Ali in Madagascan hospital


Insurance is compulsory

Travel insurance that provides cover for emergency repatriation in case of a medical emergency is compulsory for all expeditions. Secret Compass cannot legally provide insurance advice nor confirm whether a given policy is adequate. What we can do is point you in the direction of some insurers from whom teammates have purchased insurance in the past. If in doubt about your purchased or potential policy, contact your supplier directly with our minimum requirements checklist (below) and your expedition details.

Travel insurance checklist

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our team members and Secret Compass must receive details on your insurance company, their 24hour emergency contact number, and your policy number, prior to departure. As a minimum, you must ensure that your insurance covers you for the following.

  • Emergency medical repatriation (to your home country): including any associated expenses abroad of at least $500,000.
  • Activities: ensure that any activities carried out on the specific expedition are included (eg. trekking at altitude, horse-riding, rafting etc).
  • Geographical region: check the place you’re going is insured on your policy (often the USA and Canada or areas such as Afghanistan are not insured on general policies).
  • FCO/Foreign Ministry advice: check your insurance is not sensitive to any travel warnings issued by your foreign ministry. In the UK, many insurers will not provide insurance if the FCO advises against travel. FCO advice does not necessarily mean that Secret Compass will cancel an expedition or avoid a certain area.
  • Dates: make sure the period of cover begins at the departure and ends at the return to your home country. Many flights take a day or two and time zones vary. Insurance companies may prejudice claims due to this.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions: disclose to your insurance company (and to Secret Compass).

Suggested insurance providers

  • World Nomads. Often provide suitable insurance policies for Secret Compass expeditions.
  • Campbell Irvine. Where relevant Foreign Ministries advise against travel, they have successfully arranged specialist travel insurance for team members in the past. Call 0207 368 1141 or email Matt and mention Secret Compass. As a broker, quotes may take a few days so attend to insurance matters as early as possible.
  • Battleface. They provide specialist Medical Emergency and Evacuation Insurance for all areas of the globe. This niche policy may not cover other more traditional elements you might expect in a travel insurance policy. Battleface insurance is provided in the UK by Battleface Insurance Services Limited, a UK insurance intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details provided on this webpage are for information only. Terms, conditions, exclusions, and limitations apply. Always read the description of cover contained within your policy to ensure it is suitable for your needs.
  • Travel & General. Often provide suitable insurance policies for Secret Compass expeditions.
  • Safe Passage International. If you are not a UK citizen and you are travelling to an area where the relevant foreign ministry advises against travel, try SPI Brokers and ask for Tina O’Brien, mentioning Secret Compass. They have insured many of our non-UK team members in the past.

Recognised routes

Some insurance companies have a clause regarding ‘recognised routes’, something it’s hard to define. If your insurance policy has this clause, speak to your insurers about the trip to ensure the policy you are considering does indeed cover your Secret Compass expedition. We would suggest that our routes are recognised for the following reasons, although your insurer or their underwriter will have the ultimate say. Perhaps forward the below on to them when discussing or attempting to ascertain if the policy you are considering indeed covers you.

  • The expedition is run by a UK-based company which has researched, planned and developed the route.
  • The appropriate local support, permissions and permits are in place so it is ‘recognised’ locally.
  • It is mapped and there is a fixed start and finish point. The itinerary and route is held by a UK-based operations room and there are regular communication check-ins.
  • The expedition is led by a professional Secret Compass expedition guide.
  • There are detailed contingency, medical and communication plans in place.

Safeguarding your payments to Secret Compass

Your booking with Secret Compass is insured by International Passenger Protection (IPP) Ltd and its panel of insurers. This insurance is only valid for passengers who book and pay Secret Compass directly.