It’s a good idea - you’ll be far from home in a foreign country. Travel insurance will cover you for theft, loss of possessions and travel disruption, plus any private medical treatment you might need during your trip.
You can get free emergency medical treatment in Brazil’s public hospitals, but the waiting times are long and the facilities aren’t that modern. If you choose a private hospital, you’ll need travel insurance to pay for any medical costs or you’ll have to cover the costs yourself.
Check policies to see exactly what you’re covered for, for example ambulances or emergency flights home (repatriation).
Your policy should cover travel to Brazil and South America plus any other destinations you plan on visiting.
There are usually two types of worldwide travel insurance - either including or excluding the USA and Caribbean. Policies that exclude them are usually cheaper, so try and find one without the additional cover for countries you don't need.
It’s probably not worth it if you’re only going to travel in Europe as well this year though. Compare your options to make sure you’re getting value for money.
Diseases in Brazil include yellow fever, zika virus and malaria. Make sure your vaccinations are up to date for Brazil and check the NHS website before travelling for advice on antimalarials or changes to standard immunisations.
Your travel insurance won’t cover you if you get ill from a disease that could’ve been prevented with a vaccine.
Just a few travel planning tips:
The rainy season lasts from November to March in the south and south-east. In the north-east it runs from April to June. Flash floods can disrupt your travel plans, so make sure your travel insurance policy covers you for travel disruption and flight delay compensation
UK citizens won’t need a visa to travel to Brazil, but you’ll need a passport valid for at least six months and a return ticket. You might be asked if you can fund your trip when you arrive, so have proof of disposable cash
Despite the high crime levels, most visits are trouble free, but credit card crime and cloning are common. Read the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) guide to safety and security in Brazil before you travel
Car-jackings do happen, particularly on major roads and in tunnels. If you’re hiring a car keep the doors locked and windows closed and take particular care at traffic lights
Brazil’s currency is the ‘Real’ (R$). ATM machines are easy to find in Brazil, and credit cards are accepted at most restaurants, shops and hotels. Increase protection for your money by taking out cover for cash
If you’re planning on trekking in the amazon, make sure you’re covered by your travel insurance. If you can’t find cover from a standard policy, you can take out additional cover for extreme sports as well