Why we don't sell policies to Mexico and other countries in Latin America.

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1 October 2018 Current events and scams
by Craig Morrison

Because there's not much we, or anyone really, can do if you're pinned down by random gunfire, or shot when caught in a crossfire. Too sensational? Let me explain.

Nearly all of the counties of Central America, and too many in South America, are unsafe. What does ‘unsafe’ mean? To us it means basic services such as emergency services, including the police, and the justice and court system, are not effective enough to ‘keep the peace.’ There’s a reason the Wall Street Journal recently called “Latin America the murder capital of the world”: there are more random murders in this region, disproportionate to the total population. Other than a few pockets, like Cancun in the Yucatan region in Mexico, murders, random shootings, gang and drug-related killings, assassinations of politicians, police, and judges, create an environment where ‘dying by violence’ is no longer random. Said another way, it’s no longer unexpected.

Police, corruption and law enforcement continues to be a major problem for these countries.

Even Acapulco, an historically popular and beautiful place to visit in Mexico, is now one of the most violent cities on the planet with the third highest murder rate in the world!

Hills covered in houses in Caracas, Venezuala. One of the most dangerous cities in the world.
Caracas, capital city of Venezuela is one of the world’s most dangerous cities. In 2017 it had a population of 3,046,104 people and 3,387 homicides.


I’ll expand on why we don’t want to sell travel insurance policies for cover at these locations. At Holiday Rescue, we pride ourselves on our ability to engage with trusted, pre-selected, high-integrity, locally-based businesses that ‘come to the rescue’ when we call them to assist you, whatever your current urgent need may be. By ‘pre-selected’ that means we already know the people who own and run these businesses. We never, as a matter of principle, ask for quotes or put out to tender any assistance; it just causes delays in providing assistance to you, as our customer.

There is not much a local emergency assistance company can do, even if by chance they’re in the same city you happen to be in, when you’re pinned down by gunfire or – worse yet – caught in a crossfire and are wounded. Likewise, even if we were able to get people into some of these hot-spots of violence, if they themselves become victims of local violence, they’re not much use to you.

When police are completely overwhelmed by drug and gang-related violence, there’s a slim chance they will give you the time of day, should you need a police report for a theft, accident, mugging, or other event. If corrupt, they may extort money just to give you a police report in the first place.

Vehicle on fire in Caracas.
With so many murders, violent assaults and crime, many countries in Latin America have warnings issued by our government against visiting them.


Because of this level of chaos, we don’t think it’s right to sell a policy for insurance cover in a destination where services we promise (even getting an injured person safely to an airport for evacuation can be challenging), cannot be reasonably provided by us, and our local partners.

If you’re thinking of going to some ‘out of the way’ resort in Costa Rica to attend a surfing or a scuba diving school, have a long, serious think about whether it’s safe, and whether the basic emergency services exist to get you out of there, if it all ‘goes south’ on you.


List of Latin American countries we won’t sell you a policy for:

Costa Rica
El Salvador

However, if you’re intrigued by that area of the world, we can offer you cover at the moment for many others.

List of exotic destinations in the region, that we will sell you a policy for:

Saint Martin
The Bahamas

Old Havana in Cuba
The classic romantic peeling vintage facades and cars of Old Havana in Cuba.

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