Going for a trip with the family or for business? After more than a year of travel disruptions due to the pandemic, some countries now require travel insurance for Covid-19 related medical expenses before you can enter the country.
If you are hoping to get some new stamps in your passport, here’s what you need to know.
Travel Insurance Requirements by Destination
Anguilla: All visitors must show proof that they have health insurance that covers Covid-19 medical expenses.
Aruba: Incoming visitors must purchase Covid-19 travel insurance from the Aruba government. Your own travel insurance can supplement Aruba visitors insurance, but it cannot replace it.
Bahamas: All international visitors age 18 and older are required to get a Bahamas Travel Health Visa. The cost of Covid-19 health insurance is included with the cost of the visa and includes trip interruption coverage of $500 per day to a maximum of $7,000 and Covid-19 emergency medical expenses up to $50,000. The cost of the visa varies for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.
Bermuda: Visitors are required to have a travel insurance policy that covers Covid-19 medical emergencies. If you do not have coverage, you will be responsible for all Covid-related health and accommodation costs.
Cambodia: Visitors must purchase a local health insurance package that covers at least $50,000 in Covid-19 medical benefits and must be valid for 20 days.
Cayman Islands: Visitors are required to have coverage for Covid-19 medical expenses.
Chile: Visitors must show proof of a health insurance policy that covers Covid-19 medical expenses and include at least $30,000 in coverage.
Costa Rica: Fully vaccinated adults and minors under age 18 can enter without travel insurance. Acceptable vaccines include Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson. Unvaccinated adults must provide proof of Covid-19 medical insurance with a minimum of $50,000 in coverage for Covid-related medical treatment and $2,000 for lodging expenses due to Covid-related illness.
French Polynesia: Visitors are required to buy travel insurance with Covid-19 coverage, or must sign a declaration to pay all medical costs if they contract Covid-19.
Israel: Travelers must have travel medical insurance that covers Covid-19.
Jamaica: Travelers must pay a mandatory $40 fee as part of the “Jamaica Cares” program to cover Covid-related medical expenses. The Jamaica Cares program includes travel medical insurance up to $100,000 per person and on-island health coverage up to $50,000.
Jordan: Visitors are required to buy a travel insurance policy that covers Covid-19 medical expenses.
Lebanon: Visitors must have a travel insurance plan that covers Covid-related medical treatment.
Nepal: Tourists must have proof of travel medical insurance that covers the duration of their trip.
St. Maarten: Travelers must buy Covid-19 insurance from the St. Maarten government. The cost is $15 for ages 15 and older and free for children age 14 and under.
Thailand: All visitors are required to have at least $100,000 in travel medical insurance that covers Covid-related medical expenses.
Turks and Caicos: Visitors must provide proof of a travel insurance policy that covers Covid-related medical expenses.
Ukraine: All visitors must have an insurance policy issued by an insurance company registered in Ukraine that covers Covid-related medical expenses.
Why Do Countries Require Covid-19 Travel Insurance?
Many countries require visitors to buy travel medical insurance so they do not absorb the financial burden of treating uninsured tourists who contract Covid-19. Generally, your policy must cover you for the entire length of your stay.
Some countries require you to buy travel medical insurance from the government. For example, visitors to the Bahamas are required to purchase the Bahamas Travel Visa, which includes coverage for Covid-related medical expenses. You can also purchase your own travel insurance policy to supplement the Bahamas Travel Visa coverage.
In countries that do not require you to purchase a policy from the government, make sure your travel insurance policy meets the country’s requirements and covers Covid-related expenses. For example, visitors who travel to Thailand must have at least $100,000 of travel insurance that covers Covid-related medical costs.
What Happens If You Don’t Buy the Required Insurance?
If you arrive in a country that requires travel insurance and you don’t have a policy, you will not be permitted to enter.
Note that many countries also require a recent negative Covid test for entry. Some countries might specify the type of test that is acceptable and it must be performed by an accredited laboratory.
For example, to enter Turks and Caicos you must take a test no more than three days before you arrive. Acceptable tests include RT-PCR, NAA, RNA or molecular tests, and antigen tests completed via nasopharyngeal swab.
More Travel Insurance Options
It’s a good idea to consider buying more coverage than your destination country’s minimum requirements. The required insurance may not be adequate for you.
Aside from Covid-related expenses, it’s good to have travel insurance for other types of problems, like trip cancellation and lost baggage. Here are some other coverage types that can be included in a comprehensive travel insurance plan:
- Trip cancellation insurance will reimburse you 100% for prepaid, non-refundable deposits if you have to cancel your trip for a reason covered by your policy, such as a death in the family, or injury or illness of a traveler.
- Trip delay and interruption coverage help if you miss a portion of your trip or it is cut short for a problem covered by your policy (such as a late flight). This coverage reimburses you for extra costs you might incur because of the delay or interruption.
- Baggage loss coverage pays for lost, damaged, or stolen luggage and belongings during your trip.
- ”Cancel for any reason” travel insurance. With so much uncertainty surrounding travel, this coverage gives you the flexibility to cancel your trip (at least two days before departure). “Cancel for any reason” coverage will typically reimburse a portion of your pre-paid trip costs (usually 50% or 75%, depending on the plan).
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