7 Best Brazil Travel Insurance Plans for US Citizens in 2022

Updated on by Matthew H. Nash – Licensed Insurance Agent

Known for its white sand beaches, vibrant culture, the Amazon and fantastic food, Brazil attracts millions of tourists each year. With all of the uncertainty around travel, there is a heightened potential for trip cancellations and delays, luggage issues and medical emergencies. Having the best Brazil travel insurance policy can help shield you from the financial risks that come with going on vacation. In this article, I cover everything you need to know about selecting the right plan, including how much you can expect to pay, the level of coverage to look for and variations between top plans. Read more about our unbiased ranking methodology and advertiser disclosure.

4.9
  • SwiftScore
      Our SwiftScore is a unique and proprietary insurance ranking system objectively comparing key metrics which are most important to Brazil travelers. Learn more at the end of this page.

STARTING PRICE
FOR 2-WEEK TRIP TO THE BRAZIL

$107.39

CAN YOU CANCEL YOUR TRIP FOR ANY REASON? 

Yes

BEST
 WEBSITE
FOR

Comparing Policies

  • Compare dozens of the best Brazil travel insurance policies from all the major providers in one place
  • Easily filter for the features you want and get support from their award-winning customer service team
  • Founded in 2013, TravelInsurance.com has helped hundreds of thousands of travelers find affordable insurance coverage
4.8
  • SwiftScore
      Our SwiftScore is a unique and proprietary insurance ranking system objectively comparing key metrics which are most important to travelers. Learn more at the end of this page.

STARTING PRICE
FOR 2-WEEK TRIP TO THE BRAZIL

$145.41

CAN YOU CANCEL YOUR TRIP FOR ANY REASON? 

Yes

BEST
POLICY
FOR

Travelers Aged 55+

  • Pre-existing medical conditions are covered for a reasonable fee and they offer “cancel for any reason” as an add-on
  • $2,000 COVID quarantine coverage available w/ Safe Travels Voyager plan
  • Founded in 1998 and underwritten by Nationwide and GBG Insurance
squaremouth
4.8
  • SwiftScore
      Our SwiftScore is a unique and proprietary insurance ranking system objectively comparing key metrics which are most important to travelers. Learn more at the end of this page.

STARTING PRICE
FOR 2-WEEK TRIP TO THE BRAZIL

$76.44

CAN YOU CANCEL YOUR TRIP FOR ANY REASON? 

Yes

BEST
WEBSITE
FOR

Filtering Plans

  • This comparison website has the most comprehensive filters especially for Covid-19 which helps you search for the specific benefits you need
  • They have “Zero Complaint Guarantee” which promises a fair claims process
  • Established in 2003, Squaremouth has consistently been recognized for it’s exceptional customer service
4.7
  • SwiftScore
      Our SwiftScore is a unique and proprietary insurance ranking system objectively comparing key metrics which are most important to travelers. Learn more at the end of this page.

STARTING PRICE
FOR 2-WEEK TRIP TO THE BRAZIL

$88.00

CAN YOU CANCEL YOUR TRIP FOR ANY REASON? 

Yes

BEST
POLICY
FROM

An Established Brand

  • Well rounded, inexpensive travel insurance plans from an established and top rated global insurance company
  • AXA has plans that cover pre-existing conditions and their “Platinum” plan covers “cancel for any reason” with an optional add-on. They also offer helpful 24/7 Worldwide Travel Assistance Services
  • Founded in 1959 and underwritten by Nationwide
4.7
  • SwiftScore
      Our SwiftScore is a unique and proprietary insurance ranking system objectively comparing key metrics which are most important to travelers. Learn more at the end of this page.

STARTING PRICE
FOR 2-WEEK TRIP TO THE BRAZIL

$142.91

CAN YOU CANCEL YOUR TRIP FOR ANY REASON? 

No

BEST
POLICY
FOR

Adventure Travel

  • Covers almost all adventure activities for a reasonable price for U.S. residents up to age 70 (worldwide up to age 65)
  • Can insure up to 9 people in one family and the signup process is super easy
  • Founded in 2002 and underwritten for U.S. travelers by Nationwide Insurance
4.2
  • SwiftScore
      Our SwiftScore is a unique and proprietary insurance ranking system objectively comparing key metrics which are most important to travelers. Learn more at the end of this page.

