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Preparing for Travel in South America: Securing Adequate Travel Insurance

Traveling in South America can provide experiences that you will remember for a life time. Most people are aware that it is important take adequate time to prepare properly for their first trip to a South American country, especially if previous travel has been limited to Europe. There is a lot of easily accessible advice on most issues, such as security and receiving adequate vaccinations before travel. However, many people still pay little attention to travel insurance provision. While established providers of travel insurance like Santander travel insurance will generally offer comprehensive packages, it is still important that you thoroughly check certain aspects of the cover, especially if you are trying to keep costs down. Here we will take a brief look at some of the most important issues when it comes to arranging suitable travel insurance for a visit to Latin America.

Suitable medical cover is of course important wherever you travel, but when it comes to travel in Latin America, many locations off the beaten track can offer only basic medical treatment. This means that you need a travel insurance policy that covers the cost of repatriation back home if you are unlucky enough to pick up a serious illness or injury during your travels. To put this in perspective, the cost of an air ambulance from the East coast of the U.S.A. to the U.K. can cost up to £45,000, and so a similar journey from a (more distant) South American location may cost a comparable amount. In short, medical cover is not something that you try to economise on when shopping around for travel insurance.

If you are planning to visit certain areas of countries like Colombia, you must ensure that kidnap cover is included in your travel insurance policy. While the best course of action is to check the current security advice with the relevant governmental department of your home country before setting off, many understandably wish to explore without avoiding too many areas. If this is your plan, kidnap cover should simply be another element of your thorough preparation.

Make sure that the travel insurance policy covers the cost of travel ticket cancellation, especially if you are planning extensive touring. As well as the not unlikely event that a service is cancelled, or you miss out on a planned journey due to a prior delay, you may need to cut short your whole trip for a variety of reasons. Getting the travel insurance cover that will provide funds for emergency travel – for whatever reason – will not come cheap, so you can forget the budget end of the market. You must be very careful when checking out the provisions regarding this issue, and make sure that the cover extends to a change of travel plans for any reason. Some policies only pay out if you can prove that the change in travel plans was due to factors entirely out with your control, and the definition of such circumstances can be pretty tight. You need to spend some time scrutinising this one, and don’t be put off asking your travel insurance broker as many questions as you require to have absolute clarity on this important point.


Travelling also means extensive moving around. If you have had ankle, knee or back injuries in the past, adventure travel might cause pain or even repeat injury. This problem can be solved by fitting a specialized orthotic brace that would prevent from too much strain in your back or lower limbs. If the injury is received while travelling, certain types of insurance might even cover a custom made orthotic device

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