Brazil travel insurance

From tropical heat to carnival beats, get travel insurance for Brazil.

Woman stomping her suitcase shut

Travelling to Brazil

Famed for its carnivals and natural beauty, Brazil offers an explosion of colourful sights to enjoy at every turn. And as the largest country in South America, there’s plenty to explore.

So, whether you’re relaxing on the beach, joining in with the parades, or trekking through the Amazon rainforest, your trip will be a memorable one.

Even the currency, the Brazilian real, is vibrant - with its banknotes brightly decorated with different colours and native animals.

But for peace of mind on your trip and to help you enjoy it to the full - find out more about travel insurance for Brazil before you set off.

travel insurance brazil

Is travel insurance compulsory when travelling to Brazil?

No, you don’t legally need travel insurance to visit Brazil. But taking out cover can provide a safety net for a wide range of unexpected situations you might face on holiday.

It’s best to buy it as soon as you book your trip. That way you’ll be covered if you need to cancel before you set off.

Many popular areas are filled with large crowds (especially at carnival time). So it’s a good idea to have travel insurance in case your bag or wallet is lost or stolen.

You can be covered for anything from damaged luggage to emergency medical expenses - saving you from paying out for any expensive holiday mishaps.

What type of travel insurance do I need for Brazil?

If you’re travelling to Brazil, you’ll need to take out worldwide travel insurance.

Depending on the countries you’ll be visiting, it’s possible to buy a worldwide policy that excludes the USA, Canada and the Caribbean - this type of policy is usually cheaper.

You’ll also need to decide which type of policy suits your needs best:

Single trip

If your Brazil holiday is the only trip you’re planning to take in the next 12 months, it’s usually cheaper to buy a single-trip policy.

Annual multi-trip

This type of policy lasts for a year and will cover you for two or more holidays. So you won’t need to buy separate cover each time you travel. You’ll just need to make sure your policy includes all the countries you plan to visit.

Backpackers’ travel insurance

Brazil is a great destination to visit if you’re backpacking. This type of policy can cover you for longer trips and travelling to multiple destinations.

What might my travel insurance cover?

Travel insurance policies vary between providers, but a typical policy for Brazil will usually include cover for:

  1. Medical expenses

    If you get ill or injured while you’re away this can cover the cost of your medical treatment, usually up to £5 million.

  2. Cancellation cover

    You can be covered for the cost of your trip if you’re unable to travel because of something like an injury or sudden illness.

  3. Cutting short your trip

    You’ll be covered if an emergency means you need to come home early - for example, if a close relative became very unwell.

  4. Repatriation

    This covers the cost of transporting you home if you need to be taken back after illness, injury, or death.

  5. Lost, stolen, or damaged belongings

    If something happens to your things while you’re away, your policy can cover the cost of replacing or repairing them.

  6. Money, passport and travel documents

    Travel insurance can let you claim up to the limit on your policy for lost or stolen cash and documents.

  7. Personal liability

    This will cover your legal expenses if you accidentally injure someone else or damage their property while you’re abroad.

What won’t travel insurance for Brazil cover?

While travel insurance can help protect you against unexpected costs, it won’t cover everything. So check policy exclusions before you buy travel insurance for Brazil.

Typically, things you won’t be covered for include:

  • Pre-existing conditions - You’ll need to declare any medical conditions before you take out cover. Not telling your insurer is likely to invalidate your policy and can mean any claim you make is rejected.
  • High-adrenaline activities - If you’ll be doing adventure sports while you’re in Brazil, like scuba diving and jet skiing, these activities won’t normally be covered unless you buy an adventure sports policy add-on.
  • Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol - If you were taking drugs or drinking alcohol excessively when you had an accident or had property stolen or damaged, it’s likely your claim will be rejected.
  • Changing your mind - Although cancellation cover is normally included, you won’t be covered if you’re simply cancelling because you’ve decided against going.
  • Airline strikes - You’ll usually need to claim through your airline if your flight is delayed or cancelled because of an airline strike. However, your travel insurance may cover things like extra accommodation and car hire (if needed) because of a strike.
  • Preventable illness - Brazil has a higher risk of certain diseases, like malaria and yellow fever. So check Travel Health Pro at least two months before you travel to find out what vaccinations and medications you need. You won’t typically be covered for diseases if they could have been prevented.
  • Natural disasters - Many policies won’t cover claims related to natural disasters, so check the terms and conditions carefully. Avoid travelling in Brazil’s rainy season when flooding and landslides can happen.

What should I do if I have an accident or illness while travelling in Brazil?

Call your travel insurer straightaway - most will have a 24-hour emergency helpline. They can advise you where the nearest hospitals or doctors are and help organise payment.

If you need to get treatment urgently, you may need to pay the costs upfront. If this happens, make sure you keep all receipts to help your claim afterwards.

And if the situation is extreme - for example, if you’ve been attacked or someone has died - you can contact the British Embassy in Brazil for advice.

What’s the standard of healthcare in Brazil?

Brazil provides free healthcare for local citizens. And as a British citizen, you’ll be entitled to emergency treatment - but you’ll need to pay for this.

However, public healthcare in Brazil may not meet the same standards as NHS hospitals. And the conditions can be crowded with long waiting times.

Because of this, you may need to use private hospitals. But you might be asked for proof of your travel insurance first.

Whenever possible, always check with your travel insurer that you’re covered for private treatment. Some policies will only cover treatment from state healthcare providers.

Travel risks in Brazil

Despite the high crime levels, most visits are trouble free, but credit card crime and cloning are common. Read the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) guide to safety and security in Brazil before you travel.

We found that 73% of 1,046 annual travel insurance policies on Defaqto covered money up to a maximum sum of £399 or less, and 26% offered a benefit for injury following a mugging of up to £1,999.[3]

Check the government website to find the latest information on safe places to travel, terrorism and security when visiting Brazil.

Do I need a visa for Brazil?

No, unless you’re planning to visit Brazil for more than 90 days, you won’t need one for your trip.

However, if you want to stay for longer than this you’ll need a Brazil tourist visa.

When you apply for one, you’ll need to meet certain conditions - including providing evidence that you have sufficient funds for your stay and proof of onwards or return flight tickets.

Things to know when travelling to Brazil

Brazil is a great country to visit but do your research before you go. Things that are useful to know include:


Brazilians love to party and carnival is their most important festival. The weeklong celebrations start in mid-February, with the most spectacular parade being held in Rio. And the colourful Festa Junina is celebrated throughout Brazil for the whole of June


Brazil’s official language is Portuguese. And although you can probably get by using some Spanish, it’s a good idea to learn some Portuguese phrases to help you communicate.


While some vaccinations are optional, you’ll need to show proof of your Covid-19 vaccination status if you want to visit Brazil. If you’re not fully vaccinated, you’ll need to show a negative antigen or PCR test, 24 hours before departure. Check for updates.


The subways in Brazil’s main cities offer pink, women-only carriages. But you’ll need to time your trip carefully - the carriages are only available during peak hours from 6am to 9am and 5pm to 8pm, Monday to Friday.


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 scupper your travel plans, so make sure your travel insurance policy covers you for travel disruption and flight delay compensation.


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.

Trekking and outdoor activities

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 an add-on for extreme sports.

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Page last reviewed: 15 May 2023

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[3]Last checked 11 May 2023