Despite having fewer than 9,000 square miles of land, Belize offers an abundance of tourist attractions, from majestic Mayan ruins to crystal-clear Caribbean beaches. Whether you’re planning a vacation to relax or explore the country, you may be wondering about Belize travel insurance options.
While the government doesn’t list travel insurance on its entry requirements, you may still be interested in protecting your transportation and lodging expenses should your trip fall through for any reason. We at the Guides Home Team rounded up everything you need to know about basic Belize travel insurance plans, add-ons and upgrades to help you decide on the right coverage for your trip
Do I Need Travel Insurance in Belize?
Before July 12, 2022, Belize required all foreign tourists to purchase Belize travel insurance — offered through a partnership between the Belize Tourism Board, the Belize government and the Insurance Corporation of Belize — or personal travel insurance.
While no longer mandatory, this insurance is still available through the Belize Tourism Board. The plan only costs $18 per person for 21 days of coverage, but it offers limited protection. You can also purchase more comprehensive Belize travel insurance through independent companies such as Trawick or Seven Corners.
When you plan an international trip, it’s important to understand what travel insurance entails and whether you need it.
Some auto, home and health insurance policies may also provide protection while you travel, and many credit cards offer travel insurance perks, so be sure to review your existing plans and benefits before purchasing extra coverage. Then, research the types of travel insurance available and shop for a plan that meets your needs.
Here’s a rundown of a few popular types of coverage available for a trip to Belize.
Cancel for Any Reason Coverage
As you might guess, cancel for any reason coverage (CFAR) allows you to cancel your trip without explanation or justification. You could cancel because the weather looks bad or because of an uptick in COVID-19 cases or crime — or because you simply changed your mind. This coverage may be included in premium plans or available as an upgrade to basic plans.
Before paying extra for this coverage, consider what might cause you to cancel your trip to Belize and how much money you stand to lose. This upgrade may be worthwhile if you purchased nonrefundable tickets or had to make a large deposit to book your hotel stay, for instance. You might also invest in CFAR coverage if you think you may need to reschedule due to an upcoming family event or a new job.
Gear Theft Protection
Unless you are sure your renters or homeowners insurance will cover your personal belongings throughout your trip, it may be wise to purchase gear theft protection or baggage insurance. Many travel insurance plans include some type of coverage for your personal items. This coverage will help you replace stolen travel documents or lost luggage and repair broken gear.
From dense inland jungles to the Belize barrier reef, the country is a hotspot for travelers with gear-intensive hobbies like photography and scuba diving. Obtaining gear theft protection is especially important if you plan to travel with expensive camera equipment or other electronics. With it, you should be able to replace lost, damaged or stolen items that you need to fully enjoy your trip.
Medical Emergency Insurance and Emergency Medical Evacuation
Belize’s natural wonders make it not only an exciting place to visit, but also a potentially dangerous one.
If you plan to do any exploring or adventuring during your time in Belize, make sure your travel insurance plan includes travel medical insurance and emergency medical evacuation. These coverages will help with medical expenses related to any illnesses or injuries you experience while visiting Belize. This includes the cost of emergency medical care, emergency air evacuation and repatriation if your condition warrants you to return to the U.S.
Rental Car Protection
You might rent a car in Belize to take a drive down Hummingbird Highway, a scenic road that runs from the capital city of Belmopan to Dangriga, or to San Ignacio Town to see Maya ruins near the border of Guatemala. If your car gets damaged along the way, rental car protection will save you from footing a large expense.
While your U.S. car insurance may cover you for accidents that occur in Canada and Mexico, it typically won’t extend to Central America. So if you plan to drive in Belize, you may need to purchase rental car protection. You can purchase car protection through your car rental company or as an add-on to a more comprehensive travel insurance plan.
