What travel insurance do I need for South America?

It doesn’t get much more inspiring. Whether you’re visiting the Galapagos Islands, taking the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, visiting vibrant Rio, horse riding in Patagonia, or touring Argentina, your South America holiday will be hard to top. But before the fun truly starts, it’s time to get the less exciting stuff out the way, starting with travel insurance…

It doesn’t get much more inspiring. Whether you’re visiting the Galapagos Islands, taking the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, visiting vibrant Rio, horse riding in Patagonia, or touring Argentina, your South America holiday will be hard to top. But before the fun truly starts, it’s time to get the less exciting stuff out the way, starting with travel insurance…

Josh Daniels
From the Travel team
2
minute read
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Posted 28 OCTOBER 2019

Why do I need travel insurance for travelling to South America?

Did you know you’re joining a fairly exclusive group? While 91% of UK adults have travelled internationally, only 8% of us have so far made it to South America.

So why do we need cover? Well, while it may not be the first thing that comes to mind as you daydream about carnivals and coastlines, Inca and Mayan remains or peaks in the Andes, just imagine if:

  • your flights are cancelled
  • your luggage is lost
  • your camera is stolen
  • you become ill, or injured

From covering medical costs, to helping replace lost items – if something goes wrong, travel insurance means you can still enjoy your holiday.

These are just some of the main reasons why people compare the best South America travel insurance options before jetting off.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

Non-essential travel is not currently permitted within the UK before 12 April 2021 at the earliest (check individual regions before travel as they may be different) and international travel is not currently permitted before 17 May 2021 at the earliest (dates subject to further confirmation from the government).

You’re still able to purchase annual multi-trip policies, however, if you choose to travel against The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice and current restrictions, you won’t be covered for your trip, including for essential travel.

Find out more here

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.

The Money and Pensions Service (MaPs) has launched a directory of insurance providers on its Money Advice Service website that 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 travel insurance do I need for backpacking in South America?

If you’re planning on backpacking in South America, it’s a good idea to have backpackers insurance, which is aimed at people who want to travel for long periods of time, often to several different countries. If your trip is likely to include adventure sports and activities, you might also need extreme sports or winter sports cover.

What should my South America travel insurance cover?

How you plan to spend your time in South America will determine whether you need to add to your policy’s existing features.

Fancy trying your hand at some extreme sports? It’s easy to arrange additional cover for especially adventurous activities, just make sure you’re covered for everything from high-altitude hiking to white water rafting.

As far as the basics go, a good South America holiday insurance policy should include:

Medical coverage – most policies include medical coverage, so if you get ill or injured while on your trip to South America, your policy will cover the cost of your care. What’s more if you have any pre-existing conditions, you can easily get coverage that’s specific to your needs.

Your belongings – always check that your luggage is covered for theft or damage, and also what the individual item limits are on the policy. This is especially crucial if you’re bringing expensive equipment with you, like a laptop or specialist camera. More on baggage cover.

Travel problemscancelled, delayed, or missed flights can all be covered by travel insurance, which is handy if you plan on hopping from destination to destination. Delayed bags are typically covered in your policy too, but it’s always good to double-check.

Personal liability – if you have an accident that inadvertently affects others on your trip, personal liability cover helps should you get sued for damages.

Legal fees – you shouldn’t need this, but it’s great peace of mind to know your travel insurance covers you for legal expenses, should you need them.

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