Decoding Colombia’s Travel Insurance Maze: Expert Insights

Travel insurance for Colombia can be a daunting decision, especially with the myriad options available.

As I’ve been exploring Colombia since 2015, I have delved into the world of travel insurance and analyzed the top contenders for your Colombian adventure. 

This insurance guide presents my insights into three remarkable companies: Heymondo (get 5% off because you’re a Tomplanmytrip reader), SafetyWing, and Chapka

Each has its strengths and weaknesses—I’ve personally experienced their services. 

So, let’s embark on this journey together and discover which travel insurance option is the perfect fit for your Colombian escapade.

👉 You want to know more about Colombia? Get the best information about safety, budget, accommodations, and transportation? Find where to travel and book the best experiences? Read our Colombia Travel tips.


Who are we 👋

Since 2015, Adrien, Alejandra, and I (Tom) have been helping travelers explore Colombia. Here, you will find everything you need to fall in love with this beautiful country easily.

Travel insurance for Colombia: Your takeaway

  • Comprehensive Coverage: Look for travel insurance policies that cover medical expenses, evacuation/repatriation, trip cancellation/interruption, and lost luggage tailored to your specific needs.
  • Activity Coverage: Ensure that your chosen insurance covers the activities you plan to engage in, such as adventure sports or underwater activities like scuba diving.
  • Length of Stay: Consider the duration of your trip, as some insurance providers offer options for both short-term and long-term stays, allowing you to customize coverage accordingly.
  • Value for Money: Assess various insurance options’ coverage limits, deductibles, and premiums to determine the best balance between affordability and comprehensive protection.
  • Age and Health Restrictions: Check for any age limitations or restrictions based on pre-existing health conditions that may impact eligibility or coverage offered by insurance providers.
  • Research and Compare: Take the time to research and compare different insurance providers, considering factors like reputation, customer reviews, claim process, and customer service, to make an informed decision.
Safest deal
  • Description:

    The best option for maximum coverage

  • Pros:
    • Manage everything from your app
    • Excellent coverage
  • Cons:
    • A bit more pricey for short trips
Digital nomads
  • Description:

    Minimal coverage to avoid breaking the bank

  • Pros:
    • The cheapest option (if you're < 40 years old)
    • As long as you want
  • Cons:
    • Basic plan
Special trips
  • Description:

    Excellent option but a bit "old school"

  • Pros:
    • Many different plans
    • No deductibles
  • Cons:
    • Only for Europeans
Safest deal
Description:

The best option for maximum coverage

Pros:
  • Manage everything from your app
  • Excellent coverage
Cons:
  • A bit more pricey for short trips
Digital nomads
Description:

Minimal coverage to avoid breaking the bank

Pros:
  • The cheapest option (if you're < 40 years old)
  • As long as you want
Cons:
  • Basic plan
Special trips
Description:

Excellent option but a bit "old school"

Pros:
  • Many different plans
  • No deductibles
Cons:
  • Only for Europeans

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. The author takes no responsibility for any consequences of using the information provided. It is recommended to thoroughly review insurance policies and consult with insurance providers for accurate and up-to-date details. 

Best travel insurance For Colombia: The ones I Like

Here’s my analysis of these 3 travel insurances. You should always check with these agencies for all the information mentioned in this article and ask any questions.

All prices going forward are in USD for the Heymondo and Safety Wing travel insurance options:

Heymondo: The safest & easiest travel insurance for Colombia

To start off, I want to point out the best part of dealing with Heymondo: their handy app! 

Once logged into this app, you can do everything you need to manage your travel insurance. I love this! 

  • The app boasts a 24/7 doctor chat feature, which can often help solve medical issues before they become more serious. This is a win/win for both you and the company!
  • It also features a button where you can call online assistance from anywhere in the world freely and easily. 
  • You can also easily access your travel insurance plan data and documents from within the app in seconds and handle claims quickly. 

Heymondo also offers a variety of single-trip (“top,” “premium,” and “medical” levels), multi-trips, and long-term stay policies. 

👉Their Website

What kind of activities are covered and not covered

It will depend on the options you choose.

There are 2 options: the “Adventure sports” and the “Electronic” options. These can be added at an extra cost in both plans (Top & Premium).

