We’ve had over a thousand customers visit Patagonia now and would offer the following advice to anyone reviewing their holiday insurance for a trip to Patagonia…
1. Activities: Nothing out of the Ordinary
I’m pleased to say that 99% of the activities our customers enjoy in Patagonia are typically covered by a standard policy.
Most importantly, it’s highly unlikely that you will ever trek above 3,000m (or 10,000 feet), which is typically the threshold for many underwriters.
There’s an extract from our own policy below which shows the various different activities covered as standard, versus those where a premium applies.
A couple of things to take note from this:
- Trekking up to 3,000m is standard
- Cover for kayaking and horse-riding is dependent upon you wearing a helmet (all of our partners will provide a helmet, although you sometimes need to ask for one in Chile and Argentina)
I’m afraid to say that Patagonia hasn’t yet got into the delights of street luge, wicker basket tobogganing or ostrich racing but should you chance upon any of these do let us know!
2. Patagonia Specific Risks
Much of the majesty of Patagonia derives from having the Andes running down the entire region from north to south. This is one of the most seismically active regions in the world. There are some 500 volcanoes in Chile of which 123 have erupted in the last 12,000 years. Whilst this presents very little risk to you personally, it does present a risk to travel plans. In the last 5 seasons we’ve had a few natural disasters including an earthquake with its epicentre to the north of Patagonia which resulted in a Tsunami alert (and subsequent evacuation of all coastal towns in Chile, including Puerto Natales), and a major ash cloud which effectively closed one of the airports for 3-4 months.
Ask your insurance company:
- What delay and disruption cover is provided in the event of a volcanic ash cloud, or other natural disaster?
- Do they offer an ‘add-on’ policy to include Natural Disaster insurance
3. General Travel Insurance requirements
There are obviously a number of standard requirements that every travel policy should include. For example here’s a standard package and the level of cover it provides:
One comment on this relating specificially to Patagonia:
Luggage delays and flight disruption with the Argentine and Chilean airlines are, I’m afraid to say, not uncommon. This might be an area where you choose to upgrade to provide you with more cover.
4. Worldwide Cover
Patagonia, and the rest of Latin America, typically falls into the top regional band for insurance. To give you an idea of approximate pricing by the different regions.
5. Trip duration and age
Most people’s holidays to Patagonia are 2-4 weeks, which means you pay relatively standard rates (premiums tend to leap up disproportionately on longer trips of more than two months).
When it comes to your age this is also a factor. Standard categorisation is in three categories: under 35 years old, 35 to 59, and over 60.
Rightly or wrongly this is the first question the insurance providers will ask when providing you with a quote.
6. Medical conditions
It’s obviously incredibly important to declare any medical conditions you might have. Typically questions that they’ll ask shown here:
7. Getting a quote
If you are travelling from the UK
We recommend buying insurance with Covermore. If you’d like to compare quotes with other providers then we’ve also heard good things about: World Nomads: +44 (0) 845 643 2642 & Direct Travel Insurance: 0845 605 2700
If you are travelling from the USA or elsewhere:
Travel Guard: 1.800.826.4919 & Travelex: 1-800-228-9792