Embarking on an adventure to the captivating island nation of Cuba necessitates meticulous preparation, with securing appropriate travel insurance being an indispensable prerequisite. Contrary to popular belief, this requirement is not merely a recommendation but a stringent obligation imposed by Cuban authorities. All visitors, regardless of their country of origin, must furnish proof of comprehensive insurance coverage to gain entry into the nation. Failure to comply with this mandate can lead to unexpected complications, potentially jeopardizing your long-awaited journey.

Decoding the Cuban Insurance Conundrum

While the Cuban government’s insistence on insurance coverage may initially seem perplexing, it serves a crucial purpose. By ensuring that visitors possess adequate insurance protection, the nation safeguards against potential financial burdens that could arise from unforeseen medical emergencies or accidents during their stay. This proactive measure not only benefits travelers but also alleviates strain on Cuba’s healthcare system, allowing for a more seamless and enjoyable experience for all.

As seasoned travel guides and locals intimately acquainted with the nuances of Cuban travel regulations, we have navigated the intricacies of insurance requirements for years. Our expertise in this domain positions us as reliable advisors, capable of guiding you through the process with ease and efficiency. In this comprehensive guide, we aim to demystify the complexities surrounding travel insurance for Cuba, equipping you with the knowledge and tools necessary to embark on your journey with confidence and peace of mind.

The Essentials: Comprehensive Medical Coverage

While Cuba’s entry requirements do not explicitly specify the need for travel insurance, they mandate that visitors possess comprehensive medical insurance coverage for the duration of their stay. This distinction is crucial, as it highlights the primary purpose of securing insurance – ensuring access to adequate healthcare services in the event of an emergency or unforeseen medical situation.

It is important to note that relying solely on private health insurance from your home country may not suffice, as domestic healthcare plans rarely extend coverage to international travel, let alone provide the specialized protection required for travel to Cuba. Consequently, the most viable and recommended option is to obtain a travel insurance plan that explicitly covers medical expenses incurred within Cuba.

Recommended Providers: Trusted and Reliable

Given the complexities surrounding insurance coverage for travel to Cuba, finding reputable and trustworthy providers can be a daunting task. However, through our extensive experience and research, we have identified a select few companies that consistently deliver reliable and comprehensive travel insurance solutions tailored to the unique requirements of Cuba.

Visitors Coverage

Visitors Coverage stands as a prominent name in the industry, boasting nearly two decades of experience in providing specialized travel insurance plans for Cuba. Their user-friendly website and streamlined process make obtaining quotes and purchasing coverage a seamless experience. Notably, Visitors Coverage offers flexible and affordable policies that extend coverage to travelers of all nationalities, including those from the United States, with the exception of residents from New York and Maryland.


Insubuy emerges as another reputable provider, offering comprehensive travel insurance solutions for Cuba that cater to travelers of all nationalities, including those from the United States, without any state-specific restrictions. Their competitive rates, coupled with a user-friendly platform and responsive customer service, have solidified their position as one of our top recommendations for travelers bound for Cuba.

Proof of Coverage: Ensuring Seamless Entry

While the Cuban authorities do not maintain a stringent list of accepted insurance companies, they do require travelers to present proof of their coverage upon arrival. This documentation can take the form of a printed or digital copy of your policy, ensuring that you have it readily accessible for immigration officials. It is crucial to download or print your policy before landing in Cuba, as access to online resources may be limited once on the island.

Immigration officers may not consistently request proof of insurance from every visitor, but it is imperative not to take any chances. Arriving in Cuba without adequate coverage and the necessary documentation could result in severe consequences, such as being denied entry or being forced to purchase a local policy at an exorbitant cost.

Healthcare in Cuba: A Dual System

Cuba’s healthcare system operates on a dual model, with distinct provisions for locals and foreigners. While Cuban citizens enjoy free healthcare services, the same privilege is not extended to international visitors. Most local clinics and hospitals restrict access to Cuban nationals, limiting the options for tourists requiring medical attention during their stay.

In Havana, the primary facilities catering to foreign visitors seeking medical care are:

  • Clínica Central Cira Garcia in the Miramar neighborhood
  • Hospital Hermanos Ameijeiras in the Centro Habana area, conveniently located along the iconic Malecón sea wall

Additionally, many larger hotels and resorts in Cuba offer on-site medical services, with doctors available for consultations or to provide guidance on seeking appropriate medical care if needed. Travel insurance plans from reputable providers like Visitors Coverage and Insubuy typically cover these services, ensuring that you receive the necessary assistance without incurring additional out-of-pocket expenses, even if you don’t have to leave your accommodations.

Should you find yourself in need of medical attention during your stay in Cuba, it is crucial to follow a two-pronged approach to ensure that your travel insurance coverage remains valid and effective.

Situation 1: Non-Urgent Medical Needs

If your medical condition is not life-threatening or urgent, you can directly contact the insurance provider, such as Asistur (the Cuban partner for many travel insurance companies), using the contact information provided in your policy. While some areas in Cuba may not have access to collect call services, you can proceed with making the call and later request reimbursement for the charges by presenting the necessary documentation at the Asistur office in Havana.

Once connected with an Asistur representative, it is essential to follow their instructions carefully to ensure that your medical expenses are covered and that you receive the appropriate assistance.