The “Electronic” option allows for full coverage for your electronic goods; it’s pretty self-explanatory. This is great for content creators who travel with cameras, laptops, microphones, and other high-end electronic equipment. 

The “Adventure sports” option covers many extreme sports. However, read the fine print on the contract because Heymondo doesn’t include all activities you might expect as covered adventure-related activities—scuba diving past 20 m depth and spelunking, for example, don’t make the list. 

What about car rentals?

Heymondo does not offer car rental insurance. 

How much can you get for your bucks: the limits

For single-trip, the limits will change according to the plan you pick.

  • Medical expenses: $500,000 for the medical-only and the Premium policy
  • Evacuation / Repatriation from Colombia: full coverage of actual expenses
  • Trip cancellation/delay/trip interruption: $3500 with a Top policy, $7000 with Premium.
  • Luggage: $1700 with Top, $2500 with Premium
  • Deductibles: $250 for medical coverage only.
  • Check out their website to learn more about it

Conditions

  • For how long can you be covered? There is no limit on this. You pay more for a longer length of stay. Remember, you can choose “1-trip” and “long-stay” insurance with Heymondo. 
  • Do you have to subscribe before going on a trip to Colombia? No, you can apply from anywhere in the world at any time. 
  • How do you renew the insurance? This can be done quickly on the app
  • Are there any age limits? The above prices are good for policyholders up to 69 years of age (or 49 if you travel more than 30 days).

Range of prices 

For a 2-week trip with HeyMondo, expect to pay about:

  • $75 for medical only—Heymondo Medical.
  • $80 for medical + travel insurance—Heymondo Top.
  • $105 for Heymondo Premium (higher limits on all payouts). 

For a 4-month trip, expect to pay about :

  • $187 with their Long-stay plan.

SafetyWing: An affordable Travel insurance for digital nomads

SafetyWing bills itself as “travel insurance for digital nomads.”

It also has a section where, if you own a company with people working for you in multiple countries, you can get them all covered under the same group travel insurance plan.

Another nice thing about SafetyWing is its prices; It’s the lowest you’ll find in the industry! You have to be under 40 for this, though. 

Naturally, this means that maximum payouts are also lower. 

👉 Their website

What kind of activities are covered and not covered

SafetyWing provides all the standard protections for emergencies while traveling, trip interruption insurance, insurance for lost luggage, etc. 

However, it doesn’t include trip cancelation! 

The other exclusions are high-risk activities, pre-existing disease or injury (like any other travel insurance companies), and cancer treatment.

  • The policy requires all the necessary safety equipment when performing any sport. 
  • It also excludes any professional or organized sports activity, or hazardous sports, such as martial arts and such. 

SafetyWing is, therefore, not recommended for adrenaline junkies.

What about car rentals?

Safety Wing does not offer car rental insurance. 

How much can you get for your bucks: the limits

  • Medical expenses: $250,000—$100,000 if you are 65 or over.
  • Evacuation / Repatriation from Colombia: actual emergency evacuation/repatriation expenses.
  • Trip cancellation/delay/trip interruption: $5000 for trip interruption (no trip cancellation coverage). $100 per day of trip delay coverage, 2 days max. 
  • Luggage: $3000, but up to $600 per item. $ 6000-lifetime limit.
  • Deductibles: $250 for medical issues only
  • Check out their website to learn more about it

Conditions

  • For how long can you be covered? There is no limit on this. You pay more for a longer length of stay. If you don’t have an “end date,” it will renew every 4 weeks.
  • Do you have to subscribe before going on a trip to Colombia? You can apply from anywhere in the world at any time. 
  • How do you renew the insurance? Renewals, claims and other customer service issues can be handled on the Safetywing website.
  • Are there any age limits? There are no age limits per se, but once you turn 40, prices start to shoot up, and, in some cases, benefits decrease. This cheap option isn’t cheap for older travelers.

Range of prices 

For a 2-week trip to Colombia with SafetyWing, expect to pay about:

  • $25 if you’re under 40 
  • $85 if you’re above 60

For a 4-month trip, expect to pay about

  • $185 if you’re under 40 
  • $680 if you’re above 60

For an I-don’t-know-when-I-come-back-home trip, you’ll pay every 4 weeks about:

  • $45 if you’re under 40 
  • $160 if you’re above 60

Chapka: If you’re looking for a specific travel insurance

The French company Chapka certainly offers the widest variety of insurance options. They have different kinds of travel insurance policies for vacations, working vacations, working abroad, studying abroad, volunteering abroad, or simply being an expat. 

