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Travel Insurance for High-Risk Destinations

Travel Insurance for High-Risk Destinations

Travel to high-risk destinations, including war zones or crisis and disaster relief zones, won’t be covered under standard travel insurance policies.

Make sure you have a valid travel insurance policy in place to give you peace of mind, knowing you’re covered if things go wrong.

Patrick Ikhena
From the Travel team
minute read
posted 11 FEBRUARY 2020

What is high-risk area travel insurance?

High-risk travel insurance can cover you when you’re travelling to high-risk destinations, or countries that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises are too dangerous to travel to.


On 6 August 2020, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) updated the list of countries that are exempt from its ongoing advice against all non-essential international travel.

If you choose to travel overseas to a destination where the FCO is advising against non-essential travel at the time of your departure, then your insurance policy will be invalid, and any claim likely to be rejected.

For domestic travel, please check the local public health rules for the destination you wish to travel to within the United Kingdom.

For more information, please see our coronavirus and travel insurance page.

What is a high-risk travel destination?

Destinations considered high risk include war zones, crisis and disaster relief zones, or countries facing natural disaster.

To check which destinations aren’t currently considered safe to travel to, search the FCO’s countries list.

When do I need high-risk travel insurance? 

If you’re planning to travel against FCO advice, you’ll probably find that standard travel insurance policies won’t be valid for your trip. It’s likely you’ll need a travel insurance policy that covers unexpected accident or illness in high-risk destinations.   
High-risk travel insurance is particularly useful for travelling professionals such as journalists, photographers, charity or aid workers, interpreters or anyone else regularly travelling to high-risk destinations for business purposes. But you’ll also need high-risk travel insurance if you’re visiting a high-risk destination on holiday.

What does high-risk travel insurance cover?

High-risk travel insurance can provide cover when flying to high-risk, remote or dangerous destinations.

As well as the standard cover for loss, theft and cancellation, high-risk travel insurance may also provide:

  • Evacuation cover – protecting you in the event of medical evacuations and repatriation, as well as providing refuge for political and natural disaster evacuations
  • Emergency medical aid – covering you for any medical expenses for accident or injury while you’re away
  • Cover for any additional accommodation, food or travel arising from an emergency situation, including cover for a missed connection or departure
  • Visitor to bedside cover – if serious illness or injury means you’re unable to travel home for a significant period, this cover could help pay for a family member to travel to you in a medical emergency.
  • Counselling – following a traumatic event such as a mugging, hijacking, piracy or wrongful detention
  • Cover for legal expenses – up to a specified limit

Travel insurance for high-risk destinations shouldn’t be confused with travel insurance for high-risk activities. For the latter, you’ll need travel insurance that covers extreme sports or winter sports.

Who is eligible for high-risk travel insurance?

Any individual traveller over the age of 18 and under the age of 70, can apply for high-risk travel insurance.

As with regular travel insurance, pre-existing medical conditions probably won’t be covered as standard. There may also be restrictions on those who are currently in active duty for military of paramilitary forces. You should always check policy exclusions before buying any travel insurance cover.

Comparing high-risk travel insurance

Different travel providers offer varying levels of cover when it comes to travel insurance. You should always check the terms and exclusions of your policy to see whether travel to high-risk destinations is covered, before you buy. Start comparing travel insurance policies with Compare the Market today.

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