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Travel insurance for the Dominican Republic

Compare the best Dominican Republic travel insurance for 2021.

The Dominican Republic is one of the Caribbean’s most stunning tourist destinations. The island nation boasts the highest peak, lowest elevation and largest lake in the region — not to mention the first cathedral, castle, fortress and monastery in the Americas, as well a bustling ecotourism scene.

There’s so much to love about the Dominican Republic, and the right travel insurance can help you get the most out of it.

What's changed in 2021?

The US government has issued a Level 3 travel advisory for the Dominican Republic as of February 2021. Read the fine print of your travel insurance policy to learn whether it covers emergencies, evacuations, interruptions or cancellations for your DR trip during the pandemic. Learn more about restrictions and requirements for US travelers by country.
*As of December 2020, the Dominican government has pledged to cover all COVID-related medical expenses for tourists staying in all-inclusive resorts and hotels up to April 30, 2021. The US embassy in Santo Domingo remains closed for regular operations.

How to compare travel insurance for the Dominican Republic

There are a variety of travel insurance plans to consider, depending on what your Dominican adventure will entail. Your vacation could mean lying on the beach with drink and food in hand all day, taking regular scenic and city tours or something more extreme like ziplining, surfing, parasailing or whitewater rafting. The following policies can offer you cover to meet your bucket list needs:

  • Trip cancellation and luggage protection. The DR is easily accessible from the US, but it’s easy to experience delays or cancellations — especially during hurricane season — and for luggage to end up elsewhere. Also, theft is a considerable risk.
  • Medical. Basic medical coverage is one all travelers should consider, as illness can happen without warning.
  • Activity. Looking for thrills from the long list of exciting activities you’ll find? Activity insurance is definitely one to look into.
  • Evacuation. For the real die-hard adventurers, an insurance plan that covers you in the event that you need to return home for medical treatment, evacuation is a good one to have.
  • Comprehensive. Doing it all? Package all your coverage together in one plan.
  • Group coverage. Traveling with family or friends? A group coverage plan may be more cost-effective.

Compare travel insurance for the Dominican Republic

Name Product Trip Cancellation Emergency Medical Expenses Baggage Coverage Trip Delay
Atlas Travel by Tokio Marine
Customizable policy that balances basic essentials with premium coverage.
Atlas Group Insurance by Tokio Marine
Customizable policy designed for families, student organizations and groups of five or more people.
RoamRight Essential Travel Insurance Plan
Basic policy with coverage that includes trip cancellation insurance, tourist health insurance and baggage insurance.
RoamRight Multi-Trip Annual Insurance for Trip Cancellation
Bare-bones policy designed for those who want trip cancellation coverage and limited medical protection.
AXA Assistance Silver Plan
Basic travel protection with lower amounts of coverage. No option to cancel for any reason.

Compare up to 4 providers

How much will it cost to get coverage?

The following table shows a sample price of basic and comprehensive travel insurance policies, by age, for a month of single-trip medical coverage to the Dominican Republic.

Basic travel insurance$25.92$157.88$157.88$247.88$351.38
Comprehensive travel insurance$115$245$336$484$618

NOTE: These prices are accurate as of February 2021.

What won’t I be covered for?

Exclusions also vary from policy to policy, but you’ll rarely be covered for:

  • Failure to obey signs and warnings. Natural hazards aren’t always clearly posted, so keep a careful eye and obey any signs and warnings. Failure to do so typically means you aren’t covered for resulting loss or injury.
  • Unsecured possessions. Unless you’ve taken all reasonable steps to secure your belongings then you can’t claim losses from theft or damage. Reasonable steps include utilizing hotel safes, keeping valuables out of sight, not leaving belongings unattended and locking your rooms and vehicles.
  • Traveling to an unsafe area. If you get sick or injured while traveling to an area that the US Department of State has issued an advisory against, your insurer’s ability to help may be limited.

