I just want to give people a heads up on this. It applies to any trip you are taking, not just Cuba, but it works for Cuba as well.
People keep spending a small fortune on health insurance when they travel. In fact when you book a trip, the default is to add it, you have to specifically tell them not to add it, and you have to repeat yourself and discard their dire lectures.
Why would you do that? Well because you are likely already more than covered for any medical emergency that may befall you during your trip.
Moreover, your chances of collecting on a policy that you purchased specifically for a trip are highly questionable as they like to use the term "pre-existing condition therefore doesn't qualify" a lot ... and fyi a common cold is a "pre-existing condition."
The truth is that if you have extended health coverage, then you should have plenty of coverage already. Check with your extended health care provider before you spend a fortune on a policy that you don't need.
As well as your extended health coverage, if you are taking a non-US-based credit card of any sort with you to Cuba, then you also have emergency travel insurance coverage connected to your card whether you pay a fee for that card or not. Again check with your card provider for the details.
The whole travel insurance industry is designed to play on people's fears, they lead you to question whether you'll be covered, in fact most of you are more than covered. We discovered this ourselves on a recent trip to the US, wish we could go back in time and recover all the wasted cash from falling for the fear-mongering.
When going to Cuba, all the dire warnings about coverage caused me more concern than usual, so I contacted our extended health care provider, only to find out that we were covered for 2 million each. We do not have any kind of deluxe plan or anything, just your typical basic extended health care plan. Two million.
Besides, if you do have a medical emergency, it is your own extended coverage that you will have to prove you used anyways before the emergency travel insurer will even contemplate your claim, so it's not like you're benefiting in any way by double-covering yourself, all you're actually doing is flushing a lot of money down the drain.
Hope this helps folks make more informed choices when it comes to emergency travel insurance. I'm not saying don't buy it, I'm saying do your homework on that front it could save you a lot of money which will give you more to spend on your vacation.
I have no idea how the extended coverage works in other countries, this heads up is aimed at Canadians :-)Edited: 12 January 2013, 04:37