1. Home
  2. Travel insurance
  3. Caribbean travel insurance

Caribbean travel insurance

For sun, sea and daiquiri, it’s hard to beat a trip to the Caribbean. If you’re lucky enough to be travelling to a Caribbean island soon, be sure to pack your suncream, bathers, and travel insurance.

With the exception of Cuba, getting Caribbean travel insurance isn’t mandatory. But it is worth considering, not least because medical treatment can be expensive. Here’s what to consider if you’re jetting off to the Caribbean.

Confused.com C icon
Our expert panel reviews all content. Learn more about our editorial standards and how we operate.

Ready to get a travel insurance quote?

Get a quote

Important information

Travel insurance doesn’t cover you for known events. If you travel against Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice, for instance, or fail to comply with your destination’s entry requirements, your insurance cover will be invalidated.

For this reason, it’s vitally important to check the FCDO travel advice for your destination. Also, look into any entry requirements such as visas.

At the time of writing, the FCDO advises against all travel to Haiti1, due to a volatile security situation.

While the FCDO doesn’t advise against travelling to Jamaica, it does warn of high crime, particularly in certain specified areas. It also advises caution when travelling near the disputed border of Guyana and Venezuela.

1Correct as of June 2024

Do I need travel insurance for the Caribbean?

For most Caribbean countries, travel insurance isn’t a legal requirement. But while not compulsory, getting adequate protection in case anything goes wrong is worth considering.

While travel insurance is mostly optional, there are some exceptions. Cover is mandatory if you’re travelling to Cuba. And you should take proof of your policy with you, otherwise you risk being denied entry.

The FCDO also recommends having appropriate travel insurance in place for St Martin and St Barthélemy. This is advised in case you need local treatment, or if there’s an unexpected medical evacuation. And it’s particularly important if you’re pregnant or have a medical condition.

Choosing the right policy for your trip

Caribbean travel insurance tends to be a little more expensive. This is because they’re designed to cover the higher medical costs in these countries, plus higher repatriation costs.

There are also a few different types of travel insurance to choose from. Before buying, consider how often you plan on travelling in a year, if you’re going with anyone else, and what activities you might want to do during your trip.

Travel insurance icon

Single-trip travel insurance

This covers you for one trip to a single destination. You need to specify where in the Caribbean you’re going to get a quote. Policies usually last up to 30 days, covering you from a specified date until you arrive home after your trip.

Multi-travel icon

Multi-trip travel insurance

This covers you for unlimited trips over 12 months. If you’re planning to go abroad more than once - including to the Caribbean - multi-trip policies can work out more cost-effective than repeatedly buying single-trip policies.

Travel cruise icon

Cruise insurance

If you’re taking a Caribbean cruise, this is the policy for you. Cruise insurance can be bought as a standalone policy, and add-on to a standard policy, or even as a multi-trip policy if you’re planning several cruises over the year.

Travel backpackers icon

Couples insurance

If you live with a partner, you’re both over 18 and in a relationship, you could qualify for couples’ travel insurance. This protects you in the same way as regular insurance, but can work out cheaper than two individual policies.

What our travel insurance expert says

“Caribbean islands are popular for a good reason. But it’s best not to assume that everywhere is chilled out. Always read the FCDO travel advice before you go to any Caribbean destination, paying particular attention to local laws and customs.

“It’s also a prime destination for cruises, which you can take out tailored insurance policies for. Plus it’s full of popular honeymoon spots. Couples who live together can take out a joint policy, which often works out cheaper than two individual policies.”

Alvaro Iturmendi - Confused.com travel insurance expert
Travel insurance expert Confused.com logo

What does Caribbean travel insurance cover?


What's typically covered:

  • Medical expenses and repatriation. If you have an accident or fall ill and need medical treatment, your travel insurance policy can cover these costs. This is an important consideration when travelling to the Caribbean, as medical care can be expensive.
  • Luggage that is lost, damaged, or stolen. Replacing clothes, belongings, or even toiletries can be surprisingly expensive. But travel insurance covers the cost of your belongings (to a specified limit) if something goes wrong.
  • Flight cancellations. Travel insurance can cover you if flights are cancelled, or delays cause you to miss other travel arrangements. This is especially handy for Caribbean destinations, which often require multiple flights.
  • Cancellation and curtailment. If your trip is cancelled or cut short due to unforeseen circumstances, your travel insurance will usually allow you to claim these costs back.

What's typically excluded:

  • Pre-existing medical conditions. It’s often possible to get cover if you have a medical condition, but you need to declare them when you apply for insurance. Certain conditions may require a specialist policy.
  • Extreme sports and activities. Certain activities and sports require specialist cover. If you’re thinking of scuba diving or riding a buggy in the Caribbean, check your policy covers this beforehand.
  • Natural disasters such as wildfires, flooding and cyclones aren’t covered by all travel insurance policies, but aren’t uncommon in the Caribbean. Again, check your policy ahead of time to see if you’re covered.
  • Travelling against FCDO advice will usually mean you won’t be covered by your travel insurance. You may not even be able to get a policy for your destination in the first place.
  • Incidents relating to drug or alcohol use will usually be excluded from travel insurance policies.

