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.


The travel traffic light system currently states that trips to green and amber listed countries are legally permitted if you live in England and Scotland. If you live in Wales and Northern Ireland, you still need to follow the rules for your relevant government.

If your destination of choice is on the green or amber list, you still need to check the latest travel advice and entry requirements for each country you visit or transit through. This is to ensure you are aware of any specific requirements relating to entry and ensure travellers from the UK are permitted. Countries can have their traffic light status changed with short notice and you should take this into consideration when looking to travel. Please check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for the latest information.

The FCDO currently advises against all but essential travel to red list countries. Most insurance policies purchased to cover a trip to a destination where the FCDO has instructed citizens not to travel to won’t be valid, however, some insurance providers may offer reduced cover if you’re travelling for essential purposes. Should you have any queries, please check the policy wording, or contact your chosen provider before purchasing, to ensure the cover meets your needs.

Travel within England, Scotland and Wales is permitted under the current guidelines. However, public health rules and lockdown restrictions continue to vary, including entry restrictions for Northern Ireland. Check the latest guidance from the official tourism boards for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland respectively.

Find out more here

Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions

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 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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