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Travellers on Cuba holidays must have travel insurance under new Cuban law

  • 30-Apr-10 12:36
  • Cuba
  • Guardian Travel News

All travellers taking Cuba holidays from this Saturday 1 May will have to ensure they have a travel insurance policy in place which adequately covers medical evacuation by air if anything should happen during their stay.

Travellers on Cuba holidays must have travel insurance under new Cuban law

The Cuban government have said that the new rule applies to Cubans living abroad as well as tourists on Cuba holidays and will be enforced from this weekend. However, there is confusion over which travel policies are valid after the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs originally stated that it would require travellers to obtain policies from a select list of providers but travel companies and British insurance companies are struggling to get hold of the list.

Managing Director of tour operator, Captivating Cuba, Steve Diederich, said:

"Clarification on who these approved insurers are, the cost of policies and the method of payment is proving notoriously difficult to come across. This is somewhat typical of Cuba. Much of what appeals about the country – its old-fashioned air, its exotic chaos – can also frustrate at times."

The new rule requires anyone planning to travel to Cuba or take holidays in Cuba to ensure that they have travel insurance which covers the duration of the trip as well medical evacuation by air. Travellers will need also to ensure that their policy is valid for travel through four nations which are deemed dangerous by underwriters and include Cuba, Afghanistan, Sudan, and Liberia.

Those on Cuba holidays who arrive in Cuba without the valid insurance will have the opportunity to purchase a policy from a Cuban insurance company but the cover might not cover as much as many UK policies and could work out to be much more expensive.
The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) urge travellers to make sure they have the right cover from a UK insurance company before they embark on their Cuba holidays.

In a statement on their website, the FOC said:

"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," it said in a statement on its website.

"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."

Tourists planning to take Cuba holidays should also ensure that any existing medical conditions they have are covered in their insurance policy.

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