If you’re traveling to Cuba, you might be happy to hear that entry into Cuba no longer requires proof of medical insurance. However, travel eventualities don’t come with warning labels. Whether you are a seasoned or first-time traveler, travel insurance is a small price to pay for peace of mind while touring a foreign country.
International travel insurance can be purchased in a variety of flavors and portions. From flight delays to minor accidents to lost and stolen belongings, you can choose and customize your coverage to suit your needs.
Travel Insurance Options
In general, Cuba is considered a safe place for travelers. (Be warned, though, that petty thievery is common and amenities and infrastructure, very basic.) With that in mind, what kind of travel insurance should you consider for travel to Cuba?
- Flight delays, cancellations, and related expenses: Should you have to cancel your trip, change your flight, or bear hotel and other expenses due to delayed or cancelled flights, trip cancellation insurance is a good idea. In a recent incident (January 2016), a group of travelers on a charter tour to Cuba were stranded for 13 hours at the airport. Their compensation: a meal voucher, a future travel voucher for $150 + use of the VIP airport lounge for some senior passengers and families with children. Remember, not all airlines compensate travelers for lost time and money.
- Medical Emergencies (within Cuba and back home): The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises travelers to Cuba to take precautionary measures against typhoid and Hepatitis A, both of which are communicable through contaminated food or water. If you plan on traveling through rural parts of Cuba and spending time indulging in culinary excursions, medical insurance can protect you if you ever need to be hospitalized with due to emergency medical afflictions. Such insurance often covers all or some portion of the cost of transportation by ambulance, medical care in a facility, as well as evacuation costs to your home country. Keep in mind, though, that medical insurance will not cover your costs if you have undisclosed pre-existing conditions. Special insurance plans at a higher cost are available for those with pre-existing conditions.
- Lost Baggage: Misplaced and/or lost baggage rank amongst international travelers’ top peeves against airlines. Depending on the amount pre-determined by your policy, travel insurance can step in to compensate you for these griefs.
- Theft, and loss of goods: Pick-pocketing is the #1 crime in the streets of Cuba. Bag/purse-snatching and pick-pocketing are not life-threatening crimes. However, they could deprive you of valuable documents, your passport, or cash. Travel insurance can protect you against such financial loss.
Travel Insurance Components
There are many options for travel insurance purchase. As with any purchase and new adventure, do your research and make your decisions based on the areas where you need most cushioning.
Typical quotes for basic travel insurance plans online are well under $200 for a month-long (30 days) trip valued at $5,000.
A summary of travel insurance benefits and coverage include:
- trip cancellation ($2,500)
- trip interruption ($2,500)
- emergency medical ($10,000)
- emergency medical transportation ($50,000)
- baggage loss/damage ($500)
- baggage delay ($200)
- travel delay ($300)
- and 24-hour hotline assistance
Travel insurance for a week-long trip can be under $50. It is important to remember such coverage only kicks in when “certain conditions are met” as set forth in the policy. However, if you want to be able to cancel your trip for any reason (CFAR), it is available for purchase as an add-on to a basic travel insurance policy.
insuremytrip.com is a travel insurance comparison site of 28 top providers. The site combs through available plans finding the right travel insurance provider with the best coverage for your trip. insuremytrip.com also offers 4 guarantees (Best Plan, Best Price, Money Back, & Error-Free) so you will have some peace-of-mind in case anything unfortunate happens on or before your trip.
Tourist Travel to Cuba is still in its nascent stages. Rules and regulations are constantly changing and evolving. Systems down or bad weather can cause delays and missed flights but your trip will go on without you. Do yourself a favor and protect against the unknown by purchasing a basic travel protection plan for your next trip.
Have you ever had to use travel insurance on a trip? Share your experience in the comment section below.
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