A new survey finds that a majority of persons who travel abroad worry about possible health and security risks, but few take the time to actually research the situation at their destination country. Now two risk-management firms have come out with a new map that might help.
According to International SOS and Control Risks, two firms that specialize in health and safety issues for corporations and their business travelers, a new Ipsos Global Advisor survey of travelers found that fully 80 percent felt their safety or health could be endangered abroad, but fewer than half that number did any research to see what the specific risks might be, or how to mitigate them.
The study found that among “senior executive travelers,” some 71 percent have had some kind of medical problem while abroad, but only 15 percent looked into the health care options available at their destination country before departure.
The survey polled more than 10,700 international travelers, about a quarter of them senior executives.
International SOS and Control Risks said that according to their analysis, nearly one-third of all international business trips are to nations that have higher medical or security risks than the traveler’s home country.
So they put together a world map showing the overall risk levels of various nations — from both a security and a medical standpoint. You can click here to open up a large interactive version of the map that you can zoom in on, and see all the country-specific ratings and explanations of terminology and risk factors.
At the very least, you can prepare for your next international trip by checking the U.S. State Department’s list of travel alerts and warnings to see if anything of concern is going on at your destination.
Readers: What steps do you take before an international trip to assess risks and protect yourself? Post comments below.
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Sandy M says
Thank you Chris!
Chris McGinnis says
One of the best places to look for travel insurance is insuremytrip.com- a clearinghouse of nearly every provider out there, plus a really helpful site!
Sandy M says
Yes, I’d like to know too, which company did you go through? I travel a lot and would like to know.
Whenever I travel to the Middle East, I always register with the STEP program – U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program – for the country or countries that I’ll be traveling to, as well as dates of travel in each country. They in turn will email to you any travel advisors for that country / region. Here’s the link for use: https://step.state.gov/step/
Mark Gerrard says
In all my travels from England to foreign destinations, I never checked security/medical situations once. I did have annual travel insurance though. Not traveled internationally since moving to the US, except two trips home to England. If I did. I would just make sure I had insurance and not worry about security at all. If you take everything you read in State Dept advisories, and advisories from whatever your home country is, into consideration, you would never see the world. It’s all about common sense, although even that can’t protect you. I’ve ridden the Metro and walked around in Moscow at night without any fears, but until recently wouldn’t ride the subway in NYC even during the day.
AirMed is what I have. Never had to use it.
Don Nadeau says
I always travel offshore with insurance that includes emergency medical evacuation. Need motivation? Check the price if you pay the cost of an evacuation on your own.
Also, I always buy insurance that enjoys a top A.M. Best rating. These free to access ratings indicate a firm’s financial ability to handle claims.
what travel insurance company did you choose? Enjoy the Eurostar, it’s a lot of fun.
Dan Leifker says
I must be the exception, because I do a lot of research and always get travel insurance for medical emergencies.
Next Sunday I’m taking the Eurostar from London to Paris through the Channel Tunnel. I was very concerned about security, but passengers cannot board without going through an airport-style X-ray machine, so there probably won’t be any passengers on board with pistols or rifles. If a bomb goes off in the middle tube (the shuttle for cars and trucks), I found out that the tunnel is so far underground that there is no danger of ocean water flooding the tubes. So I feel pretty safe about going.
The great lesson about travel insurance is to shop around, because prices vary wildly. The one I get is very reasonable (like $25 for a week in Europe) and it comes with an app. If I get sick or am injured abroad, I just open the app and it gives me turn-by-turn directions to the nearest doctor or medical center that will treat me, and they deal with the claim directly so no paperwork for me (allegedly).