How Does Travel Insurance Work?

Travel insurance is a must have for traveling the world and keeping peace of mind. This applies whether you are traveling for fun or taking a business trip to another area. The benefits of travel insurance include more than just peace of mind, however.

Having travel insurance can save you money on a range of costs in case your trip is interrupted. In the absence of insurance, you could be out of pocket for travel tickets purchased and other expenses that you had prepaid.

Below, find out how travel insurance works, and what it benefits are for the individual traveler.

Types of Travel Insurance

If it’s your first time buying travel insurance, you may be confused at the variety of offers from travel insurance companies. The numerous types of insurance products for travelers is partly responsible for the complexity.

Travel insurance comes in the following broad categories:

  • Trip cancellation – Covers the interruption and cancellation of your trip.
  • Medical and evacuation – Will pay medical costs such as for sudden illness and evacuation to a treatment center
  • Baggage – Covers lost or stolen baggage

You can also buy hybrid insurance plans that cover all aspects of your trip.

Buying Travel Insurance

Before buying travel insurance, you need to determine the right type of insurance for your needs.

If you are traveling close to home, chances are you won’t need medical and evacuation cover. However, if you are traveling to a far off country and engaging in high-risk activities such as sports, injury insurance cover, for example, might be in order.

Once you decide on the right type of travel insurance, check with the major travel insurance providers for your state. Compare multiple providers to make a well-informed selection.

Understanding the Benefits Included in a Plan

When you buy a travel insurance plan, make sure to educate yourself on all the included benefits. This will make sure you know what is available and can make use of the benefit if need arises.

Typical benefits to check out include trip cancellation, lost baggage, and medical assistance. For each benefit offered in your plan, make sure you understand what amount the benefit will provide. Trip cancellation benefits, for example, may cover all or part of your ticket and hotel expenses.

How Travel Insurance Claims Work

When you go on your trip, make sure to bring with you your travel insurance policy credentials. This includes your policy number and any other proof that you are actively enrolled in the policy.

Alert your travel insurance company immediately if the need arises to file a claim. This might be in the form of lost baggage, a cancelled trip, or medical events.

Collect any receipts and documentation that will be necessary to support the claim. This includes, for example, a police report in case of stolen baggage.

Once you submit the claim forms with documentation, the insurer will assess your claim. Check with them after a reasonable time for progress on your claim.

Costs and Fees Associated with Travel Insurance

Costs for insuring your trip depend on the total trip cost. This is true, for example, for vacation packages that cover all your travel expenses such as on a cruise. The travel insurance company might charge anywhere from 5% to 10% of the total trip cost in insurance fees.

Optional add ons such as “cancel for any reason” will cost extra. You may save some money by selecting a higher deductible for your travel insurance plan. Be careful with this, however, as you could end up paying more out of pocket if something goes wrong on your trip.

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Travel Insurance for Cuba

To enter Cuba  you are required to have Travel Medical Insurance . This is often checked by immigration upon arrival in Cuba. If acceptable documentation is not provided, then you will have to buy travel insurance from the local insurance provider -  Asistur S.A.  - which has an office in the immigration area of the airport

US airlines that fly directly to Cuba include Asistur travel medical insurance in the cost of the airline ticket. Your boarding pass serves as proof of insurance. You can verify this information on the airline's website, but should not call the airline to ask because call center staff are usually misinformed.

Coverage Options

U.S. citizens  are required to select the " Special " option.

Prices in USD / day AUD GBP EUR

*   U.S. citizens  are required to take the " Special " option ‡  For travellers  70 years or over , death is not covered, except death from an accident while traveling on public transport. †  Only for accidents while using public transport. **  Supplement of  US$3/day  required for travellers  70 years or over . This supplement is also required for  high risk activities .

The Insurer

Our Travel Insurance partner in Cuba is  Asistur S.A. , a  Cuban  organisation that specializes in various kinds of assistance to foreigners. Asistur Travel Insurance purchased through Cuban Adventures will give you the advantage of dealing  directly with Cuban institutions  without having to contact an agency outside of Cuba to confirm to a Cuban entity that you are covered. For instance, if you need medical treatment or hospitalization while in Cuba, you simply call the local Asistur assistance number and, quote your policy number, and simply follow the instructions given to you by the duty officer. This should result in you receiving treatment and medical services without you having to pay in cash.  Read more  about what to do if you need medical attention.

Asistur has agencies in all the major tourist centers and represents 200 insurance and assistance companies of 40 countries.

ASISTUR Contact Information Prado 208 e/ Colón y Trocadero Habana Vieja Tel : (537) 866-8527 / 8920 / 8339 / 4121 / 867-1315 Fax : (537) 866-8087 E-mail : [email protected]

More Details

ACCIDENTAL DEATH OR DISABILITY The Insurer will pay the Insured Person or his/her Survivor the maximum sum in the event of any injury causing loss of life or permanent disability within 12 months of the injury. In case of an injury causing a partial and permanent disability, the Insurer will pay the Insured Person, also within 12 months of the injury, a percentage of the insured sum according to an indemnity table that is available on request.

