Travel Insurance for Venezuela

Country Risk Code: High

If you are looking for a crime-free country, then Venezuela may not be the best option as the country suffers a high rate of criminal activities. Likewise, various societal conditions make the country unsafe for visitors. In case you have any reason to visit Venezuela, ensure that you have the right travel insurance policy.


Venezuela has suffered a rough and unsteady political path for several decades. There have been a series of violence, civil wars, bloody coups, protests, and demonstrations that have contributed to the country's history. Venezuela is considered a poor country as it has a high poverty level; it's not unusual that some inhabitants earn less than $2 daily.
According to a Corruption Perceptions Index in 1995, the country is also ranked as one of the most corrupt countries; this is mainly as a result of the oil and cocaine activities in the country. Venezuela is significantly known as a route for drug trafficking activities. Drug traffickers heading towards Europe and the U.S usually go through Venezuela, and as a result, the country ranks high for cocaine seizures.

Potential Risks

Criminal activities are not unusual in Venezuela, and the capital Caracas isn't left out. Foreigners are targets of criminals; violent crime occurs in areas with tourist attractions; hence visitors are advised to be alert and cautious of the places they go. Armed robbery, murder, and kidnaps are also common. There is the risk of conflict due to the notable opposition to the current president Hugo Chavez. Border areas are dangerous as there's a high risk of kidnapping, smuggling, cross-border violence, and cattle rustling.
The Columbian FARC and ELN terrorist groups actively operate around Guyana, Brazil, and Columbia border areas; they commit criminal activities, and foreigners are not left out. Criminals also kidnap victims and demand ransoms or sell them to Colombian terrorist groups. Troop movements and border closures occur without prior warning or with short notice due to high insecurity and instability within border areas.
Furthermore, there have been previous violent attacks, including dispersing of tear gas and gun firing during political protests. Protests may occur at target places such as public plazas, business centres, and University campuses. Interior parts of the country are dangerous as there have been cases of criminals using chokeholds to disable their victims. Pickpockets are common, especially in target areas such as subway stations, marketplaces, and large crowded gatherings.
There's also a form of kidnapping known as express kidnapping. Express kidnappings are short-term kidnaps in which the abductors aim to collect money from their victims. They select their victims randomly and compel them to use their banking cards to take out all the money in their bank accounts; they release the victims once they have gotten a certain amount of money. The kidnap usually lasts within an hour with violent threats.
Carjacking is also common as expensive-looking cars are usually the targets. Carjackers try to rob drivers; there have been cases of victims being shot for being resistant against robbery. There are cases of compromised ATMs that have been hacked to steal users' data. Visitors are advised to be careful of the ATMs they use and use ATMs in bright, busy places to avoid being a target for criminals.

Health Risks

Venezuela has limited healthcare facilities in both urban and rural areas. Waterborne and insect-borne diseases such as mosquito and yellow fever are common. Dengue fever, Zika Virus, Hepatitis B are also prevalent.

Travel Tips

Choosing The Right Insurance For Your Trip To Venezuela

Due to the high risk of kidnap by criminals and terrorist groups, you should consider getting kidnap and ransom insurance. Also, check that your insurance makes provision for emergency medical evacuation.