N.B. As of this writing, Chapka is only accepting European customers—UK residents are excluded.

The nice thing about Chapka is that they have many different options for tailoring your coverage to your personal needs. They have other policies for different types of medical travelers and international traveler’s insurance, including ones good for multiple trips.

Another excellent news is that the maximum age is 80 years old!

👉 Their website

What kind of activities are covered and not covered

Chapka’s insurance policies are extensive compared to the other two options above. 

The coverage, especially the medical coverage, is more extensive with the short-term plans than the long-term plans, but both have a vast range of benefits in addition to the standard ones. 

For example, they will pay 80 percent of a ticket value (not the total trip cost) if you miss a flight. There is also coverage for items like pet-sitting and TV rentals in hospitals. 

There are, of course, standard exclusions such as pre-existing conditions, indirect damages, breakage of fragile items, and the like.

Finally, sports-related coverage is more comprehensive than with Chapka’s competitors. For example, there are no limits on coverage for underwater activities such as scuba diving. 

The only exclusions regarding sports have to do with motor vehicles. There is no coverage: 

  • In case of an official competition, trials, or race during motorsport practice 
  • During the use (as a driver or as a passenger) of an engine of more than 125cm3

What about car rentals?

Your insurance with Chapka will cover all your medical expenses in the event of a car accident. 

It’s important to note, however, that Chapka doesn’t provide third-party liability coverage, so it’s not the same as the insurance you would get from a car rental company.

How much can you get for your bucks: the limits

The below prices are in EUR instead of USD—for the “Cap Assistance 24/7” policy, less than 90 days abroad: 

  • Medical expenses: 200,000 in the case of Colombia.
  • Evacuation / Repatriation from Colombia: actual cost, including a single ticket for a family member, escort, or pet, and tickets for any accompanying children under 18. They will also pay for a plane ticket during a terrorist incident or natural disaster.
  • Trip cancellation/delay/interruption: 8,000 per person, 40,000 total per event max. 80 per day of trip delay coverage, 10 days max. 
  • Luggage: 3,000, of which only half of the personal belongings claimed can be “valuables.”
  • Deductibles: in many cases, no deductible. Exceptions are justified trip cancellations, 20 percent, and any non-accidental death or hospital-related medical costs, 10 percent.
  • Check out their website to learn more about it

Conditions

  • For how long can you be covered? With the Cap Assistance Policy, you can only go up to 90 days. The Cap Adventure policy allows for up to 2 years of coverage. 
  • Do you have to subscribe before going on a trip to Colombia? Yes. It’s mandatory.
  • How do you renew the insurance? You can do it by email for the Cap Adventure.
  • Are there any age limits? You must be less than 80 years old. 

Range of prices

For 2 weeks of coverage:

  • It will cost you about 60 EUR. 

For anything longer than 90 days, it’s a different policy called “Cap Adventure.”

  • The bare minimum price for this is about 250 EUR. 

Travel insurance for Colombia: How to make good decisions 

HD_Amazon

As you can see, the subject of travel insurance options for a Colombian trip is very complicated. There are many questions you have to ask yourself to figure out the best policy for you: 

Will you travel for a short or long time? 

The length of your stay abroad will be an important factor in picking the right travel insurance for Colombia.

  • For extended stays, Heymondo is the best option. It has a lot of flexible options to make sure that you will stay well-covered throughout your trip. 
  • If you’re a digital nomad and want to save a few bucks, SafetyWing may be the right fit—about half the price of the other two providers. 
  • For short trips, Chapka is a bit cheaper than Heymondo, and both offer excellent coverage.

Do you carry expensive equipment?

A Colombia trip is less dangerous than people think. However, petty crime can be an issue there, especially in major cities.

Your first line of defense is to stay in a good hotel and put everything valuable in the hotel safe when you’re not actually in the room. Most travel insurance companies will insist on it, or they won’t accept your claim. 

  • Heymondo has the most comprehensive coverage for lost luggage and valuables. 
  • Chapka does a good job too. They quickly reimbursed me when someone in my dorm stole my computer in Sao Paolo.

