Dominican Republic and Travel Insurance

Lately the news has contained stories about travelers dying while traveling in the Dominican Republic or shortly after their return. Reports have indicated that in the past year almost a dozen US citizens have either died in the Dominican Republic or shortly after they returned home.

Symptoms suggest to some that the travelers might have been poisoned by either exposure to pesticides or to bootleg liquor that is disguised as legitimate. Reports indicate that the Dominican Ministry of Public Health has tested food, beverages, pools, and other sources and all have turned up negative. It has also been reported that the FBI is running tests on blood samples from a 3 travelers.

We have received questions about how travel insurance might help a traveler planning a trip to the Dominican Republic. Usually the questions concern two issues:

  1. whether medical expenses would be covered if the travelers are effected; and
  2. are cancellations covered if a traveler cancels due to safety concerns.

The answer for the first is yes, medical expenses would be covered to the limit of coverage. The answer to the last isn’t as simple; in most cases cancellations caused by safety concerns would not be covered because it is not one of the basic covered reasons, however, a traveler with “cancel for any reason” coverage would have coverage as long as they have qualified for coverage and that they cancel prior to the 48 hour black out period.

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