Travellers to N. Korea may not be covered by several insurers

Travellers to North Korea may not be covered by several insurers following the Ministry of Foreign Affair's travel advisory against non-essential travel to the country.

The travel advisory was posted on the ministry's website on Wednesday morning, in the light of recent developments and the unpredictable situation arising from the country's actions.

North Korea conducted its sixth and biggest nuclear test on Sunday, prompting condemnation from countries around the world.

A check with four insurance companies here found that they took different approaches in covering travellers who bought insurance for trips to North Korea.

An NTUC Income spokesman said those who were insured prior to the travel advisory would continue to be covered, even if they still make the trip despite the advisory.

But insurance firm Sompo's TravelJoy policy will stop covering travellers, even if they are already in North Korea and made the trip prior to the advisory.

Both AXA and Liberty Insurance said they would not cover travellers who insist on travelling to the country despite the advisory. But trip cancellations and postponements due to the advisory will be covered, as long as the original date of departure is within 30 days of the travel advisory issuance.

Both companies will also cover travellers already in North Korea who wish to shorten their trips and return to Singapore as a result of the travel advisory.

A spokesman for the General Insurance Association of Singapore said its members are "free to make risk assessments and develop their own products" as long as they observe international sanctions.

So consumers should seek products that suit their travel needs best to ensure that they are adequately covered, he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 08, 2017, with the headline 'Travellers to N. Korea may not be covered by several insurers'. Print Edition | Subscribe