For anyone travelling to Ukraine, insurance is an important consideration, particularly given the recent political upheaval and fighting in the eastern oblasts. Should your travels take you to anywhere against FCO advice, you should make appropriate security arrangements and procure specialist high-risk Ukraine insurance.
Ukraine insurance – quick facts
- The political and security situation could change quickly
- International health insurance in Ukraine is essential, along with cover for emergency evacuation
- Foreigners can be a target of street crime
- Road travel can be hazardous due to poor maintenance and driving standards
Get the right insurance for Ukraine
- Specialist Ukraine insurance – can include protection for personnel, property, vehicles and equipment
- We can help you to understand and meet contractual and local insurance obligations in Ukraine
- Due to variable medical facilities the potential risk to personal security in some regions, specialist Ukraine insurance is advised for visitors and expats
- We can cover you for life, personal accident, personal disability, medical emergencies, evacuation and other specialist insurance needs
Potential hazards in Ukraine
Ever since it gained independence from the former USSR in 1991, the thorny question of whether Ukraine should pursue policies in favour of the EU or Russia has caused tensions. While western regions have been largely pro-EU, much of the eastern region’s ethnic Russian population has wanted reconciliation, if not reunification with Russia.
In February 2014 the overthrow of pro-Russian President Yanukovych opened up deep divisions within the country. What began in Kiev as a domestic dispute over relations with the EU soon escalated into a civil war and provoked the most dangerous East-West standoff since the end of the cold war.
In response to the ousting of Yanukovych, and fears of a pro-European government in Kiev, Russia annexed Crimea in March 2014. Following this, pro-Russian separatists began seizing key towns and cities in the east, most notably in the Donestk and Lugansk oblasts (provinces). Though Russia has denied all direct intervention there have been consistent reports of Russian troops and tanks taking part in the fighting.
Anyone travelling to or working in areas against FCO advice should ensure they have high-risk Ukraine insurance that will remain effective in the event of acts of war and terrorism. Kidnappings have also been a problem in the region, so kidnap and ransom cover may be advised. Keep updated with the latest local and national security situation and be prepared to lock down or leave an area quickly should fighting break out.
Though there can be political demonstrations in Kiev and other cities, the situation in most western regions is calmer. Avoid these protests and rallies, as they have turned violent in the past.
Other risks for visitors and expats are more conventional. Street crime, in the form of pick pocketing and bag snatching, can be targeted at foreign visitors, so take the usual precautions against this as you would in the UK. Credit card fraud can be a problem so don’t loose sight of your card during transactions. Road travel can be hazardous in some regions due to poor maintenance and driving standards.
Healthcare facilities vary and often fall below western standards. Comprehensive Ukraine medical insurance is advised including cover for emergency medical evacuation and repatriation.
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Latest advice from the FCO
The FCO advise against all travel to specific regions and all but essential travel to others specific regions. Events in Ukraine are fast moving. Monitor travel advice regularly. Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.