Travel Insurance for High-Risk Destinations

Travel to high-risk destinations won’t be covered under standard travel insurance policies. High-risk destinations can include war zones, crisis or disaster relief zones, or regions recently affected by political unrest or terrorist activity.

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.

Travel to high-risk destinations won’t be covered under standard travel insurance policies. High-risk destinations can include war zones, crisis or disaster relief zones, or regions recently affected by political unrest or terrorist activity.

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.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: please check the latest government travel advice that sets out what you need to do, if anything, before you travel abroad and before you return home. Remember that different countries have different rules, and even if restrictions have eased in the UK, this doesn’t mean they have in the country you’re visiting. You should also check the latest travel advice and entry requirements for each country you visit or transit through. Travel rules can change at short notice, so check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for the latest information.

Rebecca Goodman
Insurance expert
4
minute read
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Last Updated 11 MAY 2022

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, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises are too dangerous to travel to. It might be the case that you’re travelling for work, or perhaps to see a family member, and it’s something you can’t avoid or postpone.

Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions

If you have a serious health condition, the price you pay for travel insurance is likely to be more expensive. However, there are still many providers out there and you should be able to find affordable cover. Whatever happens, don’t be tempted to lie to an insurance provider, because if you do and then need to make a claim, it could be rejected.

When you declare medical conditions on our website, we’ll only show quotes from insurance providers who will cover all declared medical conditions, with no exclusions.

MoneyHelper has launched a directory of insurance providers who may be able to provide quotes over the phone if you have more serious medical conditions. Find more information at MoneyHelper or by calling them on 0800 138 7777.

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 FCDO’s countries list. The list changes all the time - bookmark it and make sure you’re checking regularly so you know exactly what the rules are for your trip.

Can I get travel insurance to travel against FCDO advice?

Yes, you can, but you’ll almost certainly need to find a specialist provider, as most standard travel insurance policies won’t cover travel to destinations that the FCDO advises against.

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. You’ll also need high-risk travel insurance if you’re visiting a high-risk destination on holiday. As you need a specialist policy, it’s worth speaking to a few providers so you know exactly what you’re covered for - and crucially, what you’re not covered for.

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

However, these are just examples of what high-risk travel insurance can cover. When comparing policies, check the wording carefully to ensure you have the right level of cover in place. If you buy the wrong policy, or you’re unsure of what you’re covered for, you could end up footing the bill if you need to pay for medical costs while abroad. This could run into the tens of thousands depending on where you are.

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 will need to be declared. 

There may also be restrictions on those who are currently in active duty for military or paramilitary forces. You should always check policy exclusions before buying any travel insurance cover.

Who needs high-risk travel insurance?

If your job means you have to travel to high-risk countries, you’ll need this type of insurance.

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.

How do I take out 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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