STARTING PRICE
FOR 2-WEEK TRIP TO THE BRAZIL

$139.00

CAN YOU CANCEL YOUR TRIP FOR ANY REASON? 

Yes

BEST
POLICY
FOR

Family Travel

  • Their “Trip Interruption for any Reason” feature allows you to get a 75% reimbursement for any additional expenses if you decide to go home early from your trip
  • They have a variety of insurance products to suit any travel needs
  • Founded in 1993 and underwritten by Nationwide Insurance
3.6
  • SwiftScore
      Our SwiftScore is a unique and proprietary insurance ranking system objectively comparing key metrics which are most important to travelers. Learn more at the end of this page.

STARTING PRICE
FOR 2-WEEK TRIP TO THE BRAZIL

$22.50

CAN YOU CANCEL YOUR TRIP FOR ANY REASON? 

No

BEST
POLICY
FOR

Long-term Travel

  • Ideal for digital nomads and long-term travel, available to anyone anywhere
  • Scored lower because short-term travel coverage isn’t as robust as competitors
  • Founded in 2018 and is underwritten by Lloyds of London

travel insurance
4.9
  • SwiftScore
      Our SwiftScore is a unique and proprietary insurance ranking system objectively comparing key metrics which are most important to travelers. Learn more at the end of this page.

STARTING PRICE
FOR 2-WEEK TRIP TO THE BRAZIL

$107.39

CAN YOU CANCEL YOUR TRIP FOR ANY REASON?

Yes

BEST
WEBSITE
FOR

Comparing Policies

  • Compare dozens of travel insurance policies from all the major providers in one place
  • Easily filter for the features you want and get support from their award-winning customer service team
  • Founded in 2013, TravelInsurance.com has helped hundreds of thousands of travelers find affordable insurance coverage

Brazil travel insurance FAQs

Is it worth buying “Cancel for Any Reason” insurance?

Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) is an optional coverage that you can tack on to your primary policy. It’s perfect for those who want added flexibility for travel and protection for the financial investment they make in their vacation. It allows travelers to do just as it says: cancel for any reason beyond the approved ones stated in their standard policy. This sort of coverage usually guarantees you a 75% refund of all your non-refundable trip costs.

How can I find the cheapest Brazil travel insurance plan?

First and foremost, I encourage all travelers to read a policy’s details in full before buying it. After all, there is no point in purchasing a plan that does not meet your Brazil travel needs, even if it is the cheapest. To find the best deal on a policy that gives you the coverage you want, I suggest using comparison sites such as TravelInsurance.com since it gives you the option to filter for various benefits and sort appropriate policies by price.

What are eligible trip delay expenses?

Trip delay benefits usually cover basic expenses, including meals, hotels or other local accommodations, ground transportation and internet service fees. Your policy will state a per diem amount for each insured traveler to which you will be entitled until you use the maximum trip delay benefit amount. Most Brazil travel insurance plans offer $150-$200 daily.

Will my trip insurance provider reimburse me for a 2-hour flight delay?

Most trip insurance plans require you to experience at least a 3-hour trip delay before you become eligible. Of course, some policies will set that minimum at 6 to 12 hours. Regardless of the time requirements, delays must be for covered reasons such as aircraft maintenance, inclement weather, air traffic, etc. The specifics will differ between providers, so be sure to verify the full terms regarding trip delay for any policy before purchasing it.

Will my Brazil travel insurance reimburse me for emergency dental work?

Brazil travel insurance policies only allow minimal emergency dental care coverage, usually ranging from $100 to $750. Your provider will only extend coverage to natural teeth and excludes crowns, bridges and false teeth. Do not expect coverage for cleanings and exams, as these do not fall under emergency dental services. Keep in mind that insurance companies put strict time limits on when you can have dental work performed in relation to the initial incident that brought on the need for it. Always read your policy’s full details, and contact your provider should any information remain unclear.