BAGGAGE AND PERSONAL EFFECTS Loss or physical damage by rough handling of baggage, fire, robbery or transportation hazards are covered by the insurance policy. If the Insured Person suffers the loss of baggage during transportation by an airline that is a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the Insurer will pay the total insured sum. In any case the Insured Person must present documented evidence to prove that the damage or loss occurred. Loss caused by negligence of the Insured Person is not covered.

HOSPITALIZATION AND MEDICAL EMERGENCIES An amount up to the maximum insured sum will be paid for costs incurred in Cuba for medical and dental emergencies, and for hospitalization and treatment, if the Insured Person becomes ill or suffers injury through an accident during the period of insurance. The Insurer will not assume payment for treatment of a pre-existing medical condition, known or unknown by the Insured Person.

TRANSPORTATION AND REPATRIATION An amount up to the maximum insured sum shall be paid for the accommodation and transportation of the Insured Person in case of an accident or illness during the period of insurance coverage when such an event prevents the Insured Person from leaving Cuba on the scheduled date, or if the Insured Person dies. In the event of death of the Insured Person, cost of burial, special coffins or urns are excluded.

CIVIL LIABILITY The Insurer will pay up to the maximum insured amount if the Insured Person accidentally causes physical or material damage to a third person or his/her properties.

LOSS OF TRAVEL DOCUMENTS The Insurer will pay up to the maximum insured amount the expenses of the Insured Person in obtaining new travel documents in case of loss or theft of passport, ticket or visa.

BAIL BOND A cash advance up to the maximum insured amount will be granted by the Insurer in case a Cuban Court of Justice rules that a bail bond is required as a result of a legal process started against the Insured Person for criminal liability in an accident.

How to get assistance in Cuba

If you require medical attention while you are in Cuba, you need to contact Asistur as soon as you can, preferably  before  you receive the medical attention, or otherwise while you are still receiving the medical attention.  You will not be able to make a valid claim on your insurance AFTER you leave Cuba . Our experience indicates that you would be basically in one of two situations:

SITUATION No. 1 The nature of the problem is  not very serious , and you are able to contact ASISTUR by  yourself . In this case, you call the ASISTUR phone numbers we provide you with on your insurance policy statement. You can try requesting a Call Collect service. Some places in Cuba do not have this service, so you might have to pay the cost of the call, and later you can request a refund in writing and present this in person in the Asistur office in  Havana . Once you are connected to an Asistur Duty Manager, carefully follow the instructions given.

SITUATION No. 2 You have a  serious health problem , the need for treatment is urgent, and you are not able to contact Asistur yourself before you receive medical treatment. In this case, the important thing is that you receive immediate medical attention wherever you are, through the health professionals and/or establishments nearest you in Cuba. However, during the following 24 hours, you or any person accompanying you must call ASISTUR on the phone numbers we provide on your insurance policy statement, and provide all the information relevant to the situation and the assistance you have received. ASISTUR will then contact the Medical Center where you are, in order to control all the phases of the assistance provided to you and to cover the expenses that correspond, according to the terms of the  General Conditions .

Making a claim

If for some reason you receive medical treatment in Cuba and do not contact Asistur, or are unable to contact Asistur at the time or during the course of your treatment, or you have expenses related to the event that have not yet been paid for by Asistur, you can later make a claim at the  Asistur office in Havana .  This needs to be done in person  and you need to allow time for the case to be processed (which may take several days), and still be in Cuba, so as to be able to receive any monies (benefits from the claim) in person.

Assitur will not pay any claims  after you have returned to your country.

To make a claim, you need to present the following documentation...

  • The original receipts  of the medical treatment you received in Cuba
  • Your passport
  • A hand written  letter detailing your claim

For smaller claims, we recommend that the you assess whether completing this process is practical and worthwhile, especially if you need to rearrange your travel plans, and remain in Cuba longer than originally planned, just for this purpose.

Big Planet Adventures Pty Ltd. is a point of sale & is not responsible for processing or assisting in any claims made to Asistur.

General Conditions

DISPUTES & CLAIMS You will not be able to make a valid claim on your insurance AFTER you leave Cuba.  Claims can only be made in Cuba in person , and the claimant needs to be in Cuba at the time to receive any payable benefits. If you require medical attention while you are in Cuba, you need to contact Asistur as soon as you can, preferably  before  you receive the medical attention, or otherwise while you are still receiving the medical attention, for this medical treatment to be covered by Asistur. Disputes are to be settled under Cuban laws.

COVERAGE The insurance coverage is from the moment you arrive in the Republic of Cuba until you leave the country.

RESPONSIBILITY The Insurer will not be responsible nor indemnify for any damage, injury, or sickness caused by persons or professionals that are  not authorised by the Insurer  to give medical, pharmaceutical, or legal assistance.

Like all travel insurance policies, there are some activities and situations for which cover is not provided.

