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Wall in Palestine / Flickr

When Insurance Won’t Cover All Countries


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If your government is advising against all but essential travel to a place, you may not be covered by your travel insurance. In the same way that a pre-existing heart condition renders your insurance useless, so does a holiday in the border region of Iran and Pakistan.

Insurance companies wouldn’t be as profitable if they paid out for every single travel blip. So they’ve come up with ways to avoid it. Sometimes your policy will say specifically that it doesn’t cover you to these places, but they’ll often make it as wordy and confusing as they can — it’s always worth it to check.

Kidnappings, bombings, or political violence are not your only problems. Countries where your embassy has been closed or has few workers also means your government can’t help you out easily. Not everyone can be bailed out by Bill Clinton, ok?

Regardless, if you knowingly embarked on a trip knowing that possible danger was awaiting (I won’t ask you why you’re still going), but you usually won’t be covered by your insurance for any expenses. Insurers aren’t completely heartless, though – if a country was safe and drama wasn’t genuinely expected, like Egypt last year – they will usually help out.

But if deaths, kidnappings and thefts still don’t shake you from your wanderlust (make sure you’ve got a will at home), at least make sure you get comprehensive travel insurance and check the policy thoroughly. Stay in touch with the news and embassy for updates, and most of all STAY SAFE!! That is, after all, the most important thing.

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