If you've searched Google for private health insurance that covers expats in Iran then you are probably for looking for trusted UK based health insurance companies that can cover your medical costs in Iran.
Living as an expat in Iran you want to avoid any unwanted and unexpected medical costs. In some countries these can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds for very serious conditions.
Our advice when shopping around for private medical cover that covers expatriates living in Iran is to speak to a health insurance broker. Health insurance is incredibly complex and if you want absolute certainty that Iran is covered you should talk with a health insurance broker who can explain which policy providers will cover medical costs for expatriates in Iran and which will not.
There are many advantages to using a broker but the largest by far is that you're using their expertise at no cost. They are paid by the insurer (Aviva or Bupa etc) rather than you so it costs you no extra to use their services.
- Do you reside in many different areas? Some will give you a cheaper policy premium than offers. A insurance broker will be able to advise whats best.
- Do you have a hobby that may invalidate your insurance claim? A broker will know this vital information.
- If you are a couple and one of you has claimed on your policy this year would it be cheaper to separate you both onto two different policies?
- You've lean't you're at risk of developing a certain condition and want to know which insurer offers the biggest amount of cover for it. A broker will know this instantly saving you huge amounts of time and effort.
You can call around every health insurance provider you can find and ask if they provider cover for expats in Iran, however this will be a very time consuming process. Each insurer will ask for your medical history because its not normally a simple yes or not if a medical condition is covered or not.
Its much quicker to speak to one medical insurance broker which will know which providers on the market offer cover for expats in Iran and under what terms they do or don't cover it.
Tourism in Iran is diverse, providing a range of activities from hiking and skiing in the Alborz and Zagros mountains, to beach holidays by the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea. The Iranian government has made concerted efforts to attract tourists to the various destinations in the country and arrivals have increased in recent years.
The government website advises visitors to "dress modestly" at all times, which for women means covering head, arms, and legs down to the ankles. The current US travel advisory (dated Aug 6, 2020) is coded red, which means do not travel. This is not only due to covid but also the threat of kidnapping and arbitrary detention.
Kish Island alone attracted around 1 million visitors in 2012-3, the majority of whom were Iranian, but the area also attracts many non-Iranian Muslims who like to have beach holidays with Islamic style beaches where men and women use separate beaches.
Before the Iranian revolution in 1979, tourism was characterized by significant numbers of visitors traveling to Iran for its diverse attractions, including cultural splendours and a diverse and beautiful landscape suitable for a range of activities.
Since the revolution, the majority of foreign visitors to Iran have been religious pilgrims and business people. In Iran there are many Shi'ite Shrines, the two main ones being Imam Reza Shrine in Mashhad and Fatimah al-Ma'sūmah Shrine in Qom. Each year millions of pilgrims from Iran and other Shi'ite countries visit these holy places. Official figures do not distinguish between those traveling to Iran for business and those coming for pleasure, and they also include many diaspora Iranians returning to visit their families in Iran or making pilgrimages to holy Shia sites near Mashhad, Qom and elsewhere.
In 2013, the number of foreign tourists in Iran reached 4.76 million, contributing more than US$2 billion to the national economy. The strong devaluation of the Iranian Rial since early 2012 has been a positive element for tourism in Iran. Over five million tourists visited Iran in the fiscal year of 2014-2015, four percent more year-on-year. According to a report published by World Travel and Tourism Council in 2015, the size of its tourism industry was estimated as having the potential to create jobs for 1,285,500 and rise by 4.1% pa to 1,913,000 jobs in 2025. Based on the report in the year of 2014, travel and tourism directly supported 413,000 jobs (1.8% of total employment). This was expected to rise by 4.4% in 2015 and rise by 4.3% pa to 656,000 jobs (2.2% of total employment) by 2025.
In October 2018, Ali Asghar Moonesan, the head of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHTO), announced that the number of tourists who visited Iran in the first six months of the Iranian year (starting March 21) rose by 51 percent compared to the same period in 2017.
The 2008 figures from the World Tourism Organization for the origin of visitors to Iran show that building up visitors from the Islamic and wider Asian world would have to start from a low base. Around three-quarters of those entering Iran in 1999 came from Europe. According to the New York Times, unlike most Americans who stopped visiting Iran after the Revolution, European tourists continued to visit the country in similar numbers after the Revolution. This was mainly because the Revolution was Anti-American in nature but not so much Anti-European.
Several organized tours from Germany, France, the UK and other European countries come to Iran annually to visit archaeological sites and monuments. Iran had 21 places on the world cultural heritage list as of August 2017[update], attracting many cultural tourists.
According to official statistics, about 1,659,000 foreign tourists visited Iran in 2004 - although government statistics don't distinguish between tourism, business and religious pilgrims; most came from Asian countries, including the republics of Central Asia, while a small share (about 10%) came from North America and the European Union, including Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, France and Belgium. The most popular tourist destinations were Mazandaran Province, Yazd, Isfahan, Mashhad, Gilan Province and Fars Province. There is undoubtedly great scope for increased visitors from the Islamic world, and possibly also from non-Muslim countries with which Iran is developing business and political links, such as China and India.