Also, be aware that none of these insurance companies will cover the loss of a cell phone if you’re out talking on the street on it, and it gets snatched from you—pickpocket.

Do you plan to take many flights?  

Colombia is a great place to get around by air. However, there are still often problems with flights. 

Delays aren’t uncommon in Colombia, and these often have to do with external factors beyond human control. These could be inclement weather or things such as volcanic activity, etc.

For example, I was once on the way to Leticia, and the Leticia control tower was hit and damaged by a freak lightning strike. The plane had to turn around and go back to Bogotá! 

Another time, my mother-in-law was stuck in Bogotá for the night due to bad weather.

Flight delays are annoying at best under any circumstance, but the right travel insurance will help take some of the pain out of the whole experience by compensating you. 

Chapka wins here because they will cover up to 10 days of delays per incident. Heymondo’s policies should be also more than enough for 99.99% of the situations.

Are you sure you’ll make this trip? 

People, even seasoned international travelers, have to cancel trips for many different reasons. Ask yourself how likely this is in your case. 

  • If you have to cancel, the best trip cancellation insurance policy is that of Heymondo
  • Safety Wing doesn’t have trip cancellation insurance; it only provides for the instance of a trip interruption.
  • Chapka pays out more but has more terms and conditions regarding trip cancellation coverage.

Do you like active vacations?

Colombia is a paradise for extreme sports activities. 

However, do not assume that your travel insurance will cover you if there’s an emergency or other type of incident.

Read your policy carefully, and ensure you are fully covered for travel risks for the activities you plan or are even thinking about performing. 

For coverage for active travelers, Heymondo & Chapka are the best bet for your Colombia trip. 

Will you live in Colombia? 

Most visitors to Colombia stay for a short time, but some wish to make it their home. 

If you plan to live full-time – or most of the time – in Colombia, the panorama changes somewhat. 

Travel insurance is not appropriate in that case because it won’t cover routine visits, pre-existing conditions, maternity care, or other non-emergency services.

By Colombian law, your visa category may require you to take out some insurance initially. However, you can obtain Colombian health insurance once you get your Cédula de Extranjería (Colombian National ID card). 

Also, once Colombia becomes your home country, your travel insurance will almost certainly no longer be valid. Insurance providers rarely cover people living in their home country, i.e., their primary country of residence.

If you are working in Colombia, you must legally pay into a Colombian health insurance plan and provide proof of such even to get paid. 

There are dozens of Colombian health insurance providers at the time of this writing, and they offer different levels of coverage. Most Colombians, when asked, would recommend either Colsanitas or Sura. 

SafetyWing also offers Colombian health insurance through their partners, ranging from basic coverage to pre-paid expense options, with various deductible options, etc.

What’s the cheapest option?

It’s worth mentioning here that the cheaper the Colombian travel insurance plan, the higher the deductible and the lower the limit is likely to be. 

Of course, in Colombia, paying out of pocket for medical costs is often viable. Services here tend to be good and cheap, much cheaper than they would be in most countries, even other countries in South America. 

For this reason, you may be OK with having basic coverage for just the most dire medical emergencies while staying in Colombia. 

If this is the case, SafetyWing is definitely the way to go, assuming you are young enough to take advantage of their good rates. 

Are you already insured abroad? 

If you buy travel insurance, it will always give you better coverage and more options. But, some people may already have a level of coverage abroad that they consider acceptable.

You should do the following before you buy travel insurance separately from travel insurance companies to make sure you’re not buying something you already have access to: 

#1: Make a list of your different insurance

List all the types of insurance you are already entitled to or are already paying for. These could include:

  • Health insurance/travel health insurance paid for by your work, 
  • Travel insurance/travel health insurance included with your credit card
  • Liability insurance you already pay for. 
  • House and/or car insurance you already pay for. 

👉 Keep in mind: If you have national health insurance where you live, this rarely includes travel insurance. 

If you plan on relying on any of the above options for your travel insurance, it’s crucial to call whoever is providing it before leaving for Colombia!

