Compare travel insurance – Rio de Janeiro

Whether you’re going for Carnival (pronounced CAHR-NAH-VAHU), Copacabana beach or Christ the Redeemer, Rio is an excellent holiday destination and one of the most breathtaking places on the planet. 

But before you go, it's worth getting prepared. Travel insurance is recommended, of course. But here are a few other tips you should think about.

Whether you’re going for Carnival (pronounced CAHR-NAH-VAHU), Copacabana beach or Christ the Redeemer, Rio is an excellent holiday destination and one of the most breathtaking places on the planet. 

But before you go, it's worth getting prepared. Travel insurance is recommended, of course. But here are a few other tips you should think about.

Josh Daniels
From the Travel team
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Posted 18 NOVEMBER 2019

Compare travel insurance – Rio de Janeiro

Yes, it’s a very good idea. When visiting cities like Rio, travel insurance is invaluable. Make sure the policy you choose covers the loss and theft of everything you’re taking with you, like valuables and cash. Medical cover is also recommended. And look out for policies that have emergency hotlines included, just in case you need any advice while you’re away.

Always make sure that your travel insurance includes emergency care and flights home too – it’s better to be safe than sorry.


Following the UK’s most recent national restrictions, you can only travel internationally or within the UK if you're legally permitted to do so while the UK is under full lockdown restrictions.

Non-essential travel is not currently permitted within the UK before 12 April 2021 at the earliest and international travel is not currently permitted before 17 May 2021 at the earliest. Any insurance for travel before these dates is likely to be invalid. This means that, unfortunately, we’re unable to provide any new single trip price comparisons for UK policies with a start date prior to 12 April 2021 and any single trip comparisons for international policies with a start date prior to 17 May 2021
You’re still able to purchase annual multi-trip policies, however, if you choose to travel against FCDO advice and current restrictions, you won’t be covered for your trip.

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. See latest FCDO advice for further information.

Any insurance policy purchased to cover a trip to a destination where the local authority, or the FCDO, has instructed citizens not to travel, will not be valid.

For more information, please see our coronavirus and travel insurance page.

Until then, stay safe.

Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions

Our panel includes insurance providers who quote cover for all medical conditions declared on our website, with no exclusions.

On its Money Advice Service website, The Money and Pensions Service (MaPs) 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 the Money Advice Service or by calling the British Insurance Brokers’ Association on 0370 950 1790.

What will travel insurance cover for Rio de Janeiro?

Look for cover including:

  • medical care – this is key in any travel insurance policy. This cover may protect you should you or your family need access to health care while in Rio de Janeiro. The policy may also include repatriation back to the UK should you be too ill to depart at your scheduled time
  • flight cancellations and missed connections – cover for things like a missed connection isn’t included in all policies, so if you want to be covered for this, make sure you check the policy T&Cs
  • damage, loss or theft of your luggage – this is valuable given the amount of stuff we take with us on holiday, including our phones, laptops, tablets and cameras, as well as our clothes. Your travel insurance may cover the cost of replacing items if they are lost, damaged or stolen. Always read the policy details to check on limits, including those for single items, to make sure they are sufficient
  • if you have any pre-existing medical conditions, you’ll need to disclose them to your insurance provider,
  • otherwise you may invalidate your cover
    holiday cancellation cover – pay particular attention to these T&Cs as different insurance providers will cover different reasons for cancellation. Your travel insurance may also provide cancellation cover in the event that you have to cancel your holiday due to illness or jury service. This could ensure you get your money back. Just make sure the level of cover is sufficient to cover the cost of your trip

What else should I consider when I choose my travel insurance?

If you’ve got a bit of a sporty streak, double-check to make sure your travel insurance provides specialist cover, such as:

Do I need a visa for Rio de Janeiro?

No. British tourists can normally enter Brazil without a visa. You’ll need to be able to demonstrate that you’ve enough money for the duration of your stay and can provide details of your accommodation and evidence of return or onward travel. 

Make sure your passport is valid for six months from the date of entry into Brazil and is stamped. If it isn’t, you may be fined on departure. Keep your immigration landing card, as you’ll need it when you leave. Lose it and you could be fined.

What else should I think about if I’m going to Rio de Janeiro?

Here are a few more travel facts about Rio de Janeiro to help you enjoy your trip:

  • crime: the crime rate in the city is high, protests are common and can spring up without much warning, these can be violent. So, it’s sensible to be extra vigilant when you’re exploring crowded areas and try to avoid any demonstrations that take place (the local media and local authorities should be able to advise on these)
  • safety: remember to always keep your valuable items, like your passport, jewellery and any spare cash, locked in your hotel safe. It’s also a good idea to avoid travelling around the city on your own, especially at night. Travel with friends and use taxis, instead of public transport
  • daytime hours: for the most part, the city centres and big tourist attractions are open during the day, so plan your excursions around daytime hours
  • zika virus: this mosquito-borne virus has been linked to cases of microcephaly, a birth defect that causes an abnormally small head and problems with brain development. So, if you’re pregnant, or thinking about getting pregnant, it probably makes sense to skip a visit to Brazil for the time being, as mosquitos are common in the area. If you’re not sure, have a chat with your doctor
  • don’t drink tap water: even locals don’t drink it – you’ll easily find bottled water everywhere
  • tipping in restaurants: A "servico" 10% charge is often added to the bill. It's customary to pay, but you’re not legally required to.

Where can I compare travel insurance quotes?

We can help make sure you’re covered for your exciting adventure to Rio de Janeiro. We just need to ask you a few questions before searching and comparing dozens of travel insurance companies for you to choose from.

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