Ensuring personal safety in areas close to civil unrest?
July 31, 2014 9:53 AM   Subscribe

I'm going to be traveling to Romania later this year for business, and I'm a little nervous about its proximity to the Ukraine and Turkey and all that civil unrest. Is emergency travel assistance/insurance available?

I'm not looking for reassurances about Romania or traveling. I'm curious whether is it possible for me (or my company) to obtain emergency travel assistance services/insurance for this and other trips in the region in the future? If so, how and with whom? I'm not looking for medical insurance, but extraction or personal safety services.
posted by msladygrey to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You can register with your home country's embassy so they know you're there. I have a friend who works for the US State Department and she recommends everyone do this always, even when traveling to completely safe locations.
posted by something something at 9:58 AM on July 31, 2014 [5 favorites]

Your company has some form of liability or indemnity insurance, right? Even if just if someone slips on ice outside your office and sues you for not shoveling more conscientiously? Call your agent and ask his or her opinion on getting K&R (kidnap and ransom) insurance.
posted by Etrigan at 10:06 AM on July 31, 2014

Alerting the embassy you're coming should be fine.

FWIW, I wouldn't particularly worry about civil unrest when it comes to Romania. Their problems are more economic/corruption-related than instability-related. They have some of the property crime you might expect from a country with so many very poor people. More really. If you fall asleep on the train with your stuff not secured to your person in some fashion you may never see it again. And their bureaucrats are at a level of awfulness folks from countries like the US can scarcely imagine. But by and large, it's a friendly country that will probably surprise you by just how not scary and fun it can be.

Where are you going in Romania?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:50 AM on July 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

(I don't mean to make Romania sound like Bogota or anything. The crime isn't that bad. It's not "fear for your life" crime or even "watch out for being robbed!" bad. It's more "turn your head at the wrong time and your bag might be gone forever" bad. Not that bad, really. It's just out of whack when matched against what underrated little European gems many of their cities can be.)
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:57 AM on July 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

This absolutely exists. You are looking for international accident and catastrophic emergency insurance. It's totally common for students who are studying abroad, and there are adult versions too. It's not the same as travel insurance, which covers lost baggage, lost passport, and such (although travel insurance is frequently included); it's more of a "if you die they will mail your body back home" insurance. Morbid, but one must think of all the possibilities.

For example, FrontierMedex or IMG will do you up right. The Dept of State also lists of lots of insurance companies, most of which I have heard of, although cannot personally vouch for.
posted by Liesl at 11:10 AM on July 31, 2014

Response by poster: DirtyOldTown: Oh I know. I'm actually not super worried about the Romanian people and their corruption. Yes, I know about their property crime. I was more concerned about the worst case scenario of civil unrest spill over or if Russia/separatists decide to light up the region. Yes, I know it's very unlikely. But now I'm curious.

Liesl, I'm not looking for emergency medical insurance. Was looking more along the lines of K&R insurance and extraction/protection services. Thanks though.
posted by msladygrey at 2:30 PM on July 31, 2014

I feel ya. I'm going to Istanbul in a few weeks. In the case of Turkey, you have to register for a visa so that the info is kept on file.

I've learned over the years to have the address and phone for your consulate in that country as well as the closest hospital. Read the CDC page before leaving.

Stash a check or two in your wallet if they don't take plastic. Also, call and inform your credit card companies now to tell them about your plans so they won't block your card. I've also found out that checking in with your health insurance can't hurt...I learned that the hard way when I ended up in an obscure ER in a weird country once. Good times.

It's always good to have a little cash on you but leave it in your room for emergencies if your purse or wallet is stolen. Just wrap it up in some socks.

You will be fine, but it's always great to be prepared!
posted by floweredfish at 2:54 PM on July 31, 2014

I used this company on a recent trip to Cairo.


I did not, thankfully, have occasion to test their effectiveness. I also priced out K + R insurance but it is hard to get as an individual as opposed to having your company pay. Very high deductible and/or you need to pay the cash up front, then get reimbursed if you are asked for ransom money.
posted by slateyness at 9:26 PM on August 1, 2014

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