One of the things you need to prepare for a trip abroad is travel insurance. I started purchasing travel insurance since my first trip to Costa Rica in 2010. Nowadays, travel insurance is a requirement to enter Costa Rica due to COVID-19.
In this post, I’ll talk about why you should get travel insurance, my experience with World Nomads, their coverage and use in Costa Rica. I have now included Trawick International, an insurance tourists can use to fulfill the Costa Rica COVID entry requirements.
Why You Should Get Travel Insurance
First of all, travel insurance is now a requirement to enter Costa Rica.
Second, we now know from the pandemic that literally anything can happen or change at any time so when traveling during a pandemic or even when it’s over, we need to have a back up in case of an emergency.
Now let’s talk about Costa Rica’s entry requirements and the insurance.
Costa Rica COVID Entry Requirements
For tourists, Costa Rica requires every tourist to purchase a travel insurance that covers a minimum of $50,000 USD for medical expenses and a minimum of $2,000 USD for extended lodging expenses. The other requirement is to complete a health pass.
*This insurance requirement will be dropped on all tourists who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and minors under the age of 18 entering on August 1, 2021 and after**
I am from the US and had to purchase insurance to enter Costa Rica in December 2020 as a tourist and here is what I recommend: Trawick International.
If you are looking for an insurance policy that will fulfill Costa Rica’s COVID entry requirements of a policy covering a minimum of $50,000 USD for medical expenses and a minimum of $2,000 USD for extended lodging expenses, Trawick International offers an insurance that works for Costa Rica.
I bought my insurance from Trawick and used that to enter Costa Rica as a tourist in December 2020. Trawick offers a “Safe Voyagers” policy for Costa Rica specifically and it is SO much cheaper than the two Costa Rican policies. You can read more about this insurance in detail in this post: Costa Rica COVID entry requirements.
*Since May 1, Trawick has increased their prices so it’s not as cheap as it was before. However, I compared quotes and it was still cheaper than the Costa Rican policies*
Trawick offers a policy for American citizens and non-American citizens.
Get a Quote
To get a quote or purchase your Costa Rica Insurance, click the link. To get a quote directly for Trawick’s Safe Voyagers policy for Costa Rica, do not use the search box on the main page. Instead of using their search box, hover over “Insurance Plans” and click on “Trip Insurance.” Then on that page you can tick the box for Safe Travels Voyager and click on Buy to get a quote and purchase insurance.
However, you can also purchase other insurance plans on that website as they have several insurance plans available. So if you’re traveling to other countries besides Costa Rica, you can use the site to purchase other travel insurance plans.
World Nomads Travel Insurance
Here we talk about World Nomads. Unfortunately at this moment it doesn’t fulfill the Costa Rica COVID entry requirements but we used it many times in the past (pre-COVID) for normal travel insurance.
Hopefully they will come with a policy that fulfills the Costa Rica entry requirements in the near future as I am very familiar with World Nomads and always had a great experience with them.
I found World Nomads through Lonely Planet and National Geographic back in 2018 when they were named as one of the best insurance companies.
World Nomads is an Australian company founded by a passionate traveler, Simon Monk. He wanted to give an honest and high quality product, something rare in the insurance market back in the early 2000’s. Their insurance covers over 150 countries providing medical, evacuation and 24 hour emergency assistance.
Best of all, they cover a vast range of adventure activities! This is why World Nomads is highly recommended for Costa Rica since the country is known for its adventure. More likely than not, you are going to be doing some of them.
What They Cover
Here is the slightly confusing part about travel insurance: the coverage. World Nomads provides a few different plans and it all depends on your country of origin and where you are going. But here are the main things it covers.
Medical coverage is up to $100,000 for accidental injury and they also provide coverage for emergency dental treatments and hospitalization. The amount depends on the plan you choose.
Accidental death or dismemberment
Knock on wood this doesn’t happen but in case it does, World Nomads will pay a lump sum to a beneficiary for loss of life or limb.
Lost or stolen goods
World Nomads will reimburse you for lost, damaged or stolen goods.
Collision Damage Waiver
This is a car rental insurance available only on the explorer plan. They will reimburse you for damage to your rental car not in your control such as collision, theft or natural disaster. ***Most car rental companies in Costa Rica do not accept this insurance so you will need to check with the company. You can read more about Costa Rica car rental insurance here.***
They will reimburse you in case you need to cancel a trip due to sickness, accidental injury or death of you or a family member, unforeseen natural disasters, strikes or other reasons. Also applies if your trip had to get interrupted for those reasons. Trip delay coverage applies when for an unused portion of pre-paid accommodation or expenses if you’re delayed for more than 6 hours.