Medical, Transport, and Repatriation Expenses from Sickness or Accident Asistur does not cover expenses for the following accidents and situations: War, civil or military uprising, terrorism, sabotage, strikes, detentions by authority, radioactivity, sea or mountain rescue, chronic illnesses, previously existing illnesses, congenitally recurring illnesses, prosthetics (such as contact lenses, hearing aids, glasses), pregnancy, birth, abortion, pregnancy complication, mental illness, participation in an illegal activity, suicide or attempted suicide, self inflicted injuries, treatment for intentional ingestion of drugs including alcohol, and medication without a prescription, consequences of surgery that was part of treatment for an accident, consequences of a sickness of any kind, accidents from participating in contact sport, motor sport, scuba diving, caving, and mountain climbing. This last exclusion can be covered by paying the  high risk activity supplement .

From Cover for Luggage Loss or damage to bank notes, airline tickets, stamp collections, documents for professional qualification, ID documents, credit cards, cheques, tapes, disks, cd's, documents stored on digital devices, glasses and contact lenses; Loss of objects from being forgotten or left behind, being left in a public place (or a place where other members of the public have access to) without vigilance, breakage from attempted robbery, damage caused by civil or military uprising, strikes, earthquakes, or radioactivity, damage caused by negligence including the leakage of a liquid, damage or loss caused by the confiscation by government authority; Loss or theft of hand luggage.

From Cover for Civil Liability Asistur does not cover you for: Voluntary participation in fights (except in legitimate personal defence), popular movements, illegal acts; Professional or commercial activities such as selling merchandise, or providing services; from animals that are rented or lent to the insured; For intentional ingestion of drugs including alcohol, and ingestion of prescription drugs without a prescription; Piloting boats or aeroplanes, or using a firearm; Responsibilities for damage and loss to a rented or occupied property under your care, control, or custody in any form.

High risk activities

High risk activities, for which the high risk activity supplement needs to be paid, include: contact sports, motor sports, scuba diving, caving, rock climbing, hang-gliding, skydiving, hunting, mountain climbing (using ropes or guides). You can pay this supplement for the  specific number of days  that you will be participating in high risk activities.

Other Companies that provide Travel Insurance to Cuba

Here are a couple of other companies that offer travel insurance for journeys that include Cuba on the itinerary.

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Today, Cuba is more accessible than it has been for many decades, and those who decide to holiday there can expect a mixture of colourful city life and luxurious beaches.

Our guide looks at the importance of having travel insurance when you visit, from the medical care available to Brits in Cuba to travel risks and the extra cover you may need from a policy.

Classic red car parked in Havana street, Cuba

Get clued up on Cuba

Under Obama, the US famously thawed its once-frosty relationship with its embargoed neighbour. During its time under Castro, Cuba’s tourist industry became an important facet of its economy and holidaymakers from the UK, Canada and elsewhere in Europe flocked to its unique shores.

Now, Cuba is more accessible than it has been for many decades, and those who decide to holiday there can expect a mixture of colourful city life and luxurious beaches.

Whether you go to Havana for its cultural experience or simply want to sip cocktails on the beaches at Guardalavaca, you’ll need travel insurance to make sure you’re covered in the event that anything goes wrong.

Importantly, having travel insurance is a legal requirement for entry into Cuba, and you are expected to present confirmation that you have it upon entry.

The currency of Cuba is the Cuban peso (CUP). It's a closed currency so you can't buy it outside of Cuba. Instead, you can convert your money to the peso on arrival at the airport or in some hotels. Make sure it's at a reputable Bureau de Change.

You will likely get a better exchange rate for British pounds or euros than you would for US dollars. Scottish banknotes aren’t accepted, so be aware of that before you travel.

When you leave Cuba, you can get any remaining pesos exchanged back into pounds, however the rate may not be favourable and you may be better off spending it before you go to the airport.

Protect what matters when you go with good travel insurance

Healthcare for brits in cuba.

Travel insurance with medical cover is a requirement for visitors to Cuba. Being treated in Cuba can be expensive with or without insurance, with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice estimating that a stay in hospital can cost £200 per day.

Depending on where you are in the country, medical facilities may be more difficult to get to, and if you need medical evacuation costs could run into the thousands of pounds.

Hospitals are more numerous nearer to Havana, but there are medical centres throughout the country. Try to find out where your nearest one is so that you are prepared. Also contact the insurer as soon as possible if you require any emergency medical assistance.

Most resorts will have some form of medical care available but it may be limited. Since the majority of holidays to Cuba are part of package deals, check with your provider about what provisions for medical care are provided if you’re concerned.

It’s likely that your activities in Cuba will be provided by a licensed operator, but if you want to do something that isn’t run by an officially licensed provider, you run the risk of lower safety standards and invalid cover. This could be very problematic if you had an injury.

Travel risks in Cuba

Being a criminal in Cuba comes with greater-than-average risks, and so crime is infrequent. However, opportunistic thieves may take advantage of negligence such as unattended bags. It’s always advisable to be vigilant against petty crime like this. To find out how if you’re unsure, check our guide to avoiding holiday scams .

Always travel with a licensed tour operator to avoid scams. These are rare but do happen, so for excursions that aren’t part of your tour, try and get advice from your provider or authoritative locals such as representatives at your hotel to point you in the right direction.

