Travel insurance, obligatory ?
Replies: 40 - Last Post: Oct 3, 2012 11:03 AM Last Post By: poshmcdoo
Sep 25, 2012 6:47 AM
Travel insurance, obligatory ?We're visiting Cuba for a wedding next spring and the bride has informed us that all visitors to Cuba are obliged to have full travel/medical insurance, in fact, that the immigration are liable to ask to see it before allowing entry. Can anyone comfirm or deny this ?
Sep 25, 2012 8:39 AM
Sep 25, 2012 9:09 AM
Sep 25, 2012 9:20 AM
3Yes .. it is necessary to have travel insurance .. I have been to Cuba 4 times, most recently in Feb 2012. I have been asked, at immigration, prior to entry into Cuba, for proof of travel insurance, the last two times.
Sep 25, 2012 9:23 AM
Sep 25, 2012 11:09 AM
Sep 25, 2012 4:55 PM
6A slight clarification - it is specifically medical insurance - not general travel insurance that proof of may be requested on arrival.
The following information appears on the websites of Cuban Consulates/Embassies.
Please note this line: "The traveler who is checked when arriving to the country, should show the policy, certificate of insurance or travel assistance card, which is valid during the stay in Cuba."
Most non-USA travelers will already have appropriate insurance either in the form of one-off purchased travel insurance, via their employer or bank via a credit/debit card account. It is important to check that the particular medical IS VALID IN CUBA. No USA linked company will be valid.
Sep 25, 2012 6:01 PM
7Just another take, I am a US citizen and have been to Cuba 15 times since the law went into effect. I've never been asked not has anyone I have been traveling with. If asked, you can buy insurance at a kiosk in the immigrations lobby for $3.50 per day.
Sep 25, 2012 6:08 PM
Sep 25, 2012 7:41 PM
9I'm not sure why anyone would suggest it's targeted at those from the US. That is not what I have been hearing here. It may be partially correct inasmuch as it would seem to be, as are ALL such restrictions, aimed at returning Cuban-Americans, more than anyone else.
Like chef, I'm an American and have never been asked about it. 18 trips.
As with any number of other "regulations" regarding Cuba, it's a crap shoot. Anyone pretending to have absolute knowledge of such a mercurial thing has a chink in their crystal ball they are unaware of, methinks.
Sep 26, 2012 4:59 AM
10Crikey, seems like I've opened a can of worms here !
But if we can buy it at the airport ( Havana ? ), then presumably, we can just wing it and if we are unlucky enough to get asked for it, plead 'dumb gringo', and buy it on arrival ?
Sep 26, 2012 5:10 AM
11Why would one travel without medical insurance?
Seeing that, I would think, USA insurers would not cover Cuban expenses the Cuban insurance obviously has a target.
The Cuban insurance is so well priced I would buy it just to avoid having to deal with a third party.
Sep 26, 2012 5:35 AM
12I have been asked twice for travel insurance. I guess it all boils down to who you get in the immigration check. Last time i got the immigration officer from hell, she sent half of the people before me in the line back out.
She desperately tried to pin anything to me as well, but since i knew how the immigration could be i had all of my bases covered, so she ended up sending me in with a grunt that i weren't a "real tourist". (whatever she meant be that.. crazy woman, in every other country she would been fired on the day for her behavior).
Sep 26, 2012 7:05 AM
13Have made about 15 trips to Cuba and have only been asked when I went to renew my visa after 90 days and last year when I went to renew my family visa. Never in Jose Marti International. When asked at immigration in Nueva Gerona, I showed them my BC Care card and the brochure that explains out-of country coverage. I have also bought the Cuban coverage when it was only $2.50 per day. I believe its the only insurance that will pay for medical treatment on the spot in Cuba. All other coverage will require that you submit your claim when you get home.
I've had two personal experiences with this. About 7 years ago in Isla de la Juventud my friend dislocated his shoulder. WE went to the local emergency room at the hospital for treatment. THey x-rayed the shoulder, reset it and taped him up and re x-rayed it after it was reset. We were there about 2 hours. As we were getting ready to leave an administrator presented us with a bill for $675 which between us we did not have with us. We returned to our casa to get the money and paid the cash. My friend had a gold credit card VIsa and was fully reimbursed AFTER he got back to Canada. Last year in Holguin I was treated for knee problems, x-rayed and a cast was put on. The bill was $75 and had to be paid there and in cash. I had no insurance at the time.
Sep 26, 2012 11:16 AM
14I think your plan is a good one, baba, but at $2.50/day it's hard to argue against it. Like all forms of insurance, it is not likely you will ever need it, but will feel foolish if a situation arises where you do.
I have been to a few hospitals for minor issues and always in the company of Cuba friends. I was never asked to pay for anything but was told dropping off some tasty treats was customary there. Oddly, what was recommended for the dental clinic where they lanced an abscess for me............Pastries !!! Es Cuba, no?
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