Why do I need insurance?

Travel insurance is more than just a safety net; it's your shield against unforeseen events that could otherwise turn into financial burdens.

When it comes to exploring the far reaches of the world, the unpredictability of weather becomes a factor. Much like medical cover, a policy that allows for cancellation is not just a precaution; it's your ticket to worry-free exploration.

As well as insurance being a mandatory requirement for most of our partners, we strongly recommend it for your benefit and require you to sign a waiver if you choose to travel without it.

Sarah looking at the Northern Ice Field in Aysen

Hike up behind your lodge to see views of the Patagonian Ice Field

When should I arrange insurance?

Travel insurance is a mandatory requirement for all travellers and is not included in the price of your trip.

We would recommend that you arrange insurance directly after booking, not only to protect your investment as soon as possible but also because some insurance policies may offer a reduced level of coverage if not purchased shortly after paying your deposit.

Hiker facing Cerro Torre on the Loma del Pliegue Tumbado day hike from EL Chaltén

Views on the Loma del Pliegue Tumbado day hike

What should my policy include?

Hikers at Glacier Grey

Group hike, Torres del Paine

Group hike, Torres del Paine

Hikers in front of Torres del Paine mountains

Swoop Patagonia is unable to provide travel insurance recommendations due to UK regulations. However, we are happy to discuss your needs with you and to share other customers' experiences.

When reviewing your intended insurance package there are a number of standard requirements that we think every good travel policy should include:

  • Cancellation, delayed departure and curtailment/interruption costs
  • Financial failure of agent or partner
  • Emergency medical and other expenses including medical evacuation or repatriation and cover for any pre-existing medical conditions
  • Hospital inconvenience benefit
  • Personal accident
  • Death
  • Loss of limb(s)/sight
  • Permanent total disablement
  • Delayed/lost baggage or lost passport
  • Lost personal money or documents
  • Personal liability cover
  • Disruption including airspace closure
  • Missed departure/connection
  • Travel risks such as hijack/mugging etc
  • Legal expenses

Please note these are general guidelines. For more detailed information on what is required for your specific trip please refer to your partner's terms and conditions, and consider your individual needs and circumstances.

It is also important to check whether your insurance will cover you in the event of any changes to governmental travel advisories which are relevant to your trip.

Do I need medical evacuation cover?

Ice hiking on Glacier Grey, Torres del Paine

The French Valley

Zodiac excursions in glacial waters

Working out what coverage you need for medical evacuation when travelling to a remote location like Patagonia depends on a few different factors. When in conversation with your insurance provider, consider the following points:

Health Conditions: Check with your insurer to make sure that your package can cover potential emergencies relating to pre-existing health conditions or ongoing medical treatment, should you need it.

Activities: You may want a higher level of coverage if your itinerary includes any adventurous activities – for example, trekking, horse riding or water sports – as the likelihood of needing medical evacuation increases.

Remoteness: Patagonia is known for its vast and untamed landscapes, and the more remote your destination, the higher the potential costs of medical evacuation. Take into account the accessibility of medical facilities when arranging your cover.

Costs: Research the potential costs of medical evacuation services in the region. Medical evacuations can be expensive, especially in remote areas.

Policy Details: Carefully review the terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy. Some policies may have specific limits or exclusions for medical evacuation. Make sure the coverage includes emergency evacuation by air or other means.

Emergency Care: In addition to evacuation, ensure that your travel insurance covers emergency medical care, hospitalisation, and related expenses.

It’s a good idea to talk all of this through with your insurance provider and discuss your specific travel plans and medical needs. They can help you understand the details of your coverage and work out the appropriate coverage for medical evacuation.

As a general guideline, considering the potentially high costs of medical evacuation in remote areas, coverage of at least $50,000 to $100,000 for medical evacuation may be reasonable. However, circumstances do vary and you should always tailor your coverage to your specific needs.

What should I discuss with my insurer?

Here are some considerations for you to talk through with your insurer prior to purchasing your insurance policy. Please note that this is not an exclusive list and you should ensure that you discuss any relevant personal circumstances which may apply to your insurance purchase.

  1. Does the cancellation coverage amount cover the full cost of the itinerary (plus any flights and hotel arrangements booked separately)?
    It’s important to check that there is no maximum coverage limit, or that your trip cost does not exceed any maximum amount.
  2. Is a “Cancel for Any Reason” policy available and what are the terms and conditions?
    This may give you greater flexibility and coverage.
  3. Does the policy cover any specific requirements set out by your Patagonia partner?
    This may include mandatory emergency evacuation coverage to a certain value. Also, some insurance policies may require you to pay an additional add-on for trekking. 
Swoop Says background image

Zoe says

Having the right insurance for your adventure gives you peace of mind before and during your travels. Taking time to research options and scrutinise the details is a worthwhile investment!

Zoe Winterbotham Patagonia Customer Experience Team Leader

Travelling to Chile and/or Argentina

Cerro San Cristobal, Santiago

Chile does not require any specific Covid-19 insurance for entry to, or travel throughout the country. This measure was dropped in 2023, with the exception of Easter Island which does maintain some specific entry requirements. Please be aware this situation may change and it's important for you to monitor the latest situation before travel

Argentina does not require any specific Covid-19 insurance for entry to, or travel throughout the country. This measure was dropped in 2022. Please be aware this situation may change and you need to monitor the latest situation before travel.

Both governments highly recommend having coverage for incidents such as medical costs, quarantine and trip suspension, in case such measures are reintroduced.

Travelling to South America

You should be prepared to show your airline your insurance documents if they require these from you.

As well as ensuring your full policy is available on your phone, you should carry a printout (and possibly a spare copy in case you lose one). 

View of Bariloche in Argentina's Lake District from the air

View of Bariloche from the air

Insurance according to nationality

Swoop Patagonia is unable to provide travel insurance recommendations due to UK regulations. However, we are happy to discuss your needs with you and to share other customers' experiences.

When choosing an insurance provider, please refer to your partner's terms and conditions and consider your own individual needs and circumstances.

Other important information

Booking flights

Booking flights

Getting to your trip starting location will most likely involve some air travel. Here is our brief guide on flights; including reservations, taxes and baggage.

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