Travel Insurance Cuba

Atmospheric streets, beaches, forests, wetlands and mountains: Cuba offers so much to see and do. Holidays to Cuba can be pricey but be careful not to make any false economies when it comes to holiday insurance.

A policy offering the right level of cover for you and the type of holiday you are taking is a must and could be worth its weight in gold should an emergency take place while you’re far from home. What’s more, you will not be allowed to enter Cuba without it, so it’s vital you find the right cover before you leave.

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Cover for medical conditions in Cuba

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) states that: “The medical facilities in Havana are better than those available elsewhere in Cuba, but it is sometimes necessary to medically evacuate those who require urgent specialist care.

This can be very expensive so you should ensure that your medical insurance covers you for this. If you require medical treatment you will be expected to pay in hard currency; a basic hospital stay can cost as much as £200 per day plus medical expenses.

Cuba travel information

Health

If you need emergency medical assistance when in Cuba, dial 104 for an ambulance.

Alternatively, contact one of the international clinics you will find in the majority of Cuba’s resorts. In Havana, dial 204 2811 (+ Ext 445 for an ambulance). Should you need emergency medical treatment, remember to contact your travel insurer as soon as possible.

Bear in mind that many medicines are unavailable in Cuba so make sure you bring your prescription medications with you. A letter from your doctor confirming your medical condition and the drugs you need to take may also be required at customs.

Anyone visiting will have to undergo health screening when they arrive in the country and anyone showing symptoms of a temperature or infections disease may need further examination and may be referred for medical observation for up to 10 days.

Vaccinations

The FCO Travel Advice pages recommend that you visit your doctor at least four to six weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other special medical arrangements to suit you, your destination or planned activities.

Travellers will need a yellow fever certificate or International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) confirming they have received the vaccine before travelling to Cuba. There have been some cases of Chikungunya virus and Dengue fever so it’s important to take the necessary precautions against being bitten by mosquitos.

Visas

If you’re going on holiday to Cuba, you will need to get a tourist card beforehand. For the latest information and advice about visas, get in contact with the Cuban Embassy.

Your passport should be up to date for the proposed duration of your trip while no additional period of validity is required.

A tax of 25 Cuban pesos is payable upon arrival but this is often included in your flight ticket. It’s a good idea to check with your travel agents before you depart.

You may have some electrical items confiscated upon arrival if they are high power consumers Global Positioning Systems (GPS) must also satisfy import requirements and might be confiscated, to be returned upon your departure.

Driving

You can drive in Cuba with a valid UK driving licence for up to six months from the date you enter Cuba, after which you’ll need to get a Cuban driving licence. If you rent a car, make sure your insurance includes local third party cover. Buses and taxis are often not well maintained – choose a licensed taxi that doesn’t appear to be too ancient before hopping in. Meanwhile, the roads are often poor quality and are badly lit at night. Avoid driving at night when unlit vehicles and animals are further hazards.

FCO travel advice

Petty crime is worth being extra vigilant with in Cuba, particularly pickpockets in the streets and on public transport, theft from baggage and bogus travel agents and taxis around the airports and Old Havana.  Make sure taxis are registered and that you stick to guides supplied by your tour operator.

Take care not to carry more cash than you need and avoid wearing expensive jewellery when out and about. It’s best to leave your valuables including your passport locked in a hotel safe. Items such as mobile phones and laptops are prized by thieves in Cuba.

Although Cuba is currently considered to be safe for travellers, Cuba is a one-party state and freedom of speech is restricted. As such, you will come across a strong police presence, particularly during large public gatherings and political demonstrations.

The FCO’s foreign travel advice pages offer a wealth of information and advice on safety and security in Cuba.

Currency

  • Cuba has two currencies: convertible Pesos (CUC) and Cuban pesos (or moneda nacional – MN) However, a little confusingly, Cubans often refer to both CUCs and MN as Pesos
  • For most tourists, moneda nacional is of little importance as they will be spending in CUC for things like food, taxis, accommodation, national buses, tips etc. However, local currency can be used for things like purchases at the market, street food and local buses
  • The most common places to change money are CADECAs (exchange bureaus) or at a Cuban BFI Bank. Their exchange rates are identical so there’s no need to shop around. Hotels often have CADECAS on their premises but try to avoid exchanging at reception or at the airport as they will generally offer the worst exchange rate
  • In Cuba, cash is king. Credit cards are rarely used except in major hotels and tourist outlets
  • Banks are usually open from 9pm to 2pm Monday to Friday.

Travel Insurance Cuba

For your Cuba travel insurance quote, simply apply online or speak to one of our travel insurance specialists on 0800 033 4902.

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*Based on all quotes given between January 2016 – December 2016