Cover is vitally important
Having the right Colombia insurance is essential if you are considering living or operating in this troubled South American country. A complicated and dangerous security situation continues, with left wing FARC rebel groups, right wing militias, drug cartels and to a degree, corrupt authorities still posing a significant threat in many areas. Standard insurance may not be valid in Colombia.
- In many areas of Colombia, the security situation can change very quickly
- There is a high risk of kidnap from both narco-terrorist and criminal groups – kidnap and ransom insurance may be advised
- International health insurance in Colombia is essential, along with cover for emergency evacuation
Potential dangers in Colombia
This beautiful, equatorial country has been blighted by terrorist and drug-related violence for decades. Although the security situation has been improving in recent years, it still has one of the world’s highest kidnap and homicide rates. Foreign nationals are advised to keep up to date with the local situation in the area they are visiting or working in, and to consider provision for kidnap and ransom in their Colombia insurance.
Remote regions are generally more dangerous in terms of guerrilla and drug trade activity and there is also the risk of landmines and other unexploded ordnance.
Severe heavy rains can affect large parts of Colombia, causing landslides and making road travel treacherous. Be mindful that if you are injured in a remote area, evacuation by air ambulance may be your only option, which can be staggeringly expensive if you don’t have appropriate Colombia insurance cover.
In urban areas, including the capital Bogota, violent street crime is a major problem, and foreigners are a tempting target. If possible leave valuables in a safe place and carry a small amount of ‘decoy’ notes to hand over if you are accosted. Don’t resist robbery as the risk of being shot is high.
Take particular care when using ATMs. Decline all offers of food, drink, drugs, cigarettes, toiletries and even pamphlets from strangers – these can be impregnated with burundanga, a highly sedative drug that can even be absorbed through the skin and is a favoured method of robbery by some thieves.