Which Countries Require Travel Insurance?
Last updated on 11/16/2020
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 Covid-19 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.
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. 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.
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.
Jamaica has implemented the "Jamaica Cares" program, which is mandatory travel insurance for all visitors to the country. Launching mid-November of 2020, this fee is expected to cost around $40 - $50 per person. It will cover a list of specific concerns, including medical treatment for COVID-19. This fee is in addition to individual trip insurance purchased by the traveler.
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.
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.