Antarctica is perhaps one of the most unique destinations in the world. It is also one of the most expensive countries to visit. In the past year, the average trip to Antarctica costs more than $14,500.
Due to the significant financial investment that is typically tied to traveling to Antarctica, many travelers turn to travel insurance to protect trip costs. However, travelers who are interested in visiting the country need more than just Trip Cancellation cover. Medical coverage is also required.
How much medical coverage do I need?
The required amount of medical coverage can vary depending on a traveler’s itinerary and tour operator, however a minimum of $100,000 in evacuation and medical coverage is often required.
For international travel, Squaremouth typically recommends travelers buy a travel insurance policy with at least $50,000 in Emergency Medical coverage, and at least $100,000 in Medical Evacuation coverage. However, due to the remote location of Antarctica, Squaremouth recommends a policy with at least $100,000 in Emergency Medical, and at least $250,000 in Medical Evacuation. This coverage is reimbursement-based, meaning the traveler is typically required to pay their medical expenses upfront and require for reimbursement when they return home.
Additionally, depending on each traveler’s trip itinerary, a policy with Sports & Activities coverage can insure a travelers is covered while participating in adventurous activities, such as snow trekking.
The Emergency Medical benefit of travel insurance can reimburse travelers for the costs of medical treatment in the event of an illness or injury during their trip. This includes physician services, ambulance expenses, and other costs of treatment.
The Medical Evacuation benefit can transport a traveler to the nearest adequate hospital in the event of a medical emergency. If the treating physician determines the traveler should return home for better treatment, this benefit can also cover those costs.
Do I need other travel insurance benefits?
As long as a traveler meets to specific required amounts of medical coverage, they can gain entry into Antarctica. This medical travel insurance is the only coverage required in order for a traveler to enter Antarctica, however, most travel insurance policies are comprehensive and include a variety of other benefits, without increasing the cost of a policy. This includes coverage for travel delays and lost or delayed luggage.
Most travelers visiting Antarctica also select the option to insure their trip costs under the Trip Cancellation benefit. This benefit can reimburse all of their prepaid and non-refundable trip payments if they need to cancel due to an illness or injury, inclement weather, or terrorist incident, among other events.
Click here for a comprehensive list of countries that require travel insurance.