When to 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.

What your travel policy should 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 own 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.

Swoop Says background image

Swoop says

Chile has previously had a requirement for a fixed level of medical insurance for Covid-19. Although they have currently dropped this requirement, we are conscious that it could be brought back if the situation changes.

Topics to discuss with your 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. Is this policy valid for travel to countries or activities subject to a US State Department travel advisory Level 4 (which is Level 4 prior to booking the policy and entering the country e.g. not that become Level 4 during your trip)?
    In our experience, many policies will cover you for travel to a Level 4 country, but will not cover you if you wish to cancel the trip because of a state advisory change or for “fear of travel” reasons.
  2. Does this policy include cancellation coverage should I need to cancel the trip due to a positive Covid-19 test prior to or during travel, and does it cover medical costs incurred as a result of Covid-19?
  3. Does the policy include cover for trip interruption?
    For example, if you are required to quarantine during your travels, either as a result of personally contracting Covid-19 or being affected by other nearby positive travellers. Would the policy cover “lost/curtailed days” along with any charges for rescheduling other impacted travel arrangements such as flights and hotels.
  4. 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.
  5. Is a “Cancel for Any Reason” policy available and what are the terms and conditions?
    This may give you greater flexibility and coverage.
  6. 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

9 de Julio Avenue, Buenos Aires

As per entry requirements at the time of writing, foreign nationals entering both Chile and Argentina must have medical insurance that explicitly covers any expenses relating to Covid-19, such as medical costs, quarantine and trip suspension. Your policy document must clearly state the inclusion of Covid-19 coverage.

Please check with your insurance provider to ensure that you have the appropriate cover in place. Please also be aware that this entry requirement is liable to change at any point; we will continue to monitor the rules and update this guide should they do so, but please be aware it is your responsibility to ensure there have been no changes before you travel.


Chile previously required that Covid-19 insurance coverage have a fixed level of medical insurance (a minimum claim value of $30,000 USD). General medical insurance of $30,000 USD that did not explicitly cover Covid-19 expenses was not sufficient.

Although they have currently dropped this requirement, we are conscious that it could be brought back if the situation changes.


If your insurance policy does not explicitly mention Covid-19 – for example, if it is included as standard – then you should request evidence in writing (maybe an email you can print off) from your insurer. A specified minimum coverage amount is not required.

When travelling to South America

Please note that you must bring your complete insurance policy with you when travelling in order to provide evidence of coverage.

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). Have the page marked and ready to show the airline when boarding your flight(s).

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 allowances.

Discover More