Car Insurance Basics

Terrorism Cover: Is It Really Necessary?


November 10, 2014

Terrorism covers, as part of car insurance products, are increasing in popularity in the Kenya. In the aftermath of the Westgate Mall attack, it was clear to motorists that terrorism is a real auto insurance risk. This is in spite of the fact that the cars affected by the incident in Westgate were very few in comparison to those that experience other insurable risks. Nearly all motor insurance companies now offer a terrorism cover that promises compensation for losses associated with terrorist activities. When deciding on whether to take a terrorism cover for your car, consider the following issues.

Terrorism is a Real Risk

Terrorist attacks have been on the rise in Kenya, especially since the commencement of Operation Linda Nchi. This risk exists in many part of the country. The continued presence of Kenya Defence Forces in Somalia means that there will be a constant threat of terrorism in different parts of the country, at lest until the Alshabaab network is vanquished. However, there are other sources of terror, such as Al-Qaeda, who carried out the high profile attack on the US embassy on August 7th 1998. In addition, other terror cells and terror networks either working directly under known terrorist organizations or inspired by them, are a source of terrorist threats. In this regard, the risk of suffering loss or damage to your car is real in Kenya.

Terrorist Incidents are Frequent

It is also important to note that acts of terrorism are frequent, but they do not always make it to the news headlines. High profile terrorist incidents such as the Westgate Mall attack and the Mpeketoni attacks are few and far between. However, there are many smaller attacks involving small explosives and grenades in various parts of the country. The standard reported in August 23rd 2014 that there had been more that 130 terrorist incidents in the country since Operation Linda Nchi commenced. These incidents at times result in damage to cars and can lead to a significant loss for a car owner if he lacks motor insurance that include a terrorism cover.

Terrorism Risks are Environment Linked

It is also important to consider how vulnerable your car is to terrorism depending on your operating environment. If you operate in terrorism hot spots, then your car is at a high risk of experiencing loss or damage associated with terrorism. For instance, the terrorist incidents in the country have been concentrated on important towns near the Kenyan boarder with Somalia. However, many grenade attacks have been reported in various towns across the country, chiefly Nairobi and Mombasa. This means that that someone who predominantly operates in Nairobi, Mombasa, or any important urban centre in the Eastern Flank of Kenya is operating in a terrorism hotspot. However, it should be borne in mind that terrorist are by their nature unpredictable. This means that their past activities are not always an accurate indicator of future their future activities. The risk of terrorism can also occur in other parts of the country.

Terrorism is much more than Guns and Bombs

It is important to note that acts of terror are not limited to guns and bombs. Terrorists can also use other methods such as biological weapons, kidnappings, carjacking among others. This means that it is beneficial to have a broad understanding of what specific acts of terrorism a particular car insurance policy covers. This is important because there are exclusions on what an insurance company can cover in the context of terrorism risks. 


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