One Call 24/hour assistance
This is their 24 hour phone line. They will help you find a doctor, dentist or medical facility. If necessary, they can help arrange for transportation.
Adventure sports and activities
They cover over 200 different adventure sports and provide coverage for emergency medical assistance or care that occurs during the sport.
My Experience with World Nomads
I’ve purchased World Nomads multiple times for Costa Rica and other countries. Luckily I haven’t had to make any sizable claims with it but I did have to use it in Europe. I got incredibly sick in Ireland and had to see a doctor. I called the One Call 24 hour hotline and they gave me a list of doctors near my location I could see.
There was also one time I wish I purchased travel insurance but didn’t. I was flying to Seattle for the holidays and I got stuck in the horrible Delta-LAX fiasco. My flight kept getting delayed. First by one hour, then 3, then 20 hours later, they finally announced it was cancelled because of bad weather.
I had spent a whole day and night at the airport and been awake for over 24 hours. Now I needed to get a hotel for 2 nights until my rebooked flight. As if that’s not enough, Delta then proceeded to lose my bag! If I had purchased travel insurance, I could have gotten reimbursed.
Needless to say, it was the most frustrating flying experience I’ve ever had and I wish I got travel insurance. Lesson learned. (And I have never flown Delta ever since then.)
Which plan to choose?
You’re probably wondering which World Nomads plan to get at this point. Will you be OK with standard or is explorer necessary? Well, it will depend on your itinerary in Costa Rica.
If you’re planning to just lay on the beach for your vacation, then the standard will be good enough. It still covers a lot of sports like ziplining and white water rafting.
If you’re planning to do an extreme adventure itinerary like hiking and camping in the jungle, paragliding, cliff jumping, scuba diving or any activity like those, then the explorer plan should be the one you get.
But ultimately, it’s up to you which plan you get as they have different reimbursement amounts and cover different sports.
Why You Should Get Travel Insurance for Costa Rica
Travel insurance is now a requirement to enter Costa Rica for tourists (only unvaccinated tourists starting August 1, 2021) so obviously that is why you have to get travel insurance. But here are some few other advantages below.
Winter delays and cancellations
I highly recommend it if you are traveling to Costa Rica during winter in North America. I can’t tell you the amount of times we’ve had to help out our readers who had their flights cancelled or delayed due to the winter storms up north.
Some of them had to cancel entire trips, some of them lost all their tours and hotel reservations, some had to stay in Costa Rica for a couple extra nights until they could get on the next available flight. Many of them had lost their luggage since their flights got cancelled and delayed so many times.
With travel insurance, you will be covered for all of that due to inclement weather.
Rainy season in Costa Rica
Costa Rica rainy season can get extremely intense being a tropical country. If you’re visiting the months of September and October, for most of the country it rains very hard. It is common for some parts of Costa Rica to flood.
In 2016, Hurricane Otto crashed through the north of the country, even killing people and destroying roads and homes. In 2017, Tropical Storm Nate hit Guanacaste hard. Many people had to cancel all their travel plans or they got stuck. Trees fell on houses and cars, roads were closed, etc. Roads are more slippery in rainy season and accidents are more prone to occur during this time of year.
In 2020, the bridge to Nosara collapsed and people got stuck. Tropical rainy season is no joke!
You’re going to adventure in Costa Rica!
Costa Rica is a country highly regarded for its fantastic outdoor adventure and sports. Every visitor participates in at least during their trip here whether it’s hiking, ziplining, kayaking, etc. Although safety is the number one priority, accidents can happen.
If unfortunately an accident happens, travel insurance will help cover the cost of emergencies.
Holiday travel means more opportunities for theft
Theft is the most common crime in Costa Rica. If you are visiting during Christmas, New Years or Easter week (spring break), you need to be very careful. Since these are our peak season times, the beaches get packed with both local and foreign tourists camping, drinking and partying.
Unfortunately, thieves take advantage of this time to break into cars and pick pocket. (Make sure to read our Costa Rica safety tips post on how to stay safe).
So there you are, reasons to get travel insurance for Costa Rica and our recommendations.
Ready to get covered for your Costa Rica vacation?
Click here to get the Safe Travels Voyagers insurance for Costa Rica. (Remember to click trip insurance in the menu to easily get a quote).
Read our other Costa Rica travel tips below!
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