A common question we get asked here at Young Pioneer Tours is, do you need travel insurance to visit North Korea? The simple answer to this question is yes. It is compulsory to have full medical insurance before departing on your tour, and it is essential to understand the following:
Even though we bring you to “places your mother would rather you stay away from”, this doesn’t necessarily mean they are dangerous places.
Although places like the DPRK ostensibly have free medical care this does not extend to foreign visitors, and the expenses for foreign treatment can be very expensive.
Further, in the case of serious treatment (such as surgery) being necessary, the United Nations recommends evacuation by air for treatment in a more developed country. This can cost upwards of 150,000 RMB (Chinese Yuan) just for the airlift. Of course, such situations are rare, but accidents or medical conditions can happen anywhere and it’s best to be prepared.
Theft and other crimes against foreigners are almost unheard of in North Korea for example, but as with anywhere, it doesn’t hurt to have your valuables insured. The right policy can also help you recover some of the cost if you need to cancel your trip at late notice, protect your valuable equipment, protect you from personal liability, provide emergency dental coverage and more.
A majority of western travel insurers aren’t able to arrange travel insurance in North Korea, however, we recommend using PICC Insurance, the largest insurance company in China. We can arrange your North Korean travel insurance for you.
How does does travel insurance for North Korea cost?
- 1-5 days: €40
- 6-8 days: €50
- 9-11 days: €60
- 12-14 days: €70
- 15-30 days: €95
What does travel insurance for North Korea cover? Each policy covers:
- Emergency and hospitalisation expenses: up to 350,000RMB
- Accidental death/disabilities: up to 100,000RMB
- Emergency medical delivery costs compensation: up to 600,000RMB
- Funeral insurance: 120,000RMB
Total coverage: up to 1,170,000RMB
Before you purchase any travel insurance make sure you read the policy carefully and are aware of the fine print, especially the exclusions. Some key things to watch out for with your policy are*:
- Country Exclusions – Make sure all the places you’re going during your trip are covered
- Dangerous activities – Let’s be realistic, most insurers don’t cover extremely dangerous activities. So be aware of what is and isn’t covered and contact the provider if you aren’t sure, BEFORE you need to make a claim.
- Per item maximums – If you have high value equipment like high quality camera lenses, you may need separate coverage for those specific items. There’s little point getting a policy that has a maximum payout on camera equipment of 1,000 dollars when your cheapest lens is worth twice that.
- Excess – Basically the cost of making a claim. Check that your insurer has a reasonable excess or it’s only useful for extreme situations.
- Personal Liability – Should you accidentally (or negligently) cause damage to the property of others and get sued, are you offered any protection? (Like third party insurance for your car but for yourself.)
- Evacuation – Should you need to get home in a hurry due to medical or other circumstances, ensure that these costs of evacuation are covered in your policy
* The above are only some specific items that some travellers tend to overlook. Be sure to consider your own personal circumstances and requirements when selecting an insurance policy.