Special Risk Insurance: For Me or Not For Me?

Whether a war correspondent, a hiking enthusiast, or a worldwide traveller, do you ever wonder if your travel insurance covers everything it should? Depending on how dangerous your destination or how adventurous a traveller you are, you need to consider all the details before making a purchase as important as travel insurance.

Start by asking yourself these 5 questions. Your responses should help you better understand whether or not your special needs mean you need to buy special risk insurance before your next trip.

  1. Is there a government travel advisory in effect for my travel destination? If the answer is yes, regular travel insurance may provide some coverage. But make sure to read the fine print! Most plans will only cover illness or injury unrelated to the advisory while others won’t cover you at all if government authorities have advised against travel to this particular region. Special risk insurance, however, will cover it all—whether injured due to a fall down the stairs or a robbery at gunpoint. When travelling to a dangerous location, the more comprehensive the coverage, the better!
  2. Does my work send me to war zones or areas known for civil unrest or terrorist activities? When you consider how severe a terrorism- or war-related injury might be, you’d probably agree that partial coverage just won’t cut it. And because most regular travel insurance plans place limitations on medical emergencies due to war or terrorism, special risk insurance is a must for you. In addition to comprehensive medical war and terrorism coverage, you can also opt for insurance that covers disability, death, or dismemberment. If you were to survive a bombing but lose a limb, for example, you could receive up to five times your annual salary in one lump-sum payment.
  3. Am I travelling to an area where I’ll have to worry about kidnapping and ransom demands? If you are a high-net-worth individual who may be targeted for kidnap or extortion, special risk insurance should be at the top of your list before you go! Special risk insurance plans can provide coverage for costs associated with kidnap, ransom, and extortion, including access to negotiators and crisis management services, payment of legal fees, and psychiatric care following a traumatic event. Keep in mind that special risk insurers are not able to communicate directly with kidnappers, so it is important that you have the means to pay any ransom demands. You will be reimbursed by your insurer at a later date.
  4. Will I be taking part in risky activities, such as scuba-diving, mountaineering, or hang-gliding? When it comes to your favourite thing to do, you may be a pro or simply a daredevil! Whichever the case, you need to prepare for the unexpected. No matter how good you are at your activity of choice, things could still go wrong! What if the mountaineering equipment is defective? What if you meet a shark during your underwater adventures? Some regular travel insurance plans will be able to cover individuals taking part on an amateur basis, but there will always be limitations and exclusions to consider. Review your policy carefully to make sure your hobby is covered; and, if it is, what limitations are in place? If you are a professional scuba-diver, for example, regular travel insurance just won’t do. You’ll need special risk insurance to cover you.
  5. Am I travelling to take part in a professional sport? Even the most successful athlete is not immune to injury or accident. What if you have a bad fall? Or a fight with an opposing team member puts you in the hospital? With all the recent news about what repeat concussions can do to your brain, a blow to the head is not something you’d want to ignore due to a lack of coverage. Don’t be caught by surprise! Regular travel insurance won’t cover your needs—and don’t let the option to add sports coverage fool you either. It is for amateur athletes only, and will not cover those engaged in paid, professional sports.

As you can see, there are several travel scenarios where regular travel insurance will not provide you with the coverage you need. Although special risk insurance can be more costly, in many cases, the risks can be life or death. A few extra hundred dollars now can mean saving hundreds of thousands of dollars later. And, more importantly, it could even save your life.

Still not sure if special risk insurance is for you? Wondering about the cost? Call Ingle International to speak with an expert and have all of your questions answered. Or, tell us about your special circumstances and we’ll do what we can to find suitable coverage for your unique needs.


Learn more about our services and products by visiting the Ingle International main page.


  1. Special risk insurance sounds interesting. I have only recently heard of it, so it’s good to learn more about it. Traveling is one of my passions, and so far, I haven’t traveled to a dangerous place like these you mentioned. However, if I do, I will remember this insurance!

  2. Pingback: You Don’t Stay the Same. Neither Should Your Travel Insurance. | Ingle International

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