Which Countries Require Travel Insurance?
Last updated on 02/22/2021
As you plan your next international trip, you may be wondering which countries have a mandatory travel insurance requirement. Countries may require travel insurance for different reasons. One of the most common reasons is that the country is part of the Schengen zone. Schengen countries generally will not grant travel visas if specific travel insurance requirements are not met.
Another reason some destinations have a travel insurance requirement is due to diplomatic relations. For example, the relationship between the U.S. and Cuba had historically been strained, so when both countries agreed to allow travel for limited reasons, Cuba's government stipulated that travel insurance including medical coverage would be required for U.S. travelers.
Many countries are also requiring travel insurance is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some international destinations are now mandating that travelers arrive with specific travel medical insurance that covers COVID-19.
Which Countries Require Travel Insurance?
All visitors to Anguilla are required to apply for permission to visit Anguilla. In addition, travelers must complete a pre-registration form, show proof of insurance that covers COVID-19 medical costs and full hospitalization, doctors’ visits, prescriptions and air ambulance, and take a COVID-19 PCR test within 3 to 5 days of travel which presents negative results. All arrivals must remain quarantined at their approved location for at least 10 days, and will be tested on day 10 of their visit. To be released from quarantine, a negative result is required.
Antarctica is a unique destination, with many travel variables that could threaten a traveler’s significant investment in their trip. It is for this reason travel insurance is considered a necessity, in addition to the actual requirements for entry into the country. Required medical coverage varies based on a traveler’s itinerary and the tour operator they are traveling with. However, based on the nature of a trip to Antarctica, it is recommended to also consider at least comprehensive plans that include Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, and Medical Evacuation.
Aruba now requires all travelers to purchase Covid-19 insurance directly from the Aruba government prior to entry. The cost of coverage varies based on traveler age and the duration of the trip. Visit the official website to review the requirements and premium charts by age group. The mandatory insurance covers up to $75,000 in healthcare costs, which may include hospital costs, intensive care unit costs, medical transportation costs, doctor consultations, isolation costs, and COVID-19 testing. Each benefit has limits, so be sure to review the specific details of the policy carefully.
While many travelers may have already purchased travel protection for a trip to Aruba, the Aruba government states "one’s own travel insurance can be supplementary to the Aruba Visitors Insurance but cannot replace it. The Aruba Visitor's Insurance is mandatory for entry." Additionally, travelers must purchase the required coverage in advance of the trip. Those who purchased the government-mandated coverage but did not travel to Aruba may request a refund of the premium cost. To get started filling out your application and purchasing the required coverage, visit the online Embarkation and Disembarkation (ED) program website.
Although the required insurance through the Aruba government will protect against many COVID-19 related costs, we still recommend travelers purchase a comprehensive plan, which often includes additional benefits like supplemental travel medical, baggage protection, travel delay benefits, and more. This way, unexpected surprises and costs unrelated to COVID-19 may also be covered. Travelers taking a cruise with one or more stops in Aruba, must also make sure they meet the country's requirements.
As of November 14, 2020, travel health insurance is required for all incoming visitors to the Bahamas. The cost for the mandatory insurance is included in the price of the Travel Health Visa that all tourists are required to apply for before entry. Travelers should keep in mind that this required coverage may be limited, so we recommend purchasing additional coverage to cover non-health-related expenses, like travel delays or baggage loss, for example.
Previously, Brazil had mandated that travelers must show proof of travel health insurance that covers COVID-19 for the duration of the trip prior to departing and once again upon arrival. However, Brazil has since removed that requirement, so travel insurance is no longer a requirement for foreign visitors. That said, Brazil is currently experiencing a substantial COVID-19 outbreak, so travelers are encouraged to purchase coverage for not only COVID-19 related costs but also any other unexpected mishaps. If you do plan to travel to Brazil, consider the current situation and make sure you have the proper travel protection plan. It should also be noted that individuals who have a previously granted Brazilian visa are allowed entry, but visitors without a valid visa may not enter the country until further notice.
International visitors are required to purchase a local health insurance plan for COVID-19 treatment. This plan can be purchased from Forte Insurance Company and the cost is $90 for a $50,000 policy, valid for 20 days. For additional coverage, consider an individual travel insurance policy with medical coverage. In addition to the travel insurance, requirements for visitors to Cambodia include a valid visa issued by the Cambodian Embassy or Consulate, a deposit of $2,000 to be paid upon arrival for a mandatory COVID-19 test and potential treatment services, and proof of a negative COVID-19 test from no more than 72 hours prior to arrival.
Costa Rica requires all foreign travelers to complete a digital form called HEALTH PASS prior to departing. As part of this process, travelers must assert that they have purchased a compliant travel insurance plan, which covers "their accommodations in case of quarantine and medical expenses due to COVID-19 illness." For a private travel insurance plan to be accepted, the following conditions must be met:
- Validity of the effective policy during the visit in Costa Rica
- Guarantee of coverage for medical expenses in cases of pandemic disease COVID-19 in Costa Rica, for at least $50,000 USD.
- Minimum coverage of $2,000 USD for extended lodging expenses due to pandemic illness or trip interruption/cancellation due to illness, which covers the extra cost of the passenger due to quarantine.
We recommend that travelers do their research well in advance to ensure all entry criteria have been met. For the full list of requirements, visit the official travel portal. Travelers should keep in mind that only certain countries are currently being allowed to travel to Costa Rica and that COVID-19 testing prior to arrival is mandatory.
Travel to Cuba is highly monitored and regulated by both the United States and the Cuban government. Travelers must provide proper documentation with their application for travel to the United States government. The Cuban government must be notified of those travel plans, provided the traveler’s visa information, and requires proof of travel insurance, with medical coverage, before visiting the nation.