It’s not a good idea to stop for hitchhikers. There’s a lot of poverty in Cuba and you may be persuaded to hand over cash to beggars. Generally, it’s a better idea to give things that can be used such as soap, which can easily be collected for free from hotels. Due to the country’s legacy of communism, many citizens are not allowed to gain private wealth, which makes begging for money illegal. Even if it is tempting to help someone who asks you for money, you could be getting them in greater trouble.

You will need a certificate to take any art you buy out of the country. There are some wonderful art markets, not only in Havana but throughout the island, and if you wish to bring it back to the UK then having a certificate is necessary for the Cuban authorities to let you leave with it. These certificates are usually provided by the artists themselves, or the vendors.

The rules about how many and what type of cigars you can take out of Cuba have been changed regularly in recent years, so if you fancy taking some home then make sure you know the limits so you don’t get into trouble.

Environmental concerns

Hurricanes can have a devastating effect on Cuba. The country has organised national response systems that can help control the fallout of environmental emergencies, however the scale and precise locations affected are often unknown until hurricanes make landfall. Keep up to date about weather and, if you should get caught in a hurricane, follow all of the instructions you are given to stay safe.

There can be hurricanes anytime between June and November, however they are more likely toward the latter end of this period. Many storms can hit Cuba without developing into hurricanes and, excepting the truly devastating storms, will often pass without causing major disruption.

Cuban culture

The story of Cuba is one of defiance, revolution and culture. Music, art and dance are focal points of the country and you’d be hard pushed to get far down any street without encountering at least one of them.

The vibrancy and colour of the culture can be at odds with some of the hardship that’s present, and Cuban people can be both passionate and stoic. Cuba has one of the highest literacy rates in the world and education is present in many areas of life. In cigar-rolling factories, for instance, workers are played the news, radio plays and musical recitals.

It’s tempting to try and see Cuban culture away from the confines of your group, where things might feel less authentic. If you are going to do this, don’t take valuables such as your passport with you, stay safe and tell an organiser what you are doing and, if possible, where you are going.

Do I need travel insurance in Cuba?

Travel insurance with medical cover is a legal requirement if you’re visiting Cuba. There are sometimes spot checks on arrival to make sure you have enough travel insurance for your stay and to cover any medical treatment you may need.

If you don’t have or can’t prove you have cover on entry to the country, you may be refused admission or made to buy a new policy from the state’s own tourist assistance company.

Make sure you buy travel insurance that provides the cover you need upfront – from emergency medical treatment, evacuation and repatriation to protection against cancellation, delay and other disruptions, plus lost, damaged or stolen belongings. And take a printout of your insurance certificate in your hand luggage. Check the policy you choose has the right amount of Covid-19 cover for you to travel with confidence.

If you’re in Cuba with a package deal, then there’s a chance you could have a great many activities organised. If you know what they are before you depart then it’s important to check that they are all covered by your policy, and if they’re not, whether you can amend your policy accordingly.

Always check the latest travel advice

Before you travel, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice  for your destination, as travelling against this advice may invalidate your travel insurance.

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how to get cuba travel insurance

Travel Insurance for Cuba

how to get cuba travel insurance

Cuba is a stunning and unique place to visit. Many tourists flock to beautiful beaches like Playa Paraiso or Playa Varadero, but culture vultures will find plenty to keep them entertained in Old Havana and Plaza de la Catedral.

Cuba’s known as one of the Caribbean’s most fascinating islands. It’s a beautiful mixture of Spanish colonial cities, magical time-worn towns and truly remarkable attractions. Whether you want to admire colonial architecture and relax in the jazz clubs of Havana, spend a day in the sun on one of Cayo Coco’s beaches or visit the tobacco farms of Viñales, Cuba is a country that will delight you at every turn.

Before you arrive, it’s important to know that there are two currencies in Cuba. There’s the Cuban convertible peso (CUC) which is used by tourists, and the Cuban peso (CUP), which locals use. You can only convert your money to CUC when you arrive in Cuba, and it’s easiest to do this at the airport or in a large hotel. Before you leave, you’ll also have to convert the currency back into sterling. Although Spanish is Cuba’s official language, English is spoken in cities and large hotels.

Due to a trading ban set by the US in 1959, Cuba has effectively stopped in time and vintage American muscle cars still line the streets. But in recent years, Cuba has opened up to tourism. Cuba is more accessible now than it has been for many decades, and tourists regularly flock to its colourful cities and luxurious beaches.

However you plan to spend your holiday, it's important that you get travel insurance for Cuba to protect yourself against unforeseen events.

Below is some more information about our products, for which Terms and Conditions apply. Please visit the policy information hub for full details.

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Why may you need travel insurance for Cuba? 

Cuba’s entry requirements state that it’s mandatory for anyone visiting the country to have travel insurance. When you arrive, you may be asked to present proof of insurance, so it’s advisable to print a copy of your documents before you travel.

While you’re in Cuba, travel insurance can help protect you. Although Cuba is now considered to be a relatively safe country to visit, pickpockets and thieves still operate near tourist attractions. Thankfully, travel insurance for Cuba can help you towards the cost of replacing items that are lost or stolen.

