Compare travel insurance for Cuba

Cuba is known for its vibrant culture, rum cocktails and tropical beaches – and its old-world charm feels very different to anywhere else in the world. Having the right travel insurance can help you feel confident about enjoying everything that this unique Caribbean island has to offer. Here’s what to think about when you compare travel insurance for Cuba.

Cuba is known for its vibrant culture, rum cocktails and tropical beaches – and its old-world charm feels very different to anywhere else in the world. Having the right travel insurance can help you feel confident about enjoying everything that this unique Caribbean island has to offer. Here’s what to think about when you compare travel insurance for Cuba.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: please check the latest government travel advice that sets out what you need to do, if anything, before you travel abroad and before you return home. You should also check the latest travel advice and entry requirements for each country you visit or transit through. Travel rules can change at short notice, so check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for the latest information.

Josh Daniels
Travel Insurance expert
5
minute read
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Posted 31 DECEMBER 2021

Do I need travel insurance for Cuba?

Travel insurance is a necessity for a trip to Cuba. Tourists are sometimes spot-checked on entry and you may be asked to prove you have travel insurance for your stay in Cuba and the means to pay for medical treatment.

Make absolutely sure that your travel policy covers you for medical care in Cuba. It should also cover any emergency care and treatment you may need if you’re taken elsewhere (such as the USA), as specialist medical equipment and resources aren’t plentiful.

Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions

If you have a serious health condition, the price you pay for travel insurance is likely to be more expensive. However, there are still many providers out there and you should be able to find affordable cover. Whatever happens, don’t be tempted to lie to an insurance provider, because if you do and then need to make a claim, it could be rejected.

When you declare medical conditions on our website, we’ll only show quotes from insurance providers who will cover all declared medical conditions, with no exclusions. 

MoneyHelper has launched a directory of insurance providers who may be able to provide quotes over the phone if you have more serious medical conditions. Find more information at MoneyHelper or by calling them on 0800 138 7777.

What should I think about when I compare Cuba travel insurance?

Here’s what to look out for when comparing policies and providers for travel insurance for Cuba:

  • Make sure the policy covers Cuba: it might sound like we’re stating the obvious, but many worldwide travel insurance policies exclude the Caribbean (along with the USA, Canada and Mexico). Ensure your policy is fully worldwide or that Cuba is specifically mentioned as covered.
  • Water sports: from scuba diving to paddle boarding, the crystal-clear waters around Cuba are the perfect location for enthusiasts. Make sure your travel insurance covers all your activities. Find out more about water sports travel insurance.
  • Medical care and repatriation: one of the most important considerations for Cuba travel insurance is comprehensive medical care and flights to get you home in an emergency. You don’t want to be left to pay your own way so far from home.
  • Cash cover: the easiest way to pay for things in Cuba is with cash, but as with every tourist destination there’s the risk of pickpocketing. Make sure your policy has enough cash cover to replace your spending money if it gets lost or stolen.
  • Baggage cover: while Cuba is a safe and friendly destination, travel advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) does warn against theft during baggage handling. Make sure you have enough baggage cover for all your possessions.
  • Extreme weather: Cuba’s hurricane season runs from June to November. If a hurricane happens before you’ve bought your insurance, you’re unlikely to be able to make any claims because of it – so buy early.

Do I need a visa for Cuba?

For a holiday in Cuba, you and every member of your family or group – including children – need a Tourist Card. This is valid for 30 days and you can extend it for another 30 once you’re there.

You must get your Tourist Card in advance, either by downloading a postal application from the Cuban Embassy website or via separate companies that make the arrangements for you. Just be aware that there’s a fee for the card.

What vaccinations do I need for Cuba?

To gain entry into Cuba from the UK, you’ll need a valid COVID-19 vaccination certificate or a negative PCR test taken up to 72 hours before your flight. These rules may change at short notice, so keep checking the FCDO advice pages for the latest.

Check with your doctor what other vaccines you need, and check the small print of your travel insurance. Most travellers visiting Cuba will need a tetanus jab and you may also be recommended hepatitis A, rabies or typhoid vaccines.

Mosquito-borne diseases, like Zika virus and dengue fever, are also present in Cuba, so you’re advised to take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes while you’re away.

Any other tips for Cuba?

Here’s a few facts about Cuba that are good to know before you go:

  • Currency: the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC), which was the currency previously used by visitors, was removed from circulation in January 2021. The Cuban Peso (CUP) is now the official national currency in use.

  • Exchanging money: you can’t buy Cuban currency in the UK and you’re not allowed to take it out of Cuba. The general advice is to get CUPs from an official currency exchange, known as a Cadeca. These are found in all the main tourist areas and larger hotels. You can also use ATMs and cards, but check with your bank first to make sure your card is accepted in Cuba. Cards and traveller’s cheques from American banks are usually not accepted.

  • Language: Spanish is the official language, but English will usually be spoken at resorts and large hotels.

  • Internet: WiFi isn’t as fast or as widely available in Cuba as it is in the UK, and you’ll need a prepaid card to access public WiFi hotspots.
  • Tips: tipping is much appreciated in Cuba and it’s worth having plenty of Cuban Pesos to hand.
    • Restaurants: tip 10%, or 15% if the service was particularly good.
    • Taxis: tip 10% if you haven’t already agreed a full fare.
    • Hotels: tip porters, waiters, cleaning staff and entertainers a small sum.
    • Spas and salons: tip 10% to your hairdresser, beautician, masseuse or spa therapist.

For more Cuba travel advice, check the FCDO’s website.

Compare Cuba travel insurance

At Compare the Market, we can help you compare Cuba travel insurance and find the right cover at the right price. It’s quick and easy – so compare today and get a quote in minutes.

Frequently asked questions

When is the best time to visit Cuba?

Being in the Caribbean, Cuba offers a warm, subtropical climate all year round. But the best time to visit is generally during the dry season between December and May. You can expect up to 10 hours of sunshine a day and temperatures up to 30 degrees C. The hurricane season runs from June to November, so make sure your travel insurance covers cancellation and cutting short your trip if you’re visiting at this time.

What is medical care like in Cuba?

Healthcare in Cuba is generally good, although medical facilities are better in the capital Havana than elsewhere. If you do need medical treatment, you (or your insurance provider) will be expected to pay upfront before you leave the country. A hospital stay in Cuba could quickly run into hundreds or thousands of pounds, so make sure you have enough travel insurance to cover medical costs and repatriation.

How safe is Cuba?

Cuba is a relatively safe island but, as with any destination you visit, you should still remain vigilant. The Foreign Office recommends keeping your suitcases locked while travelling to avoid anything being stolen from your bags. And only travel with your tour operator to steer clear of bogus taxi drivers that may operate around Old Havana and airports.

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