Please note: A country’s COVID-19 situation and it’s entry requirements can change daily. For the most up-to-date information, please contact your destination country’s official sites.
With global healthcare costs on the rise and international tourism on the rebound, some countries are making travel medical insurance mandatory for visitors. As much as international tourism is a great boom for countries, it does present some risks for them. When a foreign traveler incurs an injury or contracts an illness in a country, they could leave without paying the medical bills, forcing the country to foot the unpaid medical bills. Requiring travel medical insurance gives countries a financial safeguard. But it’s also financially and physically beneficial to the traveler.
Which Countries Require Travel Insurance?
Before embarking on your next adventure, review the following updated list featuring popular destinations that may require travel insurance so that you can be better prepared for your international travels.
Travel insurance is important and required for trips to Antarctica for many reasons. Not only will insurance help to protect your trip investment (cruises to Antarctica usually start at $5,000 per person and can run as high as $20,000), but it can also help provide coverage if you need to be evacuated by air if you are injured or become seriously ill. Because of its remoteness, a visitor is usually required to have at least $100,000 in emergency evacuation and medical coverage.
All foreign travelers who are staying in Aruba for longer than a day are required to purchase COVID-19 insurance directly from the Aruba government prior to entry. The cost of coverage and the amount needed will vary depending on each visitor’s circumstances. The latest requirements can be found on the country’s offical website. If you purchase travel insurance or already have travel insurance from a source other than the Aruba government, it can give you supplemental coverage but you’d still need to buy visitors insurance from the Aruba government. Aruba visitors Insurance must be purchased at edcardaruba.aw in advance of travel as part of the online ED Card process.
As part of a health visa requirement, 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. Keep in mind that this coverage may be limited; you may want to purchase travel insurance from a third party to supplement the coverage.
As of Feb. 15, 2022, all international visitors must purchase a travel insurance policy. Belize offers travel insurance costing $18, and covering up to $50,000 in COVID-19-related medical expenses and up to $2,000 for lodging expenses if you need to quarantine in Belize. The travel insurance requirement will remain in effect for 21 days and covers emergency medical situations and medical evacuation by air, as well as trip interruption costs.
British Virgin Islands
Travel insurance is mandatory for all foreign visitors to the British Virgin Islands. Upon entry visitors must show proof of travel insurance with minimum approved coverage for costs related to quarantine lodging, medical repatriation and COVID-19 care including hospitalizations, urgent doctor’s visits and prescriptions.
Costa Rica has very specific travel insurance requirements for unvaccinated foreign visitors. The travel insurance you purchase must meet certain criteria outlined by the country. At VisitorsCoverage, we offer Safe Travels Voyager, a plan designed to meet these very specific standards. Unvaccinated travelers aged 18 and older must purchase a travel policy that lasts the duration of their stay that covers, at least, medical expenses generated by Covid-19 and lodging expenses due to quarantine. In addition, the policy must include the following coverage:
1. $50,000 for medical expenses, including COVID-19 infection
2. $2,000 for lodging expenses in the event of COVID-19 quarantine
To show proof of insurance, foreign travelers need a letter/certificate from their insurance with the following information:
1. Name of the individual traveling
2. Validity of the effective policy during the Costa Rica visit (travel dates)
3. Guaranteed coverage for medical expenses in the event of COVID-19 in Costa Rica, valued at least $50,000
4. Minimum coverage of $2,000 for lodging expenses for quarantine or trip interruption for this same amount
This certificate must specify that the policy covers COVID-19 and must be uploaded to Health Pass to be reviewed and approved by Costa Rican authorities.
Foreign visitors to Cuba must have travel insurance, regardless of citizenship. Entry into the country will be denied if tourists cannot provide proof of travel insurance upon arrival. In addition to proof of insurance for the duration of your stay, travelers must also prove they have a return ticket back to their home country. The Cuban government must be notified of the travel plans and receive visa information prior to arrival.
As part of the “Jamaica Cares” program, Jamaica implemented a mandatory travel insurance fee of $40 that covers a list of specific concerns, including medical treatment for COVID-19, and natural disasters like hurricanes. It offers international medical travel insurance up to $100,000 per visitor traveling to and from Jamaica, and on-island health coverage up to $50,000.
A popular destination for cruises, New Caledonia has had issues with tourists skipping out on expensive medical bills. Now, proof of insurance is required to enter the country, and each plan must include coverage for medical treatment, hospital expenses and repatriation.
The Schengen Area
If a Schengen visa isn’t required for travelers from your home country, you won’t need travel insurance to travel into the Schengen Area. However, citizens of certain countries are required to obtain a visa before visiting any of the 26 countries that make up Schengen. Showing proof of insurance means presenting a valid document that proves you have travel health insurance for the whole Schengen territory, with a minimum coverage of 30,000 euros in case of any medical emergency such as illnesses, accidents and even repatriation in case of death.
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. According to the TCI Assured website, the coverage must include “COVID-19 medical costs, full hospitalization, doctors’ visits, prescriptions and air ambulance.”
United Arab Emirates
Travel insurance is no longer required for entry into the United Arab Emirates. However, the government highly recommends purchasing a comprehensive policy that includes COVID-19 and medical coverage. You can find updates to this and other entry requirements on the UAE government’s website.
If it turns out travel insurance is required for your trip, VisitorsCoverage offers a global travel insurance marketplace where you can compare plans side-by-side, get quotes and find the right coverage in minutes.