Travel Insurance Direct

Travel Insurance for South America

Explore South America with travel insurance from TID

Why should I consider travel insurance to South America ?

The vast expanse of the Andes, the stunning beaches of Rio and the Gaucho cuisine of Argentina – that's just the tip of South American iceberg! However, with food poisoning, the ever-present threat of robbery and theft, there's a lot that can go wrong. That's why TID offers cover for a South American Adventure.

With TID travel insurance you have a number of plans to choose from when planning your South American getaway. Think about all the fun stuff to do in South America, like moving to the beats of samba at Rio Carnival, visiting the beautiful city of Buenos Aires and enjoying a proper asado, or maybe getting that awesome selfie you’ve been wanting at the Atacama desert. 

While the last thing we want is to have to deal with an email or phone call dealing with an emergency or unexpected event, if it does happen then we are here to provide some flexible travel insurance options to you and your loved ones.

Get a quote to get your South American holiday adventure underway today.

TID travel insurance coverage includes:

Traveller tip: don’t forget when travelling overseas, your Australian passport must have at least six months before its expiry date. 

Things to look out for when going to South America

Theft and pickpockets

Like anywhere around the world, you’ll need to look out for pickpockets and always keep an eye on your valuables when in South America. While South America is a fun place to visit, and people are very welcoming and friendly, there is always the chance that a thief will strike when you’re not looking.

Always keep an eye on your bags and beware of pickpockets in the major cities such as Lima, Rio, Santiago, and Medellin to name a few. Do not leave your possessions unattended as bag snatching, pickpocketing and theft from cars is common in many larger cities. In some cities violent crime is an issue and it is wise to stay with others when exploring, especially at night. Keep copies or originals of receipts for any gear and valuables that you purchase.

Severe weather events

Depending on when you visit South America, you’ll need to be aware of possible severe weather events such as floods, wildfires, and earthquakes. You can keep a track of travel warnings and alerts here.

While the climate can vary throughout South America depending on where you are visiting and what time of year your going- Northern countries are generally more tropical, some others have very dry and moderate weather and in the Central regions, while the Southern parts of the continent are mostly cooler as you get closer to Patagonia.

Traveller tip: always refer to the Australian Government’s Smartraveller website for current travel alerts affecting any country in South America, any vaccination requirements, before you buy a policy, before you leave Australia, and during your travels.

Stay hydrated and beware of food poisoning 

We recommend that you don’t drink tap water while in South America. Always be mindful that water-borne, food-borne, parasitic, and other infectious diseases (including, Hep A and B, cholera, malaria, yellow fever and typhoid fever) are prevalent in many countries across South America. Please note that this is not medical advice but just a recommendation by the TID team.

If you’re a foodie and your thinking of taking on some delicious street food or planning on drinking various beverages whether alcoholic (vino, cerveza, or pisco anyone?) or non-alcoholic drinks, you may want to be careful where you choose to eat and always drink in moderation. While street food or local restaurants food is for the most part clean and cheap, you may want to be mindful when giving in to the temptation of street food as you could end up stuck on a toilet for days rather than out exploring the vistas or meeting the locals.

We recommend you stick to drinking bottled water, wash your hands before eating, and be cautious of ice, unwashed or unpeeled fruit and uncooked vegetables.

Prepare for altitude sickness if you’re hiking or visiting Bolivia and Peru

If you’re planning to travel to Bolivia and Peru, you’ll most likely need to be prepared to experience altitude sickness, which can be both unpleasant and dangerous.

Always have altitude sickness tablets in your backpack and drink plenty of water. Eating carbohydrate-rich foods may also help (of which there are plenty to choose from like empanadas, churros or pan amasado), as can walking slowly to give your body a chance to adjust to the higher altitude.

What can travel insurance cover me for in South America?

Here are some of the cover benefits available with your policy.

cancellation icon

Unexpected cancellation?

Insurance if you have to cancel your trip due to unforeseeable events outside of your control (e.g. sudden illness).

delay icon

Airline cancelled flight?

If your flight is cancelled by the Airline for operational reasons we cover the reasonable cost of meals and accommodation.

emergency icon

Don't like medical bills?

Compensation for unforeseen medical expenses incurred whilst on an overseas holiday

evacuation icon

Need a medical escort home?

Cover back to Australia if a medical practitioner requires you to be medically escorted home due to a sudden illness or injury that happens on your trip.

Compare all benefits
This is a brief summary of cover only and does not include the full terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions. Read the PDS before purchasing.

Choose a plan that suits your holiday.

Just like choosing the perfect destination for your next getaway, selecting a travel insurance plan to suit your needs may be just as important. We have four plans to choose from, each offering a different level of cover. Check out each of the plans below where you'll find loads of information about each one.

The Works

Our most popular and comprehensive plan, the Works offers broad cover for international trips including unlimited cover for costs such as medical expenses and cancellation as well as added benefits.

The Basics

Sticking to a shoestring budget? Our budget plan is designed for travellers who want coverage for all the important things, like hospital bills and stolen luggage, without breaking the bank.


Are you a frequent flyer? If you travel often for business, or have a few holidays coming up, our Annual Multi Trip plan could be for you. Made for globetrotters, your trips can be up to 35 days in duration and there is no limit to the number of trip you can take during a 12 month period.

This is a brief summary of cover only and does not include the full terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions. Read the PDS before purchasing.

South America travel insurance FAQs.

What's the best time to travel to South America?

South America is just a vast continent that there's no single ‘perfect time’ to visit. For example, June may be the best time to visit the Amazon, but February is the best time to visit the Galapagos. We suggest you look into the best time to travel country by country as opposed to the whole continent.

What do I do if I fall ill or I’m injured while in South America?

One of our benefits is that you may have access to emergency overseas medical treatment and expenses incurred overseas. You may have had an injury while doing outdoor activities or you over-indulged in too much food and drink. This means that if you’re hospitalised or have to see a doctor, for example, due to food poisoning (or anything else), you may be covered. If you find yourself in need of emergency medical assistance reach out to the 24/7 Emergency Assistance team as soon as possible, they can arrange for your medical treatment on the ground and answer any urgent questions.


Am I covered for multiple countries within South America?

We offer travel insurance cover for most countries for many events. For example, if you plan to travel to multiple countries within South America, all you need to do is select 'South America' as your destination when you get a quote and add any countries in South America you know you’ll visit for more than 24 hours. You can also select multiple countries, regions or continents on one quote or if you’re a seasoned globetrotter, you can also select ‘worldwide.’ Note that there are regions and countries that are not covered by TID, so make sure to check the details on your Certificate of Insurance and subscribe to Smartraveller for the latest Australian Government travel advice.

What happens if my travel plans are impacted by severe weather conditions in South America?

If your flights are cancelled, delayed, or rescheduled due to severe weather conditions in South America, cover is available for reasonable additional travel and accommodation expenses.

The above features and benefits are a summary of cover only. Cover is subject to the full terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions outlined in the Product Disclosure Statement.