. It has been labeled a terrorist attack.

(Associated Press)

The suicide bombing in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet Square on Tuesday that killed 10 people may make some travelers wary about going to Turkey right now.

So what are your options?

If you bought travel insurance before the attack, you may be able to cancel an upcoming trip because the U.S. State Department called the bombing a terrorist attack, according to online travel insurance website Squaremouth.

Most trip cancellation policies include terrorism coverage for your safety, but an attack must meet the policy’s definition.


"[T]ravel insurance policies typically require that the terrorist attack occur in or near a city on their itinerary, and occur within 7-30 days of the their departure date,” Squaremouth says in a statement. 

The State Department on Tuesday said it “strongly condemns the terrorist attack today in Sultanahmet Square.”

The agency on Sept. 3 warned Americans visiting or living in Turkey to steer clear of southeastern Turkey, which is close to the country’s border with Syria. The action was linked to military operations in the area.

No further warnings or alerts were issued Tuesday.


But back to travel insurance. If you’re just afraid to go, that alone isn’t something that would be covered in Trip Cancellation policy, Squaremouth says. 

You would have to have Cancel For Any Reason coverage, and you would have to have purchased the policy 14 to 30 days before your first trip deposit or payment. 

“Cancel For Any Reason will only reimburse up to 75% of trip costs, and travelers must cancel within at least 2-3 days of their departure date,” Squaremouth says.

For more information, go to the website’s Istanbul Bombing and Travel Insurance Information Center.

In Tuesday’s attack, a suicide bomber blew himself up in Sultanahmet Square where tourists gather to see the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. Ten people, mostly German tourists, were killed and more than a dozen others were injured.

Turkey has blamed the attack on the Islamic State.


Turkey blames Islamic State for deadly blast in the heart of Istanbul’s tourist area


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