Can UK nationals get valid travel insurance for Iran?
Replies: 37 - Last Post: Jun 10, 2013 11:44 AM Last Post By: stuartwholmes
Feb 1, 2013 10:25 AM
Can UK nationals get valid travel insurance for Iran?I'm getting increasingly worried about the advice being given by some people on this forum (and another travel forum) about the availability of valid travel insurance for UK nationals hoping to visit Iran. I had one quote for around £400 from a UK-based company, then another for around 28 Euros from an Iran-based company - this doesn't exactly inspire confidence.
The problem is that our government (FCO) advises against all travel to all parts of Iran, which is common knowledge, I think. What travellers may not have considered is that this invalidates most travel insurance policies.
A long time ago I knew a young man who had been hitch-hiking in Turkey, without travel insurance. His spinal injuries remained untreated for a long time because he had no medical insurance and therefore he wasn't repatriated in time to get adequate treatment. The outcome wasn't good.
Please don't travel without valid medical insurance. You think that the worst will never happen, but sometimes it does.
Feb 1, 2013 11:31 AM
Feb 1, 2013 11:32 AM
2There are some Swiss insurance companies that also ensure UK nationals for trips to Iran. It's going to cost more but not £400 more. Unfortunately I don't remember the name of the company anymore..
As for Irani costing 28 €s it honestly seems reasonable as everything in Iran is cheap, really cheap and that Irani insurance is only valid inside Iran and no where else so that's why it's suspiciously low price.
From whom is the Irani quote?
Feb 1, 2013 12:29 PM
It's not just about price, it's about trust. Can I trust an Iranian company to honour our contract? Can I trust a UK company, likewise? If there was any dispute with an Iranian company, who would support me? If there was a dispute with a UK company, at least I'd have a fighting chance. That's all I'm saying.
Feb 1, 2013 12:32 PM
4Yeah, true that. With my experience of living and working in Iran usually there are no problems - what twas the company anyway?
I can let me Irani friends check it out ;)
Feb 1, 2013 1:13 PM
5It was www.irantravelinsurance.com.
I guess everyone reading this knows that one particular visa/tour company in Iran has received a lot of criticism over the past couple of years. Someone who posts on this travel forum + one other forum has consistently supported that company and has also recommended this insurance company. Am I being paranoid? Or just weighing up the odds? If anyone in Iran can investigate, I'd be grateful. (But can I trust you? - Just joking.)
Feb 2, 2013 3:20 AM
7Yes, a few times, but I haven't been there since the advice against travel to Iran by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, which invalidates policies offered by most UK insurance companies. It's in the very, very small print of most travel insurance policies, that they will not cover you for travel to a country, or parts of a country, against government advice.
Feb 2, 2013 9:10 AM
8I have an annual multi trip policy from VHI in Ireland, underwritten by Europ Assistance Holding. I checked and I'm fully covered in Iran. My travel policy is only €49 a year.
Oh my god when did i hit middle age, I'm more insured than excited lol.
Feb 2, 2013 10:54 AM
9Thanks Donalryan - for a minute I got quite excited too about possibly getting my travel insurance to Iran for only 145 Euros. Then I tried to buy it online .... guess what? The computer refused to recognise my address because I live in ENGLAND!! Now I guess you can all see what I mean. It looks like I've got to pay £400 approx, or use an Iran-based company which is so cheap that it's unbelievable, or accept that I can never visit Iran again.
Feb 2, 2013 1:28 PM
10The difficulty is that standard travel insurance is often, or sometimes, only valid if you are resident in the same country from which the insurance has been issued.
I know you already know, but worth a mention.
Have you read the fine print at http://www.worldnomads.com/
Feb 2, 2013 2:08 PM
11You need to ring the individual insurance companies. Sometimes the insurance is only invalid if you're the victim of a kidnapping or other terrorist threat but for a car accident you'd be fine. I went with a uk company, cost about €200 but can't remember the name since I've no access to all my old posts.
Feb 2, 2013 3:17 PM
12Thank you everyone who has come up with suggestions and if you can remember names of specific companies who might be able to help me with a reasonably priced policy which guarantees full medical care and repatriation to the UK if required, could you let me know later?
I'm following up all leads so far .. old_india_hand, thanks for suggesting that I look at the fine print at www,worldnomads.com - so far I found this on their website:-
"3. Is it safe to go there?
While we cover travel for most countries of the world, unfortunately the small print of travel insurance inevitably contains exclusions. The major one is if you go somewhere and you know it's not safe or your government's travel advisory advises you shouldn't go there. Bottom line: if you put yourself at risk or you place yourself in the crossfire, then you are unlikely to be covered."
This is the kind of warning which makes me feel uneasy. It just doesn't sound like they'd want to pay out for any kind of accident in Iran. We all know the UK government has advised us not to go there. They could argue that I'd put myself at risk just by going there. Lots of people have told me that they travelled against FCO advice and their travel policy was just fine .. but they didn't actually have to make a claim. So what does that prove?
I just cannot go to Iran without a 'safety net' I can rely on. And £400 is too much to pay. But thanks anyway.
Feb 2, 2013 5:46 PM
13How to define “your government's travel advisory” ?
If the UK gov says no travel to Iran and the Australian advices that “Do not Travel” is for some border areas only, which is correct if I were a British / Australian national living in Ecuador ?
For the purpose of “your government's travel advisory” I believe it would be the government of the jurisdiction from where the insurance is issued.
So, what you need is insurance issued from a company that does not require you to be a resident.
Does “place yourself in the crossfire” apply to a normal traffic accident ?
Yes it does, if you were in a “Do not Travel” area or on your way to a “Do not Travel” area you have no insurance.
That is the information I got from Customer Service Team WorldNomads.com Sydney.
So when I was in Jaffna, Bam and Peshawar I looked left and right before crossing the road.
Insurance companies are full of s.i.
Feb 3, 2013 1:16 AM
14"What you need is insurance from a company that does not require you to be a resident" - exactly. I got nowhere when I tried Donalryan2001's suggestion of using VHI (Irish company) because the computer said NO. But maybe I'm going to have to grit my teeth and spend a lot on international phone calls, contacting overseas companies direct rather than online, in order to cut down on the £400 current quote.
I've decided that I can't take the risk of insuring with an Iran-based company because if you can't even send money to another country, how can you be sure that any problems arising from a disputed claim could be sorted out? I'm not an expert on banking or insurance or international relations but I just have a feeling that this would be a risk not worth taking.
Thanks again to everyone who replied and if I ever find a solution to my problem I'll let you know.
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