Do you need travel insurance for Argentina?
Whether or not to buy a travel insurance policy is a question that comes up a lot in relation to traveling to Argentina. Argentina has public healthcare and anyone who is in the country can seek emergency treatment at public facilities. But the once exemplar public health care in Argentina has declined from the good old days and, as with many things in Argentina, what sounds great in theory may turn out to be tricky to navigate.
What this means in practice is that if you are not gushing blood from your head when you enter the hospital you may have to wait for several hours in the emergency room to be seen and have to shuffle around from line to line before you see a doctor. While both public and private healthcare professionals in Argentina tend to be excellent, public hospitals are overwhelmed and not really places where you want to spend a lot of time. Often the facilities are dilapidated, stray animals hang out in the hallways and cigarette smoke bellows from offices. Any prescription medicine, or medical devices such as crutches or an arm sling will cost money if you are uninsured. Some public hospitals do not provide things such as sheets and towels for patients.
If you like to be on the safe side, are a little older, have a preexisting condition, are traveling as a family, or plan on doing any road trips or adventure sports, you may want to consider travel insurance for peace of mind.
If you are a young traveler and not planning anything too adventurous, relying on Argentina’s public health system may be good enough. One consideration is that Argentina has the second highest number of auto-accidents in the world after Angola, so be extra careful driving or hitchhiking. The country’s long-distance buses are quite safe when not traveling on icy stretches.
Loss of Property Insurance
It is far more likely that visitors will lose bags, be a victim of theft or incur some other material loss on a trip to Argentina than have a health emergency. That is when vacation insurance protection against theft or lost baggage can be a godsend. Check out this viral video from a few years ago — a Canadian tourist on a bike tour through La Boca (not on one of Wander Argentina’s tours, we are happy to report!) got held up at gun point while wearing a GoPro camera.
It’s not far-flung to think the bewildered canuck didn’t turn his bag over even though a gun is pointed at him because he had expensive equipment and didn’t have travel insurance.
Travel insurance or not, even locals don’t recommend carrying anything expensive or shiny in La Boca . La Boca is probably the most dangerous neighborhood you will visit while in the country. We recommend staying on the beaten path here, in and around Caminito, or taking a guided tour (with a responsible company).
Get Covered: Travel Insurance from World Nomads
World Nomads is a well-established travel insurance company and the one most veteran wanderers recommend. They have 24-hour emergency assistance and cover residents from 150 countries. You can purchase, extend and claim, even while traveling. Their plans even cover lost, stolen or damaged baggage. You can get a free quote below:
Travel and Make a Difference
World Nomads is backed by a suite of specialist travel insurers who provide you with 24-hour emergency assistance and the highest levels of support and claims management when you need it most.
When you buy a policy from World Nomads not only are you covered, you can help make a difference to developing communities. Your small donation helps fund local projects through the WorldNomads Footprints program and you also help keep Wander Argentina going at no extra cost!