The Dominican Republic is currently offering complimentary insurance to visitors which includes coverage for emergencies, telemedicine, lodging for extended stays due to an infection, and flight changes due to an infection. The insurance is completely covered by the Dominican Republic government. However, to ensure options in care, it is recommended for travelers to have their own insurance to protect against the unexpected.
As of 2018, all visitors entering Ecuador must present proof of travel health insurance at the immigration officers, along with their passport and a round-trip or onward trip ticket. This is per the order of the Ecuador Ministry of Tourism.
As of June 2020, visitors arriving in Egypt are required to submit a travel medical insurance policy to Egyptian airport authorities as part of measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus, according to the Minister of Egyptian Tourism.
International visitors to French Polynesia are now required to provide proof of travel insurance for entry into the country. While coverage specific to COVID-19 is not required, the plan must cover the costs of medical expenses if the traveler becomes ill with coronavirus during their stay, according to the Polynesian government.
Travel insurance is mandatory for visitors to Iran looking to obtain a travel visa.
Jamaica has implemented the "Jamaica Cares" program, which is mandatory travel insurance for all visitors to the country. Launched in mid-November of 2020, this fee costs between $40 - $50 per person. It covers a list of specific concerns, including medical treatment for COVID-19. This fee is in addition to individual trip insurance purchased by the traveler.
Japan requires travelers from other countries to have a visa for entry, for which medical travel insurance is required. While there is not a specific amount required, the coverage must last the duration of their entire trip.
International travelers to Lebanon are required to have travel insurance with coverage for the full cost of medical treatment for COVID-19.
Travel insurance is not currently required for all of Mexico. However, travel insurance with medical coverage is required for visitors to Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit. This insurance is to protect travelers against any unforeseen medical event, including those derived from COVID-19 contagion.
The government of Nepal has made travel medical insurance mandatory for all visitors to the country. This insurance must include emergency assistance and COVID-19 medical repatriation.
While not all visitors to New Zealand are required to have travel medical insurance during their trip, it should be noted that it is a requirement for any visitors on a working visa.
It is mandatory for all international travelers to Qatar to have travel insurance.
International visitors to Russia are required to apply for a Visa to enter the country. During this application process, the Consular Division of the Embassy maintains the right to request "medical insurance valid in the country to be visited and fully covering the period of the first trip," according to the Embassy of the Russian Federation.
Certain countries referred to as the Schengen Countries may have specific requirements regarding what insurance their embassies will accept before issuing a Travel Visa. If you will be traveling to any of the 26 following destinations, you may be required to show proof of specific insurance: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. When traveling to any of these countries, their embassies may request that you show proof of the following insurance benefits: $50,000 of Medical Emergency/Hospitalization Coverage, $300,000 of Medical Evacuation and Repatriation Coverage, $0 Deductible, and proof that the insurance company who provides this coverage has offices located in Europe. For more information, please refer to our full resource on the Schengen Travel Visa.
St. Maarten requires all passengers visiting the island to have travel insurance. Their website also strongly recommends additional travel insurance that specifically covers COVID-19 related expenses. Travelers are also required to furnish a negative COVID-19 PCR test that was taken within 72 hours before arrival.
All visitors to Tahiti must fill out an online entry form and attest that they have purchased travel insurance that covers COVID-19. If travelers do not purchase a qualifying travel protection policy, they must agree to be held liable for any and all local healthcare costs deemed necessary. Since overseas hospital visits and healthcare costs can be exorbitant, we highly recommend travelers purchase a policy that protects against these "surprise" costs.
Before planning a trip, visitors to Thailand must first confirm their eligibility to enter the country with their local Thai embassy or consulate. The eligibility list continues to change. Those eligible will need to obtain a Certificate of Entry (CoE). One of the requirements for this certificate is to secure a mandatory COVID-19 travel insurance policy that has a coverage level of at least $100,000 USD. More specifically, the insurance must cover 1.) Medical expenses with insurance coverage of at least $100,000 and 2.) life insurance compensation of USD $100,000 to a beneficiary in the event of fatality from a COVID-19 infection. Travelers will want to make sure to have their certificate of insurance on them as one of the supporting documents in an application for a CoE.
All visitors to Turkey are required to purchase medical travel insurance before they will be able to enter the country. However, there is not a specific amount required – the only requirement is that the insurance must last the length of the entire trip.
Turks and Caicos
As part of a new travel pre-authorization program, called TCI Assured, travelers visiting Turks and Caicos must present proof of travel insurance, which covers "Covid-19 medical costs, full hospitalization, doctors' visits, prescriptions and air ambulance." The online portal also includes a health screening questionnaire as well as the requirement of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from a test taken within 5 days of travel to the islands.
Travelers to Ukraine must have medical insurance that covers all COVID-19 related treatment. The government requires that the policy must be "issued by insurance companies registered in Ukraine or foreign companies with a representative office in Ukraine or a contractual relationship with a partner insurance company in Ukraine and be valid for the duration of stay in Ukraine." Travelers looking to purchase compliant Ukrainian health insurance coverage can do so online. Although visitors to Ukraine are required to purchase state-approved coverage, we also encourage travelers to consider purchasing comprehensive plans in order to protect against non-COVID-19 related travel disruptions, such as travel delay, baggage loss, and other benefits. COVID-19 testing requirements vary by country, but most travelers can expect to either arrive with a negative test result or 14-day mandatory self-quarantine.
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates requires all travelers age 12 or older to arrive with valid travel insurance, which covers international healthcare for the entire duration of the stay. A negative result from a COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 96 hours before arriving is also required for entry. Travelers arriving in Dubai should keep in mind that it has its own entry requirements.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article serves as a general overview and should only be used for informational purposes. While this information is updated regularly, travelers should visit the government website for their intended travel destination for the latest requirements.