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Travel insurance for Cuba

Travel insurance is a legal requirement if you’re travelling to Cuba. You can’t enter the country without proof of a valid policy. If you’re found without insurance, you could be denied entry.

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Important information

All insurance products exclude cover for known events. These are global events that can put you in danger and/or disrupt travel. The Covid-19 pandemic is an example of this. This exclusion applies if the event was declared as a ‘known event’ when you bought your insurance.

If you travel against Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice or fail to comply with your destination’s entry requirements, you won’t be covered by any travel insurance you buy.

There are currently no advisories from the FCDO for travel to Cuba1. So, you should be able to get a travel insurance policy to cover your trip.

1Correct as of February 2024.

Do I need travel insurance for Cuba?

Yes, travel insurance is a legal requirement for Cuba. You can’t enter the country without it. You may be asked to show proof of a travel insurance policy upon arrival, so make sure you take a copy of your policy documents with you.

Having a policy means you’re protected in case you need medical care while you’re away. It also covers other scenarios, such as lost and stolen possessions or cancelled flights.

Choosing the right policy for your trip

If you’re travelling to Cuba, you need a worldwide insurance policy that includes the USA, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. These types of policies are designed to cover higher medical and repatriation costs, so they tend to cost more than other policies.

There are several types of worldwide travel insurance to choose from. It’s worth considering how often you plan on travelling in a year and who you’re planning to travel with. This way, you can make sure you’re buying a policy that suits your needs.

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Single trip travel insurance

This covers you for a single trip to a single location. You need to specify that you’re travelling to Cuba when you get a quote. Policies generally last up to 30 days, and cover you from the date you buy them until you arrive home after your trip.

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Family travel insurance

This covers your whole family on a single policy. You can usually cover 1 to 2 adults, and up to 8 children on a single policy. Once a child turns 18, they need their own policy. You can get either single-trip or annual family travel insurance.

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Multi trip travel insurance

This covers you for an unlimited number of trips over the course of 12 months. You can travel and return home as many times as you like for the duration of your policy, which can be up to 18 months depending on the provider.

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Long stay travel insurance

This covers you for an extended stay of up to 18 months. You can travel to multiple destinations on the same policy, as long as you specify these when you get a quote. Your cover ends when you return home.

What our travel insurance expert says:

“Cuba’s entry requirements might be a bit stricter than you’re used to, so make sure you research everything you need before you set off. Insurance, tourist cards, and health declarations are all legal requirements for entry, so get these sorted well ahead of time.

“And it’s good to have a plan in place for how you’re going to pay for things, as you can’t buy the Cuban peso outside the country.”

Matthew Harwood, Home & lifestyle insurance expert at Confused.com
Home & lifestyle insurance expert Confused.com logo

What does travel insurance for Cuba cover?


Most travel insurance policies cover:

  • Medical expenses and repatriation. If you fall ill or have an accident that requires medical attention, a travel insurance policy can cover these costs. This is especially important in countries like Cuba where medical care is very expensive.
  • Lost, stolen or damaged luggage. Travel insurance covers the cost of replacing any clothes, belongings or toiletries if anything happens to them during your trip.
  • Flight cancellations. Travelling to Cuba often involves multiple longer flights. If any of these are cancelled, or delays mean you miss other travel arrangements, a travel insurance policy can cover the costs.
  • Cancellation or curtailment. If your trip is delayed or cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances, you should be able to claim these costs back through your insurance.     

Most policies exclude:

  • Extreme sports and activities. Activities like skiing or skydiving aren't normally covered by standard travel insurance. They typically require a specialist policy.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions. Some insurers cover pre-existing conditions as long as you delcare them when you buy insurance. But, some conditions may require a specialist policy.
  • Natural disasters such as wildfires, flooding and cyclones aren't uncommon in Cuba. These types of events are often not covered by travel insurance.
  • Travelling against FCDO advice normally means you can't get travel insurance, or aren't covered by existing policies.
  • Incidents relating to drug or alcohol use. Incidents that occur while you're under the influence are usually not covered by travel insurance.     

How much does Cuba travel insurance cost?

Costs can vary depending on the type of the cover you want, as well as your personal circumstances. Here are some examples of policies and how much they cost:

Policy type Price
Single trip travel insurance
Couples travel insurance
Family travel insurance

If you've got any pre-existing medical conditions, you might end up paying more. You could also see a more limited selection of insurers.

2Cheapest policy 1 week in Cuba, 30 year old with no medical conditions - Confused.com data February 2024

3Cheapest policy for 1 week in Cuba, 30 year old couple with no medical conditions - Confused.com data February 2024

4Cheapest policy for 1 week in Cuba, family of 4 with no medical conditions - Confused.com data February 2024

Medical care in Cuba

While it’s fairly reliable in Havana, healthcare isn't as reliable outside of the capital.

Even within Havana, medical facilities can be fairly limited. For serious medical conditions, you may need to be flown home for treatment, which can be expensive.

Other procedures can also be expensive, and many healthcare facilities insist on payment before you’re discharged. If this is the case for you, contact your insurer to see if they can cover your care costs immediately. If they can’t you may have to cover them yourself, until you’re able to make a claim once you’re home.

Travel insurance for activities in Cuba

It might be worth considering extra cover, depending on what activities you plan on doing in Cuba. These come at an added cost, so consider whether you actually need them before buying your policy.

  • Backpackers travel insurance covers you to travel to multiple locations on one trip.
  • Adventure sports insurance provides protection for any dangerous sports or activities you want to do.
  • Water sports travel insurance is worth considering if you’re planning on going scuba diving during your trip.

Do I need a visa to travel to Cuba?

Yes, you need a tourist visa, or a tourist card, if you’re travelling to Cuba. These are available from the Cuban embassy in London, and cost around £27. You’re also required to fill in an arrival form at least 72 hours before you’re due to arrive in Cuba. Proof of this needs to be shown to authorities when you arrive.

Your passport must also be valid for at least 6 months after your arrival date, and 3 months after your departure date.

Cuba travel tips

  • Money: The official currency of Cuba is the peso. This can only legally be exchanged in Cuba at the Cadeca exchange houses.
  • Language: Cuban Spanish is the official language of Cuba.
  • Safety: The FCDO warns against fake taxi drivers who operate around major cities and airports. It’s recommended that you travel with your tour operator. There’s also a risk of theft and pickpocketing, so you should make sure any valuables are stored securely and out of sight.
  • Driving in Cuba: It’s legal to drive in Cuba on a full UK driving licence. Be aware of nearby petrol stations, as it can be difficult to find fuel in certain areas. There are also additional hazards on the roads, such as unlit vehicles and wild animals.
  • Extreme weather: Hurricanes are common between June and November. These can cause flash floods and other dangerous conditions. They can also disrupt power and travel.
  • Phone coverage: Cuban authorities may ask you to disable GPS on your phone while in the country. Your mobile internet is also unlikely to work. Even if it does work, signal is likely to be poor.
  • Travelling from the USA: You can’t fly directly from the USA to Cuba due to historically poor relations. This is worth bearing in mind if you’re planning a multi-stop trip. It’s also important to know that travelling to Cuba may waive your right to an ESTA. You need a full visa to travel to the USA after visiting Cuba.
  • Other information: Cuba is a high-risk area for Zika virus, dengue fever, yellow fever and chikungunya virus. TravelHealthPro recommends that travellers get a Hepatitis A and tetanus vaccination before travelling. Some may also be advised to get a Hepatitis B, Rabies and typhoid vaccination depending on what you’re planning to do in Cuba*.

*Correct as of February 2024

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