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How Does Terrorism Affect Travel?

ankara explosion 17feb2016The threat of terrorism is not preventing Americans from traveling, but it is prompting travelers to take more precautions. More Americans are making the decision to insure their travel. Following terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, more travelers are purchasing trip cancellation policies and searching specifically for Terrorism coverage.

Leading travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth reveals notable trends in travel insurance sales that indicate how travelers respond after a terrorist attack.

  • In the month following each of the attacks, Trip Cancellation sales were 19% higher than in the same period the previous year
  • The number of customers searching specifically for Terrorism coverage increased by an average of 167% in the month after each attack
  • The percentage of customers searching specifically for Terrorism coverage has continued to increase each month since the March 22 attacks in Brussels

Following the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, the number of customers buying travel insurance for the most popular European destinations — particularly Italy and the United Kingdom — rose significantly compared to the same period in the previous year.

Change in Number of Customers Buying Travel Insurance
Compared to the same period in the previous year


1 Month After

Paris Attacks

3 Months After

 Paris Attacks

1 Month After 
Brussels Attacks
3 Months After 
Brussels Attacks
Italy +47% +22% +47% +31%
UK +57% +19% +35% +21%
France +17% -0.12% -8.5% +2.7%
Spain +26% +27% +10% +28%
Germany +22% +20% -12% +14%

How Does Terrorism Affect Travel to Specific Destinations?

Travelers seemed to show an interest in insuring their trips rather than canceling them after the terrorist attacks in France and Belgium. However, other destinations are not as resilient. Squaremouth saw a significant decrease in customers traveling to Turkey following recent attacks across the country.

France and Belgium both saw a higher number of travelers insuring trips to the destination in the month after the attack compared to the same period in the previous year.

Both countries dropped slightly in popularity after the first month, indicating some travelers may be opting for alternative destinations.

The number of Americans purchasing travel insurance for Turkey fell 61% in the month following the January 12 suicide bombing in Istanbul, compared to the same period in 2015

This report is based on U.S. residents insured on travel insurance policies purchased through and represents the destination selected at the time of purchase. Travelers visiting multiple countries are only required to enter one destination when purchasing a policy. All data reflect changes from the same period in the previous year unless otherwise noted.

More information can be found at

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