How much is travel insurance for the Caribbean?

Costs vary depending on the type of cover you're looking for, where in the Caribbean you're travelling to, as well as your personal circumstances.

Policy type Price
Single-trip travel insurance
Couples travel insurance
Cruise travel insurance

2The cheapest single-trip travel insurance policy. Based on 1 adult aged 30 with no pre-existing medical conditions, travelling for 1 week in the Bahamas. Confused.com data, June 2024.
3The cheapest single-trip travel insurance policy. Based on 2 adults aged 30 with no pre-existing medical conditions, travelling for 1 week in the Bahamas. Confused.com data, June 2024.
4The cheapest single-trip travel insurance policy. Based on a family of 4 with no pre-existing medical conditions, travelling for 1 week in the Bahamas. Confused.com data, June 2024.
5The cheapest single-trip travel insurance policy with cruise cover added. Based on 1 adult aged 30 with no pre-existing medical conditions, travelling for 1 week in the Bahamas. Confused.com data, June 2024.

Medical care in the Caribbean

Generally speaking, if you have to fork out for medical treatment in the Caribbean, it’s pricey. And being flown home for medical reasons is expensive too. This is why it’s a good idea to consider having a travel insurance policy in place with adequate cover for medical expenses and repatriation.

The Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) doesn't cover you for healthcare in any Caribbean countries.

There are a few British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean, such as Anguilla, British Virgin Islands and Montserrat. In these territories, you may be able to get free emergency healthcare if you have proof of residence in the UK and a UK passport. Find out more about UK reciprocal healthcare agreements in non-EU countries at GOV.UK.

But even if you’re entitled to free emergency healthcare, this is no substitute for proper travel insurance, which will provide you with more comprehensive coverage.

Travel insurance for activities in the Caribbean

While standard travel insurance policies will cover you for certain activities while overseas, they don’t cover everything. If you’re planning on getting involved in more risky activities in the Caribbean, it’s worth considering a policy which covers them. Bear in mind that this may come at an added cost.

  • Backpackers travel insurance covers you for multiple locations in one trip, offering cover for up to 18 months.
  • Adventure sports insurance covers you for any dangerous or extreme sports or activities you want to do.
  • Group travel insurance could work out cheaper for large groups travelling on holiday together, if you want cover for the same activities.
  • Water sports travel insurance is worth considering if you’re thinking about going water skiing, jet skiing or scuba diving on your trip.

Do I need a visa to travel to the Caribbean?

For the most part, you won’t need a visa to visit the Caribbean if your trip is for up to 30 days.

But it’s important to check entry requirements before you go, and there are some exceptions. If you’re going to Cuba, for instance, you’ll need a tourist card. You can get these for £27 from the Cuban embassy in London. You’ll also need to fill in an arrival form at least 72 hours before you’re due to arrive.

Plus certain Caribbean countries are governed by the USA, such as Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. This means you’ll need to fill in an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) visa waiver form before travelling. This costs £17, and can be done online.

Important to remember: You must also get an ESTA if you’re flying to the Caribbean via the US. Even if you’re just in the US to change flights and aren’t leaving the airport, you must still get one. If you don’t have an ESTA at immigration, it’s likely you’ll be denied entry, and will have to return home at your own expense.

Caribbean travel tips

  • Money: Several islands have their own currency. But several islands accept euros, and most islands accept US dollars. Check before you go though.
  • Language: English is widely spoken in the Caribbean. Depending on where you go, official languages also include Spanish, French and Dutch.
  • Safety: Robbery is the most common crime, with St Vincent & the Grenadines and Dominica having the highest robbery rates. For this reason, it’s best to avoid carrying lots of cash. Leave expensive watches, jewellery and valuable items at home, or in your accommodation - ideally in a safe. It’s also a good idea to make a copy of your passport, credit cards and other important documents.
  • LGBT+ travellers: Conservative attitudes and laws persist on several islands, most notably Jamaica. Be sure to familiarise yourself with local laws and travel advice before you go.
  • Camouflage clothing: In certain countries - such as Antigua, Barbados, Jamaica and St. Lucia - it’s illegal to wear camouflage clothing, as it’s military uniform only.
  • Driving: If you’re getting behind the wheel, check to see if you drive on the right or the left, as it varies by island. Outside of the main towns, roads can be basic and in a poor state of repair, with few markings. Also be mindful of locals overtaking on blind bends. You must also check that UK driving licences are accepted, as this varies depending on where you go.
  • Tipping: In restaurants with no service charge included, discretionary tipping of about 10% is standard. Tipping is often included in the cost of your package in all-inclusive resorts, so check this before tipping any serving staff.
  • Health: Any vaccinations you need are likely to vary by island. For instance, it’s recommended you get Hepatitis A and tetanus shots before visiting Cuba. Check out the latest travel health advice by country at TravelHealthPro.

Discover other destinations


Travel insurance guides