Similarly, if you fall ill on your holiday, then the cost of medical care can be expensive. A basic hospital stay can cost as much as £200 per day plus medical expenses. And depending on where you are in the country, medical facilities may be difficult to get to – meaning the cost of medical evacuation could be high. But, with the correct level of cover, you’ll have peace of mind.

What does travel insurance for Cuba cover? 

  • Cancelling or curtailing your trip
  • Emergency medical and associated expenses
  • Loss of passport*
  • Delayed personal possessions
  • Lost, stolen or damaged personal possessions*
  • Loss of personal money*
  • Personal accident cover
  • Missed departures
  • Delayed departures
  • Personal liability
  • Legal expenses
  • End-supplier failure**
  • *Not available with Bronze level cover
  • **Only available with Gold level cover
  • Terms and Conditions apply.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Cuba’s an incredibly popular location with thrill-seekers and adventurers. As a result, many holiday-makers visiting this beautiful island choose to snorkel or scuba dive in Maria la Gorda or hike in Viñales. Thankfully, when you choose our travel insurance, you’re covered for a number of sports and leisure activities as standard.

Many sports and leisure activities are covered on our standard travel insurance policies at no additional premium. From 5th May 2021 we will temporarily be unable to offer travel insurance policies to cover while you take part in riskier Category 2 and Category 3 sports and leisure activities like kite surfing and rugby. This is only for the short term, while we make improvements to our online booking process. Please keep an eye on the Allianz Assistance website in the future so you are aware when we are able to offer this additional cover again.   Policies purchased before 5th May 2021 aren’t affected and your cover won’t change.

To understand exactly which activities you’re covered for, please visit the policy information hub , where you’ll find more details. 

For your holiday to Cuba, every member of your family (including any children travelling) will need a Tourist Card. You’ll need to apply for a Tourist Card before you arrive in Cuba, which can easily be done online.

A Tourist Card is valid for 30 days. If you plan on staying in Cuba for longer than 30 days, you’ll need to extend the Tourist Card during your stay. Please be aware that you can only extend it for another 30 days. 

Before you travel to Cuba, you’ll need to make sure you’re up to date with routine vaccination courses and boosters, such as the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. In addition, most travellers visiting Cuba will require a tetanus vaccination, while some travellers will require hepatitis A, hepatitis B, rabies and typhoid vaccinations, according to the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

In addition, mosquito-borne diseases like dengue are present in Cuba, so you should use mosquito repellent and nets during your trip. These will help you avoid getting ill while you’re away.  

Under US law, you cannot travel directly from the USA to Cuba for tourism reasons. This law applies to US nationals and all foreign nationals who are residents of the USA or travelling through the USA en route to Cuba.

If you’re travelling to Cuba from the UK directly, or via other countries excluding the USA, then you’re unaffected by this US legislation.

You can travel directly between the USA and Cuba for 12 permitted reasons, but tourism is not deemed a ‘permitted reason.’ If you’re visiting Cuba for non-tourist reasons, then see the US State Department’s travel advice for Cuba to see whether you’re eligible to travel directly from the US to Cuba.  

When travelling to Cuba, there are some additional things that you should be aware of:

  • Currency: Both Cuban currencies are unavailable in the UK. As a result, you’ll need to exchange English notes into Cuban convertible peso (CUC) when you arrive. You’ll also need to convert money back to pounds sterling before you leave. However, when you convert your currency back, you may not get a good rate. As a result, you should only exchange the money you need.
  • Spending Money: During your holiday, you can use traveller’s cheques, but it’s much easier to pay for things in cash. Although ATMs are available in busier areas, many places are cash only. If you’re planning to use your card while you’re in Cuba, you should check whether your card will be accepted with your bank before you travel.
  • Tipping: Tips are encouraged in Cuba, so you should always try to travel with change or 1CUC notes. Generally, a tip of between 10% and 15% is expected in restaurants, while a porter at a hotel will expect 1CUC per bag.
  • Wi-Fi: You can access the internet via ETECSA hotspots, but Wi-Fi isn’t as widely available as it is in the UK.
  • Customs: There are limits to the produce you can bring back from Cuba. You can bring back 1 litre of rum and up to 50 cigars without paying duty or tax.

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Travel Insurance

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  • Unlimited medical emergency expenses¹
  • Up to £10K cancellation cover
  • 24/7 emergency medical helpline

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*Discount applies to the base price only and is automatically applied to your quotes. Ends 04/12/23. T&Cs apply.

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Heading to Cuba?

If you’re thinking of heading to Cuba, make sure you get the right holiday insurance for your trip. The things you will need to think about are:

  • Travel insurance is mandatory for holidays to Cuba – You’ll be asked for proof of cover when you arrive
  • The cost of your holiday – Because if you have to cancel, you want to know that you’ll get your money back
  • The activities you’re likely to be doing  – If you’re planning anything really extreme, we can offer you extra cover if needed
  • How much your luggage is worth – Because if it goes missing or gets damaged, you don’t want to have to bear the cost all on your own
  • And don’t forget to check the  latest travel advice for Cuba from the FCDO

Our Coronavirus Travel Insurance is rated Superior by a leading UK Consumer Champion. All of our policies will cover you if you catch Coronavirus.

