Trying to decide whether you need travel insurance for Nigeria? Or trying to find the best Nigeria travel insurance?
As a travel blogger who travels the world full time, I know that sorting out travel insurance can be a difficult issue. I struggled with this issue when I went to Lagos, Nigeria in late 2018 for my friend’s traditional wedding (check out my awesome list of things to do in Lagos Nigeria or my guide to where to stay in Lagos by the way).
There are so many travel insurance options out there and it can be difficult to find the best policies for your circumstances. Plus, of course, you don’t want to overpay for Nigeria travel insurance.
To help you out I wrote this quick guide that will cover the following topics:
- Is Nigeria safe for travel?
- Do you really need travel insurance for Nigeria?
- What should you look for in a Nigeria travel insurance policy?
- What are the best companies for Nigeria travel insurance?
Don’t have time to read this whole guide? That’s cool. Here’s a quick summary of the high points:
Quick Answer & Summary
While every situation is different and you have to make your own call, here are the main points I make in this article:
- Nigeria is actually relatively safe for travel (especially in the areas most visitors are likely to go to), though there are still risks that make travel insurance sensible.
- The most important thing I looked for in a Nigeria travel insurance policy is emergency medical and evacuation coverage.
- You might already have some minimal international travel insurance coverage through your credit cards, your home or health insurance policies, or your employer. Be sure to check.
Pandemic Update: Given current world events, the case for Nigeria travel insurance is stronger than ever. Unfortunately, many insurers have exclusions that make buying travel insurance right now super tricky. I highly suggest checking out my Consumer Guide to Travel Insurance For Coronavirus for a deep-dive into these issues.
Need to quickly buy a Nigeria travel insurance policy? Here are two companies I suggest:
- TravelInsurance.com – A great site for instantly getting a quote from hundreds of companies (works like a hotel booking site, with reviews, etc.).
- World Nomads – The company I personally used for my Nigeria travel insurance.
Ok, now that we’ve got the quick answer out of the way, let’s dive right in to a more detailed guide to whether you need travel insurance for Nigeria:
Is Nigeria Safe for Travel?
The short answer is that, yes, Nigeria is actually pretty safe for travelers provided you aren’t traveling to the north and north-eastern part of the country (most travelers won’t have a need to go there) and are exercising reasonable travel precautions as you would anywhere else.
If you are like most travelers to Nigeria and you’re just going to the main cities like Lagos and Abuja, or along the southern coast, you should find Nigeria to be as safe or even safer than many popular travel destinations on the continent like South Africa and Kenya.
Still, there are some things to note about travel safety in Nigeria:
- You should read the latest travel advisories from the US State Department and UK Foreign Office, but do be aware that these advisories are notoriously over-sensationalized for practically every country (not just Nigeria).
- Avoid the north and especially north-eastern part of the country, where most countries strongly discourage travel due to strife with militants and Boko Haram.
- LGBT travelers should exercise caution as the country is still behind the times on gay rights.
Most travelers to Nigeria experience the wonderful country without any problems. And the most likely type of crime you’d experience in Nigeria is just common petty crime such as robbery or theft. Actually, your biggest risk is probably getting into an accident on Nigeria’s crazy roads:
Still, travel insurance can provide some extra peace of mine so let’s talk about how travel insurance can help protect you on your Nigeria trip:
Travel Insurance Nigeria – Do You Really Need It?
While I personally chose to buy travel insurance for my Nigeria trip, it’s not an open and shut question for everyone (as travel insurance is not mandatory for Nigeria). I mean, I did spend a lot of money on my insurance policy and I never actually used it (though I definitely don’t regret buying it).
The main reason you might not need to buy a travel insurance policy for Nigeria?
You might already have sufficient coverage through other sources like:
- Travel medical insurance through your employer (especially if visiting on a work trip)
- Your health insurance back home (though many don’t include international travel medical insurance)
- Limited international travel insurance through credit cards, homeowners’ policies, or other insurance policies you already have.
Also, as I wrote in detail on my post about travel insurance for Mexico, one problem with most international travel insurance policies is that they come loaded with a ton of benefits that aren’t really that great of a value.
Things like trip delay coverage often aren’t super useful because if your flight is delayed most airlines or common carriers are going to cover you anyway. And while trip cancellation coverage can be helpful, unless you get a “Cancel for Any Reason” policy (CFAR), read the fine print carefully as “trip cancellation insurance” usually is pretty limited in what it will actually cover.
So what should you be looking for instead? Read the next section to find out:
What Should You Look for in a Good Nigeria Travel Insurance Policy?
Insurance makes sense when it covers a loss that would be too much for you to cover yourself if the risk you’re insuring happens.
That’s why flood and fire insurance are really important, since they could totally destroy your whole home. It’s also why extended warranties on kitchen appliances are usually a bad deal, since you can probably afford to replace that microwave if it breaks.
Applying that same logic to travel insurance, I personally think that many advertised benefits just aren’t that valuable. Things like lost or delayed baggage protection or trip delay protection don’t seem like great values because, unless you’re just carrying a ton of valuables in your bags, having a lost bag or delayed trip probably won’t financially ruin you (even if its a cheap flight, the airline will probably cover you).
On the other hand, here are some risks that I definitely think are worth insuring:
- Emergency medical expenses
- Emergency medical evacuation
- Repatriation of remains
- Car rental insurance
These are risks that involve very losses if they actually happen, and for that reason I personally think it makes sense to buy insurance for them. That’s especially true for medical expenses and evacuation in Nigeria, where healthcare system is still developing.
What are the Best Companies for Nigeria Travel Insurance?
I have spent a lot of time looking at different insurance companies, and there are three that really stand out from the rest in my opinion:
The best site for comparing policies.
TravelInsurance.com isn’t actually isn’t a travel insurance company, but rather a website that lets you search for quotes from hundreds of travel insurance companies in just a few seconds.
It’s great because you can easily compare rates and coverages and even see reviews for each of the policies offered.
What I bought for my trip.
I’ve been a long-time customer of World Nomads. I’ve used them for my annual travel insurance policy when I spent a year traveling around the world. I used them for my Thailand travel insurance. And I used them again for my trip to Nigeria.
They offer simple and easy quotes, they cover more activities than a lot of other companies, and they make it super easy to extend your coverage if your trip lasts longer than expected.
Conclusion: Get Ready for Nigeria!
That’s it for this quick guide to buying travel insurance Nigeria.
Have any questions? Just drop me a line in the comments!
Enjoy your trip to Nigeria. It’s a really fun and vibrant country and I’m sure you’re going to love Nigeria!