Travel Insurance for a Chile Vacation (2023)

Chile is a country full of activities — from stargazing in the Atacama Desert to exploring Santiago or hiking through Chilean Patagonia.

Visitors are currently not required to obtain travel insurance before entering the country. However, the US Department of State recommends purchasing insurance to cover medical expenses and evacuations while traveling. Travel insurance will cover prepaid, non-refundable expenses related to flight cancellations, trip delays, medical emergencies and lost or stolen belongings.

The Chilean landscape is a great setting for an unforgettable adventure in South America. However, it is important to remember that Chile has over 2,000 volcanoes, even though there hasn’t been a major eruption since 2015. Having trip cancellation insurance can protect you from losing money if a natural disaster interrupts your trip.

Below are some of the options available for travel insurance for Chile.

Cancel for Any Reason Coverage

Cancel for any reason (CFAR) coverage is an optional benefit you can add to a travel insurance plan to cancel your trip for reasons not included in a standard policy. CFAR allows flexibility in reimbursing a percentage of travel costs regardless of why you cancel a trip — whether it’s a family emergency or a change of plans.

CFAR coverage is subject to certain limitations when it comes to claiming reimbursement. Many providers require you to cancel a trip within at least 48 hours of your departure to qualify for coverage. Some insurance companies also require you to purchase CFAR coverage within a certain time frame from your initial trip deposit.

Gear Theft Protection

Gear theft protection protects your belongings by reimbursing you for lost or stolen items while traveling. Covering your valuables can provide peace of mind if you bring your top-of-the-line camera to get shots of the Andes or need your laptop to work while away. Travel insurance plans can cover the following high-value items:

  • Phone
  • Laptops
  • camera
  • sporting equipment
  • jewelry

Travel insurance will cover lost or damaged gear up to a limit, which can be as low as $750. Most plans cover lost, damaged, or stolen property if an airline or tour operator is at fault, and some companies offer additional coverage for sporting gear or high-valuable items. Tourists are prime targets for pickpockets in Chile, so try to protect any expensive items while on the streets or leave valuables secured at the hotel.

Medical Emergency Insurance and Emergency Medical Evacuation

Chile has one of the best healthcare services in South America but without insurance, any medical costs incurred while traveling will have to come out of your own pocket. Travel medical insurance can prevent you from spending thousands of dollars if you need medical care while on vacation. While you may have international coverage with private health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid do not extend abroad.

Travel medical insurance can cover you in the event of:

  • Medical emergencies, including injuries and illness
  • Medical evacuation to your home country
  • Repatriation if you pass away while traveling

Some medical travel insurance policies exclude coverage for injuries caused by certain sports or high-risk activities, such as rock climbing.

Rental Car Protection

Many insurance companies include car rental protection in standard travel plans or offer coverage as a policy add-on. You can also obtain insurance from your rental car provider, but it will likely be more expensive. Coverage may include:

  • Collision damage waiver and theft protection
  • Tire and windshield protection
  • Roadside protection
  • Personal effects

Many rental companies in Chile will not allow vehicles to be taken into Peru or Bolivia due to high incidents of car theft. If you are planning a trip across multiple South American countries, it is best to arrange a rental in each individual country.

Trip Cancellation Insurance

Trip cancellation insurance is included in most trip insurance plans and reimburses up to 100% of prepaid trip costs if your trip gets cancelled. Generally, you can qualify for reimbursement if your trip is canceled due to the following reasons:

  • Hospitalization or illness
  • Death of the family member
  • Dangerous weather conditions preventing departure
  • International or domestic terrorism
  • Legal obligations, such as jury duty or military service

You can opt for CFAR coverage if you prefer more flexibility with trip cancellations.

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