Mandatory Insurance for Incoming Travelers to Galapagos
On May 15th, 2018, the Directorate Authority for the Galapagos Islands announced a new regulation for travelers, both domestic and foreigners, who want to enter to the archipelago. This law guarantees health service coverage in case of emergencies within the islands.
Why an insurance for Incoming Travelers to Galapagos?
As of August 14th, 2018, foreigners entering to the Galapagos must fulfill these four (4) prerequisites:
- Have paid and hold the Transit Control Card, which is paid in Ecuador mainland airports (Quito & Guayaquil) before boarding their flight to the islands.
- Round trip flight ticket that clearly shows the date of return of the passenger, before the 90 days authorized by the authority per year and per person.
- Present the booking document of the accommodation of the passenger within the islands during their period of stay in the archipelago. It has to be a hospitality service company (hotel and/or cruise ship), or in other cases the invitation letter of a resident of the islands.
- Foreign tourists must have a private health insurance of one of the insurance companies authorized by the local government.
As for private health insurance, on June 12th, 2018, the Galapagos Directorate Authority the regulations state everyone must meet the following rules:
- The health insurance companies authorized by the Galapagos government must be Ecuadorian and need to meet a series of conditions for being authorized to cover the health service for domestic and international travelers in case of emergencies.
- If a foreign traveler has an international health insurance, it has to purchase an add on insurance component from an authorized Ecuadorian Health Insurance Company that guarantees aerial and maritime assistance in the Galapagos Islands in case of emergencies as well as private coverage of hospital service within the region.
- The Galapagos health insurance requested will apply only within the archipelago during the period that the traveler is going to be visiting the Galapagos Islands.
- Tourists from 1-year-old to 84 years old must have the Galapagos Health Insurance in order to be able to enter to the archipelago.
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In terms of health and emergency coverage, the insurance has to fulfill the following requirements:
- Medical expenses for hospitalization with coverage in case the insured person is diagnosed with one of the following diseases: myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular accident, renal insufficiency, transplant of vital organs (heart, lung, kidney, spinal cord, liver), and paralysis. The insured company will reimburse the amount after making the claim process with the insurance company. The insurance company will determine on the insurance policy the waiting and pre-existence period for being able to use insurance in case of the mentioned diseases.
- Medical expenses by accident that will be required to cover the medical costs that are caused as a result of injuries suffered by the insured, which require medical treatment or confinement in a hospital. The limit of the coverage for medical expenses due to accidents is for each event and includes hospitalization, medication, medical fees, rehabilitation expenses, physiotherapy, reconstructive surgery, rental of therapy equipment such as crutches, wheelchairs, orthopedic devices to mention a few.
- Ambulance expenses due to accidents incurred by the use of ambulance as a means of transportation that is properly equipped and authorized for the air, land or maritime transfer of persons, from the place where the accident or emergency occurred to a national hospital center, with medical assistance included.
- Ambulatory and hospital credit to cover the expenses incurred in situations of medical emergencies due to accidents, in such a way that the insured does not have to pay any costs at the time the insured receives the care.
- Accidental death it is understood as such to the bodily injury that causes the death of the insured within 180 days following the date of the accident.
- Total and permanent disability when the insured suffers an accident and as a result of it will be totally and permanently unable to perform or carry out activities related to his habitual or professional occupation, provided that such incapacity had begun within 120 days after the accident and will continue for 12 months consecutive.
- Loss of limbs, sight, hearing or voice by accident when the bodily injury does not cause the death of the insured within 180 days after the accident but causes loss of limbs, sight, hearing or voice, according to the Table of Dismemberment that is part of the general insurance conditions.
Please note that in cases of evacuation, either aerial or maritime the service will be delivered by authorized companies by the Galapagos Directorate Authority. Also, the service will be provided only in case of medical emergency and when the life of the insured person is in risk, as qualified by a doctor or representative of the insurance company.
In the following 90 days, after promulgated the new regulations of Health and Medical Insurance the Ecuadorian Insurance Companies will work toward to define and establish the insurance service, coverages, and conditions for selling and purchasing the insurance policies add on to international travelers. Latin Trails will inform travelers immediately whenever any news regarding this important regulation that foreigner will have to fulfill before their trip to the Galapagos Islands.