We have all seen in the news these past few weeks that the situation in Ukraine and the surrounding area has been escalating and extremely dangerous.
We have been receiving inquiries, questions related to travel safety during these conditions. We would like to express our concern and support to all those who have faced unprecedented adversity and have been affected.
We also want to provide some generic information that may help in better planning your trip.
As the world is changing constantly with Covid, travel restrictions and more, it is important to know how to stay safe, while you may not have complete control over various different travel uncertainties, you can definitely achieve a better flexibility and sense of safety with right kind travel insurance coverage.
Travel Advisories for International Travel
As of February 28, 2022 the US Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs has released a Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory for Ukraine and Russia.
- “Do not travel to Ukraine due to armed conflict and COVID-19. U.S. citizens in Ukraine should depart immediately if it is safe to do so using any commercial or other privately available ground transportation options. U.S. citizens remaining in Ukraine should carefully monitor government notices and local and international media outlets for information about changing security conditions and alerts to shelter in place. Those remaining in Ukraine should exercise increased caution due to the potential for active combat, crime, and civil unrest.”
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has also advised against traveling to Ukraine, Russia or Belarus, and that many travel policies for these countries will no longer be valid.
- “Travel alert: British nationals should leave Ukraine immediately if safe to do so. Follow Ukrainian Authorities’ advice while in Ukraine.”
- “There are currently no UK government warnings against visiting Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary or any other neighboring countries.”
The U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Russia has issued a Level 4: Do Not Travel Advisory for Russia:
- “Do not travel to Russia due to the unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces in Ukraine, the potential for harassment against U.S. citizens by Russian government security officials, the Embassy’s limited ability to assist U.S. citizens in Russia, COVID-19 and related entry restrictions, terrorism, limited flights into and out of Russia, and the arbitrary enforcement of local law. U.S. citizens should depart Russia immediately.”
These warnings should cause most travelers to reconsider and reschedule their plans to travel to those regions.
What Most Travel Insurance Companies Offer
Here is how different travel insurance policies may have benefits related to war or related adversities. In looking at policies, travelers may still be eligible for all coverage outlined. Plans can still be purchased, however, any conditions resulting from the following circumstances will be excluded:
- War or Act of War – including invasion
- Acts of Foreign Enemies
- Hostilities between nations – whether declared or undeclared
- Civil War
Traveling against governmental advice could invalidate emergency medical coverage on some travel insurance policies, so it’s important that travelers ensure they have the right insurance for their destination at the time of travel.
Customizable Travel Insurance Policies
Once a travel itinerary has been planned, tailor your travel insurance policies to adequately cover any and all unforeseen emergencies. You should account for the length of the trip, any known medical conditions, risk of destination/s and planned activities. Check to see if Interruption For Any Reason (IFAR) or Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) are available options should your trip be delayed, interrupted, or canceled due to changes.
For those who, regardless of government advisories, need to travel to a high-risk country, it would be wise to secure a policy that protects them in the current environment and continues in the event that things change adversely or otherwise. Those who would be most affected would be journalists, charity or peace workers, members of non-governmental organizations (NGO) and possibly medical personnel.
Travel Plans May Be Interrupted or Altered
As airlines navigate the airspace internationally, flight routes can change dramatically due to restricted airspace or no-fly zones over Ukraine and Russia. This can cause flights to be re-routed around or through other countries. Be sure to check with your airlines for any changes of departures or arrivals, and also more importantly, cancellations.
Stay Aware to Stay Safe
At VisitorsCoverage, we want to encourage everyone to stay aware of any changes that could impact your travel plans. Follow the guidelines for post-pandemic travel, such as becoming familiar with the area you are traveling to and where you are lodging, keeping your travel docs and ID close by, and knowing who to contact in case you need assistance. If you need any assistance our customer service team of licensed insurance experts is happy to help.
This is a developing and ever changing situation.The information presented here is subject to change and not guaranteed for accuracy . We recommend travelers to keep checking the government websites and resources for verified and current information related to travel safety, warnings, advisories and other information that may impact your travel or decision to plan travel.