Travel Insurance For A Trip To Chile – Forbes Advisor

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Whether you plan to surf the Pacific or ski the Andes, a trip to Chile is bound to be memorable.

“The diverse landscape of Chile will have you wanting to come back to experience more,” says Scott Adamski, a spokesperson with AIG Travel Insurance.

“From the Andes mountains, volcanoes, beaches, Atacama Desert, rainforests and more, Chile will not disappoint. Tours of Easter Island are a must, as well as a trip to Cape Horn, the southernmost tip of Chile.”

Here’s what you should purchase in a travel insurance policy for trips to Chile, to make sure your trip is memorable for all the right reasons.

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Travel Insurance Recommendations for a Trip to Chile

If you’re planning a South American adventure in Chile, purchasing a comprehensive travel insurance plan is essential to protect your trip investment, well-being and possessions.

It might be less expensive than you think. The average cost of travel insurance for Chile is $160. This is based on travel insurance for Chile trips purchased this year, with an average trip length of 15 days and an average trip cost of $2,236.

Your cost will vary based on the plan you select, but the best travel insurance plans bundle together the following types of coverage:

  • Trip cancellation insurance
  • Trip delay insurance
  • Trip interruption insurance
  • Travel medical insurance
  • Emergency medical evacuation
  • Baggage loss benefits

Trip Cancellation Insurance: Putting Chile on Ice

The best-laid plans can hit unexpected snags. If something unforeseen happens and you need to pull the plug on your Chile plans, the trip cancellation benefits in your travel insurance plan can help.

Trip cancellation insurance reimburses you 100% of any pre-paid, non-refundable trip expenses you lose if you have to cancel your trip for a reason covered by your policy.

Acceptable reasons to cancel with a standard trip insurance plan typically include:

  • Acts of terrorism
  • Civil unrest
  • Death of a close family member, travel companion or business partner
  • Military deployment
  • Serious illness or injury to you, a travel companion or a close family member
  • Severe weather
  • Sudden job loss
  • Unplanned jury duty
  • Your tour company going bankrupt

For example, if your college-age son is diagnosed with meningitis five days before your tour leaves for Chile, you could cancel your trip and seek reimbursement. Because you are canceling for a covered reason, you could file a claim to recover any losses, such as prepaid hotels and non-refundable tours of vineyards.

But your travel insurance plan won’t cover you for all reasons to cancel. For instance, if your daughter is receiving an award from her company and your trip to Chile conflicts with the luncheon date, this is not a reason that will be covered.

“Cancel for any reason” coverage

If you want the most latitude to cancel your trip to Chile, consider upgrading your standard travel insurance plan by adding “cancel for any reason” coverage. Doing so will increase your plan cost by about 50%.

This gold standard travel insurance coverage gives you the flexibility to cancel for any reason, so long as you cancel your trip at least 48 hours before your scheduled departure. As long as you meet the provisions of the plan, you can file a claim and will typically be reimbursed 75% of your trip expenses.

Trip Delay Insurance: See You Soon, Santiago

If you have a stop-over flight on your way to Chile, there’s an increased chance of delay in reaching your final destination. If this happens, trip delay insurance can help.

For example, if your connecting flight from Mexico City to Santiago is delayed 10 hours due to airline mechanical issues, you can turn to your trip delay benefits for some financial help. This can include reimbursement for the cost of a hotel stay, taxi fare and some meals, while you wait for the next available flight.

If the delay causes you to lose prepaid outlays like the private transport you arranged in advance, you can also file a claim for that loss.

Be sure to check the trip delay waiting time in your policy, which may be six hours, 12 or 24 hours. The waiting time listed is how long you’ll have to be delayed before your benefits kick in.

Trip Interruption Insurance: Postponing Petrohué

The last thing you want to happen while enjoying your time in Chile is to receive word that there’s an emergency at home.

If you’re enjoying a day trip to Osorno Volcano and Petrohué Waterfalls and you get a call from your brother that your mother passed away, you may need to cut your trip short and return home as soon as possible.

Trip interruption insurance can cover your last-minute economy fare ticket home. It can also reimburse you for any unused and non-refundable trip expenses you will forfeit due to your unexpected early departure.

Not all reasons to end your trip early will be covered by travel insurance. If the hot climate in Chile is too uncomfortable for you, you can’t rely on your travel insurance to pay your way home early.

Check your policy to see which circumstances are covered. Some travel insurance companies offer an “interruption for any reason” upgrade for more expansive coverage.

Travel Medical Insurance for Illness and Accidents Abroad

Travel medical insurance is highly recommended when traveling to Chile.

Adamski of AIG Travel Insurance notes that your U.S.-based health insurance policy may provide limited or no coverage at all when you’re outside of the U.S.

It’s best to check with your health insurance company to see if any global coverage is available. Also, seniors should know that Medicare typically won’t cover you while you are in a foreign country unless you have a Medicare Advantage plan that offers that coverage.

“While there is excellent medical care available in the larger cities of Chile, it’s likely that your travel would take you to more remote regions of the country,” says Adamski.

If you’re injured or fall ill while exploring, you might need help communicating with the local medical team or—depending on the severity of your condition—require immediate transportation in order to get you to an appropriate medical facility, Adamski says. A travel insurance company with 24/7 assistance services and travel medical coverage can get you the help you need.

Emergency Medical Evacuation

Say you are on a tour of Easter Island and experience a heightened medical issue like a seizure. In this case, emergency medical evacuation coverage could be life-saving.

“Medical evacuations can be inordinately expensive, so making certain that your policy has adequate evacuation coverage could potentially keep you out of serious financial straits,” explains Adamski.

Insurance for Baggage and Belongings

You may be utilizing several forms of transportation during your visit to Chile, so baggage coverage is also important.

“For example, a journey with multiple legs can bring problems related to timing—making it in time for your flight or train—increasing the likelihood of lost or misdirected luggage,” says Adamski. If your luggage gets lost, you can file a claim with your travel insurance company.

Note that baggage coverage is secondary, so if an airline loses your bag, you will need to file a claim with that company first. Also, your bag and its contents will only be reimbursed at their depreciated value. Be sure to save receipts for anything valuable you are packing.

In addition to luggage, your travel insurance plan also protects your personal effects while you’re in Chile. If you’re walking through a shopping district in Valparaíso and your backpack gets stolen, you can file a claim for associated losses.

If this happens, file a theft report with your tour leader, hotel manager or local authorities. You will need to present this documentation when you file your claim.

Coverage for Chilean Natural Disasters

Chile can experience volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis, which you want to keep in mind when buying travel insurance.

“Travel insurance will not cover a known issue or disaster,” says Meghan Walch, a spokesperson with InsureMyTrip, a travel insurance comparison site. “So, if a tsunami impacts your trip, but happens before you purchase a travel insurance policy, you will not find coverage.”

This is why it is important to buy travel insurance well in advance of your trip.

When to Buy Travel Insurance for a Trip to Chile

While you can buy travel insurance as late as the day before you depart for Chile, the best course of action is to buy a policy within 15 days of putting down your first trip deposit. This will give you coverage for a longer period of time without costing any more.

Early purchase can also grant you access to important benefits, like pre-existing condition waivers, and allow you to upgrade your policy with options like “Cancel for Any Reason” coverage.

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