If I forget my laptop on a train or plane, will my travel insurance policy cover the loss?

Most travel insurance plans offer minimal coverage for electronic devices, usually around $500 per item that is lost, stolen, or damaged. For this reason, I recommend reading the full details of any policy you are interested in before buying it to determine if your laptop would fall under coverage if lost or stolen. You can also ask the provider if they offer any upgrades or policy riders that give extra protection in such situations.

How do I go about filing a travel insurance claim?

To file a claim, visit your travel insurance provider’s website and scroll down the footer. You should see a link that says “Claims,” “File a Claim” or something to that effect. Once you click on this, it will guide you through all of the necessary steps, including letting you know the documentation you will need to submit. That said, trip insurance companies also allow you to submit your claims through the mail if need be.

How is baggage loss defined? What do baggage loss benefits entail?

Baggage loss benefits go into effect if your luggage or personal possessions are lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed during travel to, in and from Brazil. You are eligible for these benefits should you check your luggage with a travel supplier, hotel or common carrier. Your insurer will reimburse you up to your policy’s Maximum Benefit Amount minus whatever the responsible party reimburses you.

The Maximum Benefit Limits you see listed in your policy are per person and are the most your trip insurance provider will reimburse you should any of your personal effects be lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed. However, it is essential to note that two other factors will affect the amount your provider will reimburse you.

The first is a Per Article Benefit, which is the most you can receive as compensation for any of your belongings that may have been lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed. The second is the Combined Article Limit, which applies to specific items such as electronic devices, jewelry, furs, watches, etc. Electronic devices include laptops, smartphones, tablets, cameras and more. As a result, if you lose any of these items or more than one, the highest amount you can get reimbursed, irrespective of their total value, is the dollar amount listed in your plan as the Combined Article Limit. That said, your policy may not have a Combined Article Limit, depending on your state of residence.

Let’s explore these benefits through a hypothetical situation. Imagine your trip insurance plan has a Maximum Benefit of $2,500, a Per Article Limit of $500 and a Combined Article Limit of $500. Should something happen to your luggage, your insurer will reimburse you up to $500 per item, depending upon each item’s value. The total reimbursement cannot exceed $2,500.

Let’s say you lose a designer handbag valued at $650. You will receive a $500 reimbursement, even if you haven’t reached your Maximum Benefit Limit. Next, let’s look at the Combined Article Limit. If you lose your laptop valued at $700 and a smartphone valued at $200, the most you will receive from your insurer is $500 because both items fall under the Combined Article Limit.

Keep in mind that insurance companies require you to have proof of ownership to demonstrate that you incurred a loss. Having receipts or demonstrating the items’ current value is also helpful in the claims process. Of course, photographs of the items, letters from the responsible party and police reports are also essential.

Before purchasing any policy, we recommend reading the full details so that you know what to expect should anything happen to your baggage once you leave home for your vacation in Brazil.

Most common problems while traveling in Brazil and how to avoid them:

Illnesses

The most common illness among tourists in Brazil is traveler’s diarrhea. Symptoms typically appear within 2-6 hours after consuming contaminated water or food. Aside from diarrhea, other symptoms may include chills, fever, bloating, body aches, stomach cramps, and vomiting. Since traveler’s diarrhea can quickly leave you dehydrated, you must seek medical care as soon as possible and do your utmost to boost your water intake.

If you are exploring the cities and towns along the Amazon via riverboat, do not eat any buffet meals, even if they are included in your ticket fare, as they are often a source of traveler’s diarrhea. Instead, pack plenty of snacks that travel well for a few days, such as nuts, dried fruits, and apples, and buy all your meals from the kitchen selling made-to-order meals.

You can reduce your risk by drinking only bottled water, avoiding drinks with ice, and not eating pre-peeled and pre-cut fruits or uncooked or rare meat. Should you plan to prepare any of your meals, only use bottled or boiled (then cooled) water to wash the produce.