#2: More information about credit card insurance

  • You must buy the plane tickets with that card for this to be valid. Or in other words, whichever card you use to purchase the tickets will be the card that provides your insurance. 
  • It’s often a good idea to ask for an upgrade on your travel insurance policy before booking the tickets. Companies will usually do this for you as an incentive to purchase! 
  • Maximum payouts are generally low with this type of travel insurance. Also, credit card health insurance is rarely suitable for longer trips. Almost always, they will have a 90-day or similar limit on how long the policy can be effective.

👉 Learn more about Credit Card Travel Insurance here and whether they will suit your needs.

How to submit a claim 

  • Safetywing – go to the customer service section of their website. 
  • Chapka – call them up. It’s imperative to call them before incurring any claim-related expenses so that they may be deemed medically necessary. Otherwise, they will be denied!
  • Heymondo – just click the button inside their app. You will be immediately connected with one of their licensed agents. 

Here are some pro travel tips for handling medical insurance claims abroad. They apply no matter who your provider is: 

  • Ensure you have your policy number and all relevant information stored in your phone and somewhere else easily accessible while traveling. Also, of course, have the phone number for the insurance provider stored as a contact as well, hopefully on a cloud as well as in the phone.
  • Contact your insurance provider ASAP if you need to go to the hospital because of a medical emergency. This will be a big help to you. Also, they must consent to pay for the transportation and medical costs involved. 
  • If a crime was committed while visiting Colombia, notify the local police and file a denuncia. Your insurance will almost certainly require this.
  • Document everything possible. Take ample pictures of everything relevant to the situation. Keep all receipts. 
  • Don’t delay in submitting the actual claim for the incident.

FAQ’s: Travel insurance for Colombia

Here are some of the most common questions we get regularly.

  1. Travel insurance plans vs. travel medical insurance:

    Travel insurance covers things generally related to the flights, like lost baggage and others mentioned below. It may also come packaged with travel medical insurance.

    Travel medical insurance covers emergency medical treatment, prescription medications, emergency evacuation, and repatriation to the policyholder’s home country while abroad. 

  2. Do you need health insurance for Colombia?

    Many categories of Colombian visas now require foreigners to purchase health insurance that will cover them during their stay—if they plan to live here. It’s not requiered for tourists.

  3. Travel insurance cost for Colombia

    Travel insurance in Colombia can cost as low as USD 45 for 4 weeks (with SafetyWing)

  4. Covid 19 requirements for traveling to Colombia

    There are no more Covid-19 requirements for entering Colombia anymore. However, you do have to fill out the Check Mig form when entering and leaving.

  5. Is travel insurance required for Colombia?

    It is not a legal requirement to purchase travel insurance before entering Colombia. However, it can save you a lot of hassle if something happens!

  6. Can foreigners buy health insurance in Colombia?

    Foreigners in Colombia cannot buy Colombian health insurance or medical coverage until they have obtained their Colombian national ID card (cédula de extranjería). 

  7. How much does medicine cost in Colombia?

    It depends a lot on which medicine, in particular, you are seeking. However, prescription medicine in Colombia usually costs a fraction of what it would cost in your home country. 

Bottom line: Travel insurance for Colombia

Embark on your Colombian adventure with confidence and peace of mind. Buy travel insurance to protect yourself from unexpected challenges along the way.

Whether you’re a wanderer seeking flexibility (Heymondo), a budget-conscious digital nomad (SafetyWing), or a diverse traveler in need of tailored coverage (Chapka), there’s an insurance option for every kind of explorer.

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I have been traveling around Colombia and Mexico since 2015 to discover new experiences and help travelers make the right choices.

3 comments

  1. william says:

    Comparing policies and buying insurance is the EASY part. Sure, there are lots of “travel insurance” companies that will quickly and easily SELL you a policy, BUT DO THEY PAY CLAIMS? Because that’s where the rubber meets the road. Go on TrustPilot and try to find reviews from people who have tried to get claims paid. I looked at reviews of several popular travel insurance companies and I found NO reports of claims having been paid, but plenty of reports of people who TRIED to get their claim paid. Personally, I will never buy “travel insurance” again because it seems like they are all scams and I’m just throwing money away and buying only a lot of potential frustration if I ever were to submit a claim.

    • Hi William, I completely understand your concerns. Based on my own experience, I didn’t face any issues while claiming reimbursement from the travel insurance company. Just make sure to follow their guidelines strictly, and you should be able to avoid any delays.

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