What’s covered with travel insurance to Cuba?

As standard, our policies cover  over 50 sports and activities , so you can get up to more on your holiday. We also offer a range of benefits, some of which include:

  • Medical expenses and hospital benefit
  • Personal accident and liability
  • Cancelling and cutting short your holiday
  • Abandoning your trip
  • Delayed departure
  • Accommodation cover
  • Personal belongings and baggage
  • Personal money, passport and travel documents
  • Legal expenses

There are a number of things you’ll need to take into account before travelling, so we’ve put together a table of facts and other important information to get you started on your trip to Cuba.

Do I need a visa for Cuba?

Travellers using a full British passport will need to apply for a visa to travel to Cuba.

As there are several types of visa categories out there for different travellers, it’s important to make sure you get the correct visa to cover your trip.

If you’re travelling to Cuba as a tourist, then you’ll need to get a tourist card before you can travel. A tourist card is valid for 30 days but can be extended in Cuba for a further 30 days if needed.

Otherwise, you can find the different types of  visas and entry requirements for Cuba here .

What travel insurance do I need for Cuba?

Travellers to Cuba need Worldwide travel insurance . When choosing a policy, make sure you’re fully covered. Think about the cost of your flights and accommodation, as well as your belongings. At InsureandGo, we offer a range of Cuban travel insurance for different budgets and trip types.

How do I prove I have travel insurance on entry to Cuba?

It is mandatory to have travel insurance for Cuba. You may be checked when entering the country. Make sure you have a printout of your insurance certificate with you. If you can’t prove you’re insured, you may not be allowed entry to Cuba, or you may have to purchase a new policy from the state insurer.

What if I need emergency assistance in Cuba?

If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of needing medical treatment or assistance while in Cuba, you or someone on your behalf can contact our 24-hour medical assistance team.

All our travel insurance policyholders can get access to our 24-hour emergency medical assistance team .

Healthcare in Cuba

If you fall ill or injure yourself while on holiday in Cuba, it’s important to know what healthcare services they have available and what they can offer.

Cuba doesn’t have any private hospitals or clinics; they operate a national healthcare system run by the government. They actually have the highest doctor-to-patient ratio in the world, and their doctors are often sent abroad to countries with a great need of medical professionals.

It’s strongly advised that everyone travelling to Cuba has the correct travel insurance , including cover for any  pre-existing medical conditions . It’s also very important to visit your GP at least four to six weeks before your trip to check whether there are any vaccinations that you may need.

Find more details of the  healthcare in Cuba here .

Did you know?

  • Cubans often refer to their country as ‘El Cocodrilo’, this is because the island looks like a crocodile from above!
  • Cuba has a 99.8% literacy rate, which is one of the highest in the world.
  • It is illegal to take photos of military personnel, police officers, or airport personnel in Cuba.

*With a purchase of an AllClear branded policy, you’ll automatically enter the £500 prize draw. Plus, you’ll get 20% off the base price of your policy. Discount does not apply to any premium generated to cover medical conditions and optional extras. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Offer ends at 23:59 on 4/12/23. T&Cs apply.

  • Unlimited emergency medical expenses available on Black level policies.
  • COVID cover rated Superior by a leading independent UK Consumer Champion.

Tour Republic

Cuba Travel Insurance: The 5 Ways to Get It in 2023

No one wants to think about needing travel insurance for Cuba. It’s true, travel insurance may seem like an added expense and an extra worry, especially considering that Cuba is a very safe country to visit.

However, travel medical insurance is an entry requirement imposed by the Cuban government. So, you must present proof of travel health insurance upon arrival on the island. 

Besides, unexpected events, such as illness, injury, or accident, can occur during your trip to the island. Think about it for a minute. For example, the most common health risks for tourists in Cuba are mosquito-borne illnesses , food poisoning and unsafe drinking water , sun exposure at the beach , Covid-19, and traffic accidents (especially if renting a car ). 

This article will provide detailed information about getting travel insurance for Cuba. We also review the best options to purchase Cuba travel insurance and the caveat to consider for US and Canadian travelers. 

Our goal is to help ensure your Cuban adventure is memorable and safe.

Do You Need Travel Insurance to Go to Cuba?

Cuba travel tips - Cuban customs

Since May 1, 2010, the Cuban government has required all visitors to Cuba to bring proof of travel insurance covering medical expenses on the island. Specifically, your health insurance policy must cover emergency medical treatment, hospitalization, and repatriation. 

Another fact you must know about Cuba is that the authorities require travelers to settle any outstanding medical bills before leaving the country. If you have unpaid medical expenses, you must stay in the country until your debts are paid.

Types of Cuba Travel Insurance

There are two broad travel insurance policies for Cuba: travel health insurance, and trip or travel protection. 