Heatstroke (aka sunstroke) is another ailment that visitors to Brazil often develop, and its symptoms often resemble many of those of traveler’s diarrhea, and it is equally as dangerous. Therefore, if you experience any of the symptoms mentioned earlier and start feeling disoriented, go to the hospital immediately. That said, you can take a few precautions to keep yourself safe.

First and foremost, drink plenty of hydrating liquids such as water, herbal tea, and freshly pressed juices, and go easy on dehydrating ones such as alcohol, sodas, coffee/tea, or other caffeinated drinks. Consuming high-quality raw fruits and vegetables will also help keep you hydrated. Second, stay out of the sun during the peak heat, which usually occurs mid-afternoon. Third, be sure to rest plenty during the hottest months, January-April. Over-exertion without proper rest and fluid intake can lead to heatstroke.

Yet another two illnesses that often plague travelers are dengue fever and malaria. Both of which are viruses transmitted via mosquito bites. Unlike traveler’s diarrhea, dengue fever can leave you bedridden for several weeks or months. Should you start vomiting or come down with a fever and neither symptom subsides within 48 hours, get to the hospital immediately. Again, being under medical supervision is critical to your health and survival.

Additional symptoms of dengue fever include extreme fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, intense muscle pains, rashes, abdominal pains, eye aches, and more. With dengue, blood platelet counts can drop dangerously low to the point of internal hemorrhaging. If you check in to a hospital, doctors can at least put you on the appropriate medications, monitor your vitals, and keep you hydrated intravenously.

Malaria symptoms are similar to those of dengue fever, but the major difference is that there are preventative medications you can take before you depart for your trip to Brazil. Malaria is also life-threatening, so if you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, seek medical care as soon as possible.

To minimize your chances of contracting dengue fever or malaria, use a strong insect repellent (ideally containing DEET) and be sure to spray it on the bottoms of your feet. Also, steer clear of standing pools of water where mosquitoes congregate, and use a mosquito net over your bed if you are staying somewhere in which the windows are open.

Accidents

The most common accidents for tourists in any country are tripping and falling. These can lead to twisted wrists or ankles, broken bones, cuts, and bruises. Other accidents involving tourists are the result of riding mopeds or driving cars, as Brazilian drivers tend to be unpredictable, road signage is limited, and potholes are abundant.

In Brazil, visitors often participate in the many exciting adventure sports and activities available, such as surfing, hiking, mountain biking, scuba diving, hang-gliding, kayaking, and canoeing. As a result, broken bones, open wounds, and fainting are potential injuries. More serious ones, such as drowning or falling off a cliff, are possible but far less likely.

Muggings

Muggings and pickpocketing are relatively common in bigger cities, particularly at night. While most visitors to Brazil have no issues at all, you still need to stay aware of your surroundings and exercise caution. Avoid wandering into the slums (favelas) of any city. Study a map to get the lay of the land before you head out exploring since wealthy neighborhoods and favelas often sit side-by-side. A lot of gang activity occurs in these areas, so you must avoid them at all costs.

To take extra precautions, you can limit what you carry with you as you’re out sightseeing. Another travel tip is always to keep your belongings within your line of vision and close to your body. Do not allow yourself to be distracted by people who try to get your attention. Chances are they are working in pairs so that while one distracts you, the other pickpockets you or steals your bag. At night, stay in well-lit areas where other people are around.

The US Department of State advises against travel within 100 miles of Brazil’s borders due to high crime levels, including violent crime. Check out the Department of State’s Brazil Travel Advisory page for more details.

Emergency resources for Brazil

Phone numbers

In an emergency, dial 190 to reach the police, 192 for the ambulance, and 193 for fire services.

US embassy or consulate details

The US has an embassy in Brasilia, an embassy branch office in Belo Horizonte and consulates in Recife, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Porto Alegre. You can visit the Embassy’s website for their phone number, address and information regarding citizen services.

If you want to err on the side of caution, you can list your vacation with the Embassy and enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Program. Registering your trip will keep you abreast of Brazil’s security and travel advisories. It will also enable the Embassy to communicate with you or your relatives in an emergency.