How to stay safe in the Dominican Republic

Travel insurance can help protect you financially, but always exercise caution. Risks to watch out for include:

  • Hurricane season. From June to November is when storm surges, heavy rain, flooding and mudslides are most likely to occur. Have a clear understanding of how your travel insurance covers natural disasters.
  • Crime. To minimize risks, use public transportation with caution and avoid traveling alone, especially after dark. Be wary of accepting invitations, rides or unsolicited requests. Theft can also be an issue, so leave valuables at home, and always keep your wallet well-hidden — otherwise you may not be able to make a claim for theft if it gets stolen.
  • Illness. Zika, dengue fever and other mosquito-borne illnesses vary by region and peak from May to November, while rabies is a potential threat all year. Wear long sleeves, use insect repellent, avoid contact with animals and seek immediate medical attention if you are bitten or scratched. Water-borne, food-borne and infectious diseases are a general issue, so take all appropriate precautions and see a doctor immediately if you feel sick.
    • Dangerous roads. Road rules in the Dominican Republic differ from home, and poorly maintained and unlit roads are common. Animals, bicycles, scooters and motorcycles on the roads are abundant and can be hazardous. Avoid driving at night if possible, keep your doors locked and windows closed in crowded areas, and contact police in the event of an accident.
      • Swimming hazards. Beaches are beautiful but you use them at your own risk. There are typically no official lifeguards and undertows can be strong, so check conditions with your hotel or other authorities before going in the water.

      Tips for traveling overseas

      What happens if I have a medical emergency in the Dominican Republic?

      In the event of a medical emergency you should plan on either paying out of pocket and then claiming costs later or having a travel insurance policy that pays for medical emergencies up front. Finding specialists in the event of a serious illness or injury can take time and may involve additional travel and expenses.

      Familiarize yourself with the three different types of hospitals in the Dominican Republic:

      • Most reasonably sized towns have at least one standard public hospital. Patients could be expected to cover “extras” like stitches, X-rays, bedding and food. It’s likely that the majority of staff will speak Spanish.
      • Combined public and private hospitals with advanced facilities and equipment can be found in the capital, Santo Domingo, as well as in the second-largest city, Santiago. Health care is not free and costs typically run into thousands of dollars for broken bones, surgery or serious illnesses. These hospitals accept payments via travel insurance and will generally be able to provide any necessary procedures.
      • Local clinics can be found in almost all towns. These are smaller than the above hospitals, and treatment options may vary. 2,000 Dominican pesos (DOP) — or about $35 USD — will cover the cost of a basic medical visit.
      • Tourist areas often boast quality care clinics with multilingual staff, and clinics in more isolated locations offer fewer services.

      Who do I contact if something goes wrong?

      In the event of an emergency, contact:

      • Your travel insurance provider. Their 24/7 helpline should be clearly printed on your policy.
      • Emergency services. You can reach police, fire and ambulance dispatch by dialing 911 in the Dominican Republic.
      • US embassy or consulate. If you lose your passport, get into legal trouble or if there’s a countrywide emergency, contact the US embassy in Santo Domingo.

      Bottom line

      The Dominican Republic is one of the Caribbean’s most popular tourist destinations, and it’s easy to see why. Whether you’re looking forward to a few days of basking on the beach or a month of heart-pounding adventure, pick up a travel insurance policy before you leave to keep you — and your bank account — safe on the journey.

      Frequently asked questions

      When is the best time to visit the Dominican Republic?

      The Dominican Republic is warm all year round, so you can enjoy a tropical climate whenever you visit.

      • The peak tourist season is December to April when it’s warm, but not oppressive like in summer. Be prepared for crowds at popular attractions.
      • Lower prices are best found in the shoulder seasons in May and June, and then again from the end of September until November.
      • You may wish to avoid the wet season from June to November.

      When should I buy a travel insurance policy?

      Buy travel insurance for the Dominican Republic when you purchase your plane ticket so that you’re covered if your trip gets canceled.

      What are the entry requirements?

      US citizens with a valid passport can visit the Dominican Republic without a visa for up to 30 days.

      Picture: Shutterstock

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