In The Wake Of Terror: How To Prepare Your Travelers For Next Time

Published on Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Paris, France, is a top destination for touristsIt was every traveler’s worst nightmare. Last Friday, a series of coordinated terrorist attacks took place in Paris, France. Everyday people, doing everyday things – some who were far from home - were suddenly victims of horrific violence. As news came out,the death tolls continued to rise: 129 people died and more than 340 were injured.

Each year, Paris attracts millions of visitors from around the world. As a result, travel agents had to jump into action when their travelers were caught in Paris – fearful and anxious to get home. Were your travelers caught in the action? How did you respond? How will you respond if – and possibly when – something equally horrifying happens?

Helping Travelers During A Time Of Crisis

Now more than ever, travel insurance is a necessary component of every travel package sold. Your travel insurance provider is the first place to turn when an unexpected event, such as Paris, occurs - when your clients are far from home. Travel agents are rarely equipped to advise travelers during an international emergency. The airports in Paris were closed and the city was locked down. During this time, RoamRight and our assistance provider, On Call International, leapt into action to help travelers who were in crisis in Paris.

“The night of the attacks, we quickly emailed the travelers we believed were in France at that time,” says Linda Fallon, senior vice president of RoamRight. “We provided information so travelers could contact On Call International – for free – and get immediate help. On Call gave safety recommendations based on each individual’s situation. Also, travelers who had our mobile app also received security alerts and advice delivered straight to their phone or tablet.”

After verifying the travelers’ safety, the first recommendation was to contact someone at home. Friends and family throughout the world were worried and afraid for their traveling loved ones. “Our travelers responded to our emails to let us know they were safe. This is such a relief to our team – knowing that our travelers are okay,” says Fallon.

How will you respond if – and possibly when – something equally horrifying happens?

Travelers were then instructed to plan on spending extra time in Paris – for their safety. The city was on lock down and getting out was an unrealistic expectation at that time, so travelers needed to stay put.

As the city started to operate again, the airports reopened and travel to and from Paris resumed. However, travelers were instructed to expect flight delays and practice patience, as flights possibly had to be rebooked multiple times before they were able to successfully return home.

Using Travel Insurance With Terrorism Coverage

As with all travel insurance, it’s essential to understand what is and what isn’t covered. Acts of terror may or may not be covered – it depends on the provider, the policy, and even the language within the policy. If you read a policy and still have questions, contact your insurance provider directly.

RoamRight travelers who wanted to return home after the Paris attacks may have had coverage through their trip interruption benefit. Depending on a traveler's insurance plan, trip delay benefits may also have provided coverage.

Likewise, RoamRight travelers who had an active travel insurance policy at the time of the attacks may have been able to cancel a trip to Paris without losing all of their trip cost. Travelers, agents, and tour operators are encouraged to check the details of each specific policy to understand what is and isn’t covered.

How did you respond to the attacks in Paris? Tell us your experience in the comments below.

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