Other local knowledge that is helpful for travelers:

Communication

Travelers to Brazil will find in-country and international communication relatively easy. After all, it ranks second in Latin America for the fastest high-speed broadband. Almost all hotels offer internet access on the premises, either free or for a fee, and most larger cities have Cyber Cafés all over.

As for phones, hotel rooms usually have them but expect to pay a premium, even for local calls. There are also public pay phones, known as orelhões (direct translation: big ears due to their appearance), throughout the country from which you can call anywhere in the country or abroad.

Should none of these options suit your travel needs, you can look into booking a “pocket WiFi” before you arrive in Brazil or get an international roaming plan from your US mobile phone carrier.

Currency

The Brazilian currency is called the real (BRL or R$), and the plural is reais (pronounced hay-ice). One real (pronounced hay-al) is divided into 100 centavos. Credit and debit cards with Mastercard and Visa symbols are widely accepted in cities throughout Brazil but less so in more rural parts of the country. However, it’s not very common for businesses to accept American Express. Therefore, I recommend having some cash on hand for tips, taxis and the smaller businesses or street vendors that do not accept credit cards.

You will find ATMs at your arrival airport in Brazil and throughout the country. They are known as caixa eletrônico. To avoid falling prey to skimming scams, only use ATMs inside banks. You will get the best exchange rate using your US debit card in Brazil to withdraw cash, even after factoring in fees. Remember to notify your bank of your travel destination and dates before leaving home so they don’t block your card.

Be sure that all your debit and credit cards have chips and that you know each of their PINs. If your cards do not have chips, you will want to request new cards from your banking institutions. To pay by card in Brazil, you must insert your chip card and enter your four-digit PIN for all purchases. Swiping is often not an option with their card processing machines.

Getting Around

Getting around the world’s 5th largest country is much easier than you may think. Public transportation within Brazil’s major cities consists of a metro, bus system, vans and (occasionally) trains. Moving around the country is quickly done via affordable flights, a very cheap bus network, and some trains and boats.

Keep in mind that any Brazilian metro can be challenging to navigate. Therefore, it’s always best to plan your journey before leaving your hotel or accommodation so that you can remain alert while out in public. The metro tends to be quite safe, but expect crowds at all times of the day.

Rental cars are available from numerous local companies such as Localiza, Unidas and Movida, along with reputable US-headquartered companies like Hertz, Budget, Alamo, National and Avis. Be aware that driving in Brazil is not necessarily advised, though some tourists do so. However, it may be the best option if you’re planning to travel with heavy sporting gear. Remember to bring your US driver’s license and International Driver’s Permit, which you can get at any AAA office before leaving for Brazil.

With an abundance of poorly maintained roads, unruly motorcyclists, car thefts and armed robberies, driving in Brazil poses several challenges. Should you still decide to rent a car, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, STOP signs in Brazil look identical to those in the US, but they say PARE. Another thing to remember is that the most well-maintained roads are toll roads, which are privately owned. All other roads will be hit or miss. Lastly, be aware of the vast numbers of people, especially children and stray animals, that pack the streets throughout the day and evening.

Flying tends to be the most efficient way to get around such a large country. Therefore, book any domestic flights in advance to secure the best deals and guarantee yourself a seat, especially if you are on a tight schedule. Brazil’s major air carriers are Azul Brazilian Airlines, Latam, and Gol Linhas Aereas.

However, if you will be in the country for a while and prefer slow travel, journeying by bus is the cheapest and most scenic way to get around. It’s also the most popular choice among locals. Countless private bus companies help keep small cities and towns well-linked with one another and all major urban centers, most of which allow you to buy tickets online.

You can choose bus quality, including luxury overnight sleepers. Reputable bus companies include, but certainly are not limited to, Buser, Águia Branca, ClickBus, Catarinense and Penha. Be aware that you must present your ID when purchasing a ticket in person and when you board the bus. It would be best to arrive at the station at least 1.5-2 hours in advance since schedule changes are made frequently and at short notice.

To reach some of the famous islands from the coast, you’ll need to take a ferry or high-speed boat, all of which private companies run. You can purchase your tickets directly at the ports, though they usually do not open before 9 or 10 in the morning. Trips to islands are frequent throughout the day, so unless there is a major holiday or school vacation, you shouldn’t need to get your tickets too far in advance.

