by Andrew Bard
Concepts & Thoughts
Not much has changed in post-Brexit Great Britain, but travelers and those who reside there can expect to see many long-term effects of Great Britain’s exit from the European Union over the next two years. One major and more immediate post-Brexit change is an increase in travel to Great Britain, due to reduced airfare.
What is subject of much debate, but has yet to be seen is whether or not the United Kingdom will see a decline in terror attacks after its decision to leave the EU? We will likely remain in the dark about this until sometime next year. What we do know is in 2015, the European Union had over 200 terrorist attacks, 103 of which occurred in the UK.
By researching your destination, taking heed of government warnings, finding a travel medical insurance policy that offers coverage beyond medical, and being alert of your surroundings, you can reduce your overall risk of injury or death and lower medical expenses incurred in an act of terror.
Research your destination
Research is a great first start to understanding the issues you may face traveling abroad. Before you visit the UK, utilize various news sources, national, international, and local, for terror-related stories to gage how safe your destination is. If you plan to visit a site where a terrorist attack has occurred, it is best to use your better judgement and proceed with caution.
Furthermore, take heed of government warnings issued by the U.S. Department of State and the European Commission, both of which issue travel warnings and advice to countries where acts of terror have occurred or those deemed unsafe for travel.
Lastly, sign up for programs like the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program when traveling outside your home country. This program provides important information about your country of destination and allows family and friends get in touch with you in the event of an emergency.
Find a policy that offers benefits beyond medical
There are plenty of travel medical insurance policies on the market, many of which offer basics like paying hospital stays if you become ill or are injured. However, a number of these policies may not cover things like medical expenses if you sustain injuries in an act of terror.
It is important to note, if a policy offers coverage for injuries sustained in an act of terror, there may be restrictions as to what is and is not covered. Always refer to your policy documentation for definition on what is considered an “act of terror” according to your insurance provider.
Most policies have restraints on places where an official government warning has been issued, so you will want to take this into account when purchasing your policy.
Lastly, look for additional coverage such as repatriation of remains, local burial or cremation services, and accidental death and dismemberment. A plan with these types of advanced coverage will likely offer other valuable benefits as well.
Be aware of your surroundings
A perfect dose of trip enjoyment and trusting your first instinct is necessary when traveling away from one’s home country. That is to say, you should not walk around looking for things that appear suspicious, nor should you travel with a disregard for your surroundings and potential suspicious activity. So, if you happen to see something that appears doubtful, report it immediately.
Here are a few things to be on the lookout for:
- Suspicious unattended packages
- Abandoned vehicles
- Out of place behavior
- Unwanted surveillance
A study conducted by Canada’s University of Alberta, concluded that you are right to trust your first instinct or gut. Noticing and reporting activities like these can help reduce your risk of injury or death as a result of an act of terror.
Many post-Brexit impacts have only begun to take shape, as time progresses, we may see many changes that will forever reshape politics, policy, and even security measures in the region. As Great Britain continues to see a rise in travelers, there are many protections you should take before making the trek across the pond. Other such measures are in the hands of trained professionals.
Continue to take advantage of great travel deals to the region, apply these three tips and enjoy your trip to the United Kingdom. Safe travels mate !
Andrew Bard is a senior healthcare executive in the United States. He is a General Manager & Senior Vice President of the Americas at Tokio Marine HCC – MIS Group, a leader in travel medical and international student insurance headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind. Tokio Marine HCC – MIS Group is a member of the Tokio Marine HCC group of companies.