Many travel insurance companies bundle these policies into “travel insurance packages” or a “comprehensive travel insurance plan”. However, only the medical portion of your insurance policy is required to visit Cuba. 

Most insurance policies will cover Covid-19 testing, treatment, and protocols that are part of the Cuba travel restrictions amid the pandemic. 

Please, review the details of your travel insurance policy before purchasing to understand what is covered and what is not.

Required: Travel Health Insurance

Travel health insurance for Cuba covers medical and health-related expenses that may occur during your trip, including:

  • Emergency medical treatment: the cost of medical treatment for unexpected illnesses or injuries on the island.
  • Hospitalization: the cost of hospital stays, surgeries, and other medical procedures in Cuba.
  • Emergency evacuation: the cost of transporting you to a hospital or back home in a medical emergency.
  • Repatriation of remains: the cost of returning your body to your home country in the event of death.
  • Prescription medication: the cost of necessary prescription medications.
  • Dental treatment: the cost of emergency dental treatment.

Remember that some policies may have exclusions, such as pre-existing conditions or adventure sports. 

Optional: Trip Protection Coverage

Trip protection insurance usually covers non-medical expenses such as:

  • Trip cancellation or interruption: the cost of trip cancellation or interruption due to unexpected events such as illness, natural disasters, or the death of a loved one.
  • Trip delay: the cost of unexpected expenses, such as meals and lodging, in the event of a travel delay.
  • Delayed or lost baggage: the cost of lost, damaged, or stolen baggage and personal items.

The coverage you need will depend on your specific travel needs and risks. However, the Cuban government does not require trip protection insurance. 

Before getting into the options to purchase Cuba travel insurance, let’s review the basics of getting travel insurance for Cuba if you are traveling from the US or Canada. 

Travel Insurance for Cuba from the US

Due to the US embargo, the options for getting travel insurance for US citizens traveling to Cuba are limited. They include:

  • Non-US travel insurance companies
  • Airlines (included in the flight ticket in most cases)

Further below, we will get into the details of each option.

Travel Insurance for Cuba from Canada

Canadians traveling to Cuba can purchase Cuba travel insurance from a wider variety of sources, including: 

  • Travel agencies
  • Non-US credit cards

Consider that Canadian provincial health insurance plans won’t include direct payments to medical facilities in Cuba or medical evacuation. They will be insufficient to meet the required medical coverage on the island.

As a Canadian, you should get the best travel health insurance you can afford for Cuba, including coverage for medical treatments, hospital stays, and medical repatriation. 

Where to Buy Travel Insurance for Cuba?

Insubuy Travel Insurance for Cuba

You can purchase travel insurance for Cuba from several providers, including travel insurance companies, travel agencies, airlines, credit cards, and the Cuban insurance company Asistur. 

1. Travel Insurance Companies

Some online and offline insurance companies offer Cuba travel insurance. 

We went ahead and requested quotes from the top travel insurance providers to find you the better deal. Because most of our readers are from the US and Canada, we searched for Cuba travel insurance available for visitors from both countries.

Specifically, we gathered travel insurance quotes for a young couple traveling for one week to Cuba who planned to spend about 3,000 USD (the typical trip to Cuba cost ). 

Travel Insurance Companies for Americans Traveling to Cuba

Travel insurance policies issued by US companies are not generally accepted in Cuba. For example, as of January 2023, these popular travel insurance providers in the US won’t offer coverage for people traveling to Cuba:

  • Travel Guard
  • World Nomads
  • Seven Corners

However, a few travel insurance companies claim to offer insurance policies accepted in Cuba to US travelers, including:

  • Trawick International
  • Travel Insured International

The below table summarizes the insurance plans they offer and the starting price for a $3,000 seven-day trip to Cuba for two young people. 

*Prices are per week per couple. They have been rounded out and are subject to change at any time.

Note : Even though we did our best to find the best travel insurance for Cuba, we cannot guarantee that policies from these companies will be accepted on the island. Ultimately, the Cuban immigration authorities will decide whether your travel insurance policy is acceptable. 

Therefore, you should contact your favorite travel insurance company directly to confirm that their policies are recognized in the country. 

Travel Insurance Companies for Canadians Traveling to Cuba

As a Canadian, you can purchase travel insurance for Cuba from a few trusted providers, including:

  • RBC Insurance

The table below shows the type of insurance plan and associated cost for a young couple on a $3,000 seven-day trip to Cuba.

Consider your specific needs and compare policies from the providers above to find the best coverage at the best price. Once again, remember that only travel health insurance is required to enter Cuba. However, it may not cover all your needs. 

2. Travel Agencies

Some travel agencies offer travel insurance for Cuba as part of a package deal, making it easy to purchase insurance while booking your trip. They include online travel agencies or search engines such as Kayak and Expedia. 

You can get travel insurance for Cuba directly from these websites, either at the time of booking or as a separate transaction.

3. Airlines

If you are traveling from the US, in most cases, airlines will include your travel health insurance for Cuba in your ticket price. If not, you can purchase it from them. For example, United Airlines and American Airlines offer Cuba travel insurance for 25 USD per person. This policy is provided by ESICUBA and is valid for 30 days. 