Trip Cancellation Insurance
Comprehensive travel insurance includes trip cancellation coverage. You can also purchase standalone protection for specific aspects of your trip. For instance, you might pay extra for a refundable airline ticket or the ability to cancel your hotel or cruise reservation without penalty. In those cases, you would pay for coverage through the airline, cruise line or hotel.
Unless you upgrade to CFAR coverage, certain exclusions may apply. Standard cancellation insurance typically only covers unforeseen events such as medical emergencies, jury duty or the death of a family member. It would also kick in if a recent or expected hurricane made traveling to Belize unsafe.
How Much Does Belize Travel Insurance Cost?
Several factors affect the cost of travel insurance. When you request a quote, you will provide your age, travel dates, trip cost and state of residence. Your age and trip cost have the biggest impact on insurance rates. When we pulled quotes from five top companies, the most affordable plans fell between $70 and $120 for a 30-year-old traveler taking a weeklong trip.
To help you get an idea of how much you might pay for coverage, we requested quotes for travel insurance on a seven-day vacation to San Pedro, Belize in May 2023. Browse the table below to view the price we were quoted for basic travel insurance coverage and cancel for any reason (CFAR) add-ons.
|Basic Plan Cost*
|Faye Travel Insurance
|Generali Global Assistance
|Safe Travels Protect
|Trip Protection Economy
*We collected the above quotes in November 2023 for a 30-year-old male traveling from Pennsylvania to San Pedro with a trip cost of $4,000. We received quotes through each company’s website.
Plans from Belize Travel Insurance — a collaboration between the Government of Belize, the Belize Tourism Board and the Insurance Corporation of Belize — cost $18 per person for a 21-day stay and provide up to $500,000 of coverage.
How Do I Get Travel Insurance for a Belize Vacatio
You can purchase affordable travel insurance for a Belize vacation from one of several companies. Another option is to buy Belize Travel Insurance, which consists of a single plan providing 21 days of coverage with a $50,000 limit for a flat fee of $18 per person.
Before purchasing travel insurance, check to see what coverage you already have. Your credit card may provide complimentary trip cancellation insurance or rental car protection, provided you use your card to pay for those travel costs. Find out what your health insurance plan will or will not cover if you become sick or injured while abroad. You should also see whether your luggage and gear will be covered by your home or renters insurance during your trip.
Once you know what your existing policies cover, you can purchase travel insurance to fill in any gaps. You can either purchase insurance through your airline or cruise line or use the form below to request quotes from trusted independent companies.
Flying to Belize
The most popular way to get to Belize is probably by airplane. The country’s only international airport is Philip Goldson International Airport. Located 10 miles outside Belize City, this airport is serviced by several major airlines, including American Airlines, Delta, Southwest and United.
If you plan to fly to Belize, consider purchasing flight insurance or a comprehensive travel insurance plan that covers airfare reimbursement if necessary.
You can typically purchase flight insurance directly from your airline, which may be the cheapest option. However, because flight insurance only covers the cost of airfare, you might still be on the hook for other costs if you have to cancel or delay your trip.
Cruising to Belize
Belize is also a popular destination for cruise ships, with several on-shore excursions offered in and around Belize City. Anchoring at this port of call allows passengers to explore Maya ruins, sample local cuisine, shop in the tourist village or go scuba diving at nearby destinations like Ambergris Caye or the Great Blue Hole. Several tourist attractions are even within walking distance of the port.
If you plan to travel to Belize by sea, consider purchasing cruise insurance. You can typically purchase coverage through your cruise line or directly from a third-party company. Many companies offer travel insurance plans designed specifically for cruise passengers, though some standard plans also include cruise coverage.
Make sure whatever plan you purchase will cover any excursions you plan to take in Belize.
Compare Belize Travel Insurance Compani
Choosing a travel insurance plan is an important decision for an international trip, especially when visiting areas where the U.S. Department of State estimates a higher likelihood of injury or incident. After reviewing dozens of travel insurance providers and comparing rates and coverages included for travelers heading to Belize, we recommend the following insurance providers.
Source : Market Watch