Situation 2: Urgent Medical Emergencies

In cases of serious health emergencies requiring immediate medical attention, your priority should be to seek the nearest available healthcare facility without delay. However, within the following 24 hours, you or someone accompanying you must contact Asistur using the provided contact information and provide detailed information about the situation and the assistance you have received.

Asistur will then liaise with the medical center where you are receiving treatment, coordinating the necessary steps to ensure that your expenses are covered according to the terms and conditions of your policy.

Making Claims: A Streamlined Process

Despite the best precautions, unforeseen circumstances may arise, necessitating the submission of a claim for reimbursement of medical expenses or other covered losses. If you receive medical treatment in Cuba without initially contacting Asistur or incur expenses that have not been directly paid by the insurance provider, you can file a claim at the Asistur office in Havana.

However, it is crucial to note that claims can only be processed while you are still physically present in Cuba. Asistur will not entertain or process any claims after you have departed the country. To initiate a claim, you will need to present the following documentation:

  • Original receipts for the medical treatment received in Cuba
  • Your passport
  • A handwritten letter detailing the specifics of your claim

For smaller claims, it is advisable to assess the practicality and feasibility of completing this process, especially if it requires altering your travel plans or extending your stay in Cuba solely for this purpose.

Exclusions and Limitations: Understanding the Fine Print

As with any insurance policy, travel insurance for Cuba comes with a set of exclusions and limitations that are essential to understand. While the specific terms and conditions may vary among providers, there are certain common exclusions that travelers should be aware of.

Medical, Transportation, and Repatriation Expenses

Travel insurance policies typically do not cover expenses arising from the following situations:

  • War, civil or military uprisings, terrorism, sabotage, strikes, or detentions by authorities
  • Radioactivity or nuclear incidents
  • Sea or mountain rescue operations
  • Chronic or pre-existing medical conditions
  • Congenital or recurring illnesses
  • Prosthetics (e.g., contact lenses, hearing aids, glasses)
  • Pregnancy, childbirth, abortion, or pregnancy-related complications
  • Mental health conditions
  • Participation in illegal activities
  • Suicide or self-inflicted injuries
  • Intentional ingestion of drugs, including alcohol, or medication without a prescription
  • Consequences of surgery related to an accident
  • Accidents resulting from participation in contact sports, motor sports, scuba diving, caving, or mountain climbing (unless a high-risk activity supplement is purchased)

Luggage Coverage Exclusions

Travel insurance policies generally do not cover the following situations related to luggage:

  • Loss or damage to bank notes, airline tickets, stamp collections, professional qualification documents, identification documents, credit cards, checks, tapes, disks, CDs, or digital documents
  • Loss due to forgetfulness or leaving items unattended in public areas
  • Breakage resulting from attempted robbery
  • Damage caused by civil or military uprisings, strikes, earthquakes, or radioactivity
  • Damage caused by negligence, including liquid leakage
  • Loss or theft of hand luggage

Civil Liability Exclusions

Travel insurance policies typically exclude coverage for civil liability arising from the following situations:

  • Voluntary participation in fights (except in legitimate self-defense), popular movements, or illegal acts
  • Professional or commercial activities, such as selling merchandise or providing services
  • Damage or loss caused by animals rented or lent to the insured
  • Intentional ingestion of drugs, including alcohol, or ingestion of prescription drugs without a valid prescription
  • Piloting boats, aircraft, or using firearms
  • Damage or loss to rented or occupied properties under the insured’s care, control, or custody

High-Risk Activities: Additional Coverage Considerations

Certain activities deemed high-risk, such as contact sports, motor sports, scuba diving, caving, rock climbing, hang-gliding, skydiving, hunting, or mountain climbing (involving the use of ropes or guides), may require the purchase of an additional high-risk activity supplement. This supplemental coverage ensures that you are adequately protected while engaging in these adventurous pursuits during your time in Cuba.

It is important to note that the high-risk activity supplement can typically be purchased for a specific number of days during which you plan to participate in these activities, allowing for a more tailored and cost-effective approach to your coverage needs.

Alternative Providers: Exploring Additional Options

While Visitors Coverage and Insubuy stand as our top recommendations for travel insurance providers catering to Cuba, there are a few other companies that offer coverage for itineraries that include the island nation. These alternatives may be worth considering, depending on your specific needs and preferences:

  • Round the World Insurance
  • World Nomads

It is advisable to thoroughly research and compare the offerings, coverage limits, and exclusions of these providers to ensure that you select the most suitable option for your unique travel requirements.

Embracing the Cuban Adventure with Confidence

As you embark on your journey to Cuba, armed with the knowledge and insights gained from this comprehensive guide, you can approach your adventure with confidence and peace of mind. By securing appropriate travel insurance coverage and adhering to the outlined recommendations, you can focus on immersing yourself in the vibrant culture, rich history, and breathtaking landscapes that this captivating island nation has to offer.

Remember, travel insurance is not merely a formality but a crucial safeguard that ensures your well-being and provides a safety net should any unforeseen circumstances arise. Embrace the Cuban adventure wholeheartedly, secure in the knowledge that you have taken the necessary precautions to ensure a seamless and memorable experience.

¡Buen viaje!

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