When it comes to sheer natural beauty, few destinations in the world can hold a candle to Iceland.
Whether it’s the dancing aurora borealis, the gargantuan glaciers, the thermal lagoons, or the surreal landscape of lava fields, Iceland is a treasure trove for the adventurous and nature-loving traveler.
However, along with its beauty, the country presents certain unique challenges, from unpredictable weather to high costs of healthcare, which is why taking out comprehensive travel insurance is a smart move for any American planning to explore this stunning country.
In this article...
Why Americans Need Travel Insurance for Iceland
Why, why why?
Unpredictable Weather and Road Conditions
The weather in Iceland can change rapidly, which can make road travel especially hazardous. The island nation is known for its sudden snowstorms, gale-force winds, and rainstorms, any of which can result in road closures and travel disruptions.
Comprehensive travel insurance can provide coverage for unexpected expenses arising from weather-related incidents, like accommodation for extra nights, or costs associated with missed or delayed flights.
High Medical Costs
While the healthcare system in Iceland is excellent, it is also expensive. As a U.S. citizen, you’re required to pay for all healthcare services upfront, unless you have travel insurance that covers overseas medical expenses.
A good policy should not only cover the cost of treatment but also emergency evacuation, if needed.
Outdoor Adventure Risks
Iceland’s dramatic landscapes make it a paradise for outdoor activities such as glacier hiking, ice caving, snowmobiling, and horse riding.
These activities, however, come with inherent risks. Accidents could result in injuries, necessitating medical treatment and disrupting your travel plans.
An adventure sports cover, typically an add-on or included in more extensive plans, can provide coverage in such scenarios.
Theft or Loss of Belongings
While Iceland has a low crime rate, instances of theft or losing your belongings can still occur. Your policy can cover the cost of replacing lost or stolen items, including your passport.
What to Look for in Travel Insurance for Iceland
When you’re choosing travel insurance for your trip to Iceland, here are some key features to consider:
Comprehensive Medical Coverage
Ensure your policy includes comprehensive medical coverage, including hospitalization, outpatient treatment, emergency evacuation, and repatriation. If you plan to participate in any adventure activities, verify that these are included in your coverage.
Trip Cancellation or Interruption
Look for a policy that provides trip cancellation or interruption coverage. This could reimburse you if you need to cancel your trip due to unforeseen circumstances or if your trip is disrupted due to factors such as bad weather or a medical emergency.
Baggage and Personal Belongings
A good travel insurance policy should cover your personal belongings against loss or theft. This could also include coverage for the loss or theft of your passport and the associated costs of getting a temporary one.
Your insurer should offer 24/7 assistance. If you’re facing an emergency in a foreign country, you’ll want to be able to reach your insurer at any time for guidance and support.
Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, make sure your travel insurance includes coverage for COVID-19 related incidents. This could include coverage for medical treatment if you contract the virus and trip cancellation if you test positive before your departure.
How to Make a Claim on Your Travel Insurance
If you find yourself in a situation where you need to make a claim, it’s important to know the process:
- Inform your insurer as soon as possible.
- Provide all necessary documentation, such as medical reports, police reports, receipts, etc.
- Follow up regularly. Claims can take time to process, and staying proactive can help expedite the procedure.
Travel Insurance for Iceland FAQs
1. How much does travel insurance for Iceland cost?
The cost of travel insurance for Iceland varies based on factors such as the length of your trip, your age, the coverage amount, and any pre-existing conditions. As a ballpark figure, you can expect to pay around 4-10% of your total trip cost.
2. Does travel insurance cover cancellation due to COVID-19?
This largely depends on the policy. Some insurers do provide coverage if you need to cancel your trip due to contracting COVID-19 or because of travel advisories related to the virus. Make sure to read the policy thoroughly to understand what is covered.
3. Is travel insurance mandatory for visiting Iceland?
As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, travel insurance is not mandatory for visiting Iceland. However, given the unpredictable weather and high medical costs, it’s highly recommended.
4. What happens if I have a pre-existing medical condition?
If you have a pre-existing medical condition, it’s important to declare it while buying your travel insurance. Some insurers may cover it, though it may raise your premium. If it’s not covered, you’ll have to bear any costs associated with it while you’re in Iceland.
5. Does travel insurance cover adventure sports?
Many travel insurance policies cover a set list of adventure activities, while others might require you to purchase an additional adventure sports cover. Make sure to check the policy’s details if you plan to participate in adventure sports in Iceland.
Conclusion: Protection for Your Icelandic Adventure
Iceland’s breathtaking landscapes are a draw for many American travelers, but its unpredictable weather and high healthcare costs make travel insurance a must-have for your trip.
A good policy can cover medical costs, trip disruptions due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances, and loss or theft of belongings. It provides peace of mind, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty of the land of fire and ice.
While travel insurance might seem like an additional expense, when it comes to exploring a country as unique and challenging as Iceland, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Travel safe, explore bravely, and let your insurance cover the uncertainties. After all, a vacation should be full of wonder, not worry. Happy travels to the land of fire and ice!