Exploring the towns and cities along the Amazon is best done via overnight ferries, riverboats and luxury cruises. If the latter doesn’t fit your budget, you will want to stick with standard riverboats. While there are a few cabins with bunks, most passengers sleep in hammocks, so be sure to pick one up beforehand. It will cost you between R$20-40 (US$4-8). Tickets are available at ferry terminals, known as hidroviarias, and online. To play it safe, bring plenty of bottled water and toilet paper in case supplies are limited or unavailable on your boat.

Laws

Smoking in public is prohibited except in designated areas. Also, be aware that drugs, even marijuana, are illegal in Brazil. You will face a significant jail sentence if caught in possession or using any illegal drugs.

Another thing to remember is that you must carry a photocopy of your passport with you at all times when in Brazil. If ever stopped by the police, you will be required to present it. You are best off keeping your actual passport locked in your hotel room safe since petty theft on the streets is quite common.

Should you decide to rent a car, it is common practice to drive through red lights after 8 pm in most parts of Brazil. Be mindful as you do so, but don’t slow down enough to make yourself vulnerable to potential assault, robbery, or carjacking. Keep your windows up and doors locked when driving.

Local Customs

Brazilians are some of the warmest and friendliest people you will meet, so don’t be surprised if you encounter a lot of physical touch. What you may be used to for personal space back home is not necessarily a concern for people in Brazil. A typical greeting between women is a kiss on each cheek, but for men, it’s usually a firm handshake, a verbal greeting and eye contact. If they know each other, they will hug and participate in the normal back-slapping that American men often do. When Brazilian women meet men, they may or may not extend their hand as a greeting. Always follow women’s lead on this.

Should you be invited to a Brazilian home, always bring a gift. Flowers or chocolates will go over well, but always avoid anything black or purple as these are both mourning colors.

Two common hand gestures in the United States that Brazilians will interpret as vulgar or inappropriate: are the thumbs-up or OK symbol. Best to avoid these altogether or you risk causing misunderstandings or offending anyone.

Tipping

Tipping is customary in many businesses, but not all, so it’s important to know the ins and outs of tipping in Brazil. For example, tipping restaurant servers 10% is customary and often added to the bill. It’s always good to double-check, though. The same goes for bartenders. If you receive excellent service at any time, feel free to tip more if you feel inclined. In cafés, you can tip your baristas similarly, but you are not expected to do so.

When it comes to tour guides, tipping them 10% of the tour’s cost is appropriate if you feel they did a good job. While tipping taxi drivers is not common, you can always allow the driver to keep the change if they get you to your destination without hassle.

For hotel staff, tipping will undoubtedly get you better service. Consider leaving your housekeeper 1-2 reais per night, the porter/bellhop 1 real per bag, and 3-5 reais for the concierge whenever they help you with making reservations or planning an outing.

Tipping salon and spa employees are optional. But, of course, if you have a good experience, rounding your payment up to the next meaningful amount is always welcomed. For example, if you get a treatment that costs 56 reais, you can give the stylist 60 instead. Regardless of where you are or which particular service you receive, workers will greatly appreciate being tipped for a job well done.

What to pack for Brazil

Apart from Travel Insurance, we recommend you bring the following items for maximum health, safety, and enjoyment of your trip to Brazil.

A final note about travel insurance for Brazil

I have spent dozens of hours researching travel insurance, including getting quotes and comparing coverage from all the most popular brands. Regardless of where you’re going, I am confident that you will also find that TravelInsurance.com offers the best way to compare policies with the ideal combo of coverage and price.

I wish you and yours an incredible journey.

SwiftScore Ranking Methodology

  • Average price for a 2-week vacation based on a 35-year-old California resident traveling to Brazil with a $3,500 trip cost
  • Coronavirus coverage
  • Cancel for any reason (CFAR)
  • AM Best rating of the underwriter
  • Key policy details including cancellation, interruption, emergency medical evacuation, and baggage & personal effects
  • Ease of sign up
  • Policy language clarity
  • User reviews