If you are flying from Canada or any other country, airlines generally offer Cuba travel insurance as an add-on after booking a flight. The coverage may include medical treatment, trip cancellation or interruption, baggage loss, and other travel-related risks.

However, Cuba travel insurance offered by airlines may not be the most comprehensive or cost-effective option. It may also have limitations and exclusions. 

4. Non-US Credit Cards

Some credit cards offer travel insurance as a benefit to cardholders, including coverage for trip cancellation and interruption, medical emergencies and evacuation, baggage loss, and even dental benefits.

However, always check the terms and conditions of your credit card, especially if issued by US banks. That’s because US credit cards are not accepted in Cuba . Contact the card issuer directly to verify whether your benefits are applicable on the island. 

how to get cuba travel insurance

If your insurance policy is not accepted in Cuba, or you just landed on the island without travel medical insurance, you will have to purchase it from Asistur . 

Asistur is a Cuban insurance broker that offers travel insurance policies from local providers ESICUBA and ESEN . They provide coverage for medical expenses, including emergency medical treatment, hospitalization, and repatriation. Some policies include travel protection coverage, such as baggage loss and delay, documentation management, and others. 

The insurance policies from Asistur have multiple tiers, and prices start at 1 USD per traveler per day. If you plan to do high-risk physician activities or are 70 years or older, you must pay an additional 3 USD per day. Therefore, the cheapest option for our young couple traveling to Cuba would be 16 USD for the entire week. 

You can purchase Cuban insurance policies on Cuba.Travel , a Cuban government’s website. 

As a local provider, Asistur may be a good option for travelers who want to ensure that their insurance is recognized in Cuba. It’s also the only choice to purchase insurance upon arrival at Havana Airport . However, coverage may be limited and dealing with claims may become a hassle. 

The Best Travel Insurance for Cuba

If your Cuba travel insurance is not bundled into your flight ticket, we recommend purchasing it from Insubuy because:

  • It is the least expensive option.
  • Their insurance plans claim to be accepted in Cuba .
  • You can get a hassle-free online quote. 
  • It allows you to make side-by-side comparisons between multiple providers. 
  • You can purchase your insurance plan instantly.
  • You can buy either travel health insurance, comprehensive travel insurance, or both.
  • They have an Excellent rating in TrustPilot . 

That said, it’s always a good idea to compare policies from multiple providers to find the best coverage for your specific needs and budget.

How Much is Travel Insurance to Cuba?

Travel insurance in Cuba starts at 16 USD per couple per week, but it can cost as much as 244 USD. The final cost will depend on your trip duration, the number and age of travelers, the type of insurance policy, and your insurance provider. 

Protect Your Cuba Vacation

Travel health insurance is legally required for travel to Cuba. Along with the Cuba Tourist Visa , it’s one of the most important things to bring to your Cuba vacation .

Besides being an entry requirement, having travel insurance can help provide financial protection in medical emergencies and other travel-related risks. Although Cuba is generally safe, you are not exempt from these risks. Better safe than sorry!

Remember, you only need the medical portion of your travel insurance to enter the island. You can get it from multiple sources, including non-US insurance companies, airlines, travel agencies, credit cards, and the Cuban broker Asistur. We suggest purchasing it from Insubuy, the cheapest and most convenient travel insurance provider for Cuba.

Are we missing options to get medical coverage for your trip to Cuba? What insurance companies or facts did we overlook? Let us know in the comments below!

Essential Travel Logistics For Cuba

Cuban Tourist Card –  If your  Cuban Tourist Card (a.k.a Cuban Tourist Visa)  isn’t bundled into your airline ticket or travel package, buy it only through  EasyTouristCard . 

Travel Health Insurance –  Travel medical insurance is an entry requirement for Cuba, so you can’t skip it. Travelers can get travel health insurance for Cuba via  Insubuy . Travel protection benefits such as trip interruption and cancellation, baggage delay insurance, etc., are not required.

Essential Items to Pack –  Bring the essential travel necessities that you may not be able to get in Cuba:

  • First aid kit
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Water bottle with filter
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Pin adapter (for Europeans)
  • Travel guide
  • Spanish-English phrasebook
  • Suggested Reading: The Cubans: Ordinary Lives in Extraordinary Times

Read our complete packing list for Cuba .

Find Accommodations –  Find hotels or casas particulares (private accommodations) on Skyscanner , which lists thousands of accommodations available in Cuba.

Book Your Flight –  Book cheap flights to Cuba on Skyscanner , our favorite flight search engine to find deals on flights to Cuba.

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About the Author

Tour republic.

Tour Republic is a marketplace where you can discover, book, and review the very best experiences Cuba has to offer. We are a team of tourism professionals and journalists who have partnered with Cuban entrepreneurs to provide travel experiences that can transform your trip into a life-changing adventure. We also share our profound love for Cuba through in-depth travel guides, myth-busting articles, and captivating narratives. Whether you want to explore Cuba's wonders or understand its intricacies, our blog posts are your gateway to the heart of this extraordinary country.

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