Travel Insurance Requirements For Americans Going To Other Countries
Travel disruptions due to the pandemic have prompted many countries to require travel insurance for visitors before you enter the country.
If you’re hoping to get some new stamps in your passport, make sure you have the right travel insurance requirements for the countries below.
Travel insurance requirements by destination
Argentina: Visitors are required to show proof of medical travel insurance that provides hospitalization, quarantine and transportation coverage for Covid-19.
Bermuda: Visitors must have a travel insurance policy that covers a Covid-19 medical emergency. If you do not have coverage, you will be responsible for all Covid-related health and housing costs.
Bolivia: Travel insurance with coverage for Covid-19 related issues is mandatory for visitors.
Cayman Islands: Visitors are required to certify that you have health insurance that includes Covid-19 coverage or that you understand the financial risks you are taking and have independent means to cover your medical expenses.
Chile: Visitors must show proof of a health insurance policy that covers Covid-19 medical expenses and includes at least $30,000 in coverage. Failure to show proof of health insurance may result in denial of admission.
Democratic Republic of Congo: To visit Congo, you need proof of medical expense travel insurance and medical evacuation insurance.
Egypt: To enter Egypt, you must have travel insurance that covers the duration of your trip.
Jamaica: Tourists 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 of up to $100,000 per person and on-island health coverage of up to $50,000.
Jordan: Visitors are required to purchase a travel insurance policy that covers Covid-19 medical expenses.
Lebanon: Visitors must have a travel insurance plan that covers Covid-related medical treatment.
Paraguay: You will need travel insurance that covers Covid-19 for a trip to Paraguay.
St. Maarten: Tourists must purchase Covid-19 insurance from the St. Maarten government. Cost is $15 for ages 15 and older and free for children under 14. It provides $50,000 in medical expense coverage and $20,000 in emergency evacuation coverage. Note that quarantine-related costs for your travel companions and those who test negative for preventive, government-mandated quarantine are not covered.
Saudi Arabia: Before arrival, you must apply online for a tourist visa. Newly issued visas include insurance covering illness related to Covid-19, which you need to visit the country.
Seychelles: Visitors must have valid travel insurance that covers the cost of quarantine and treatment related to Covid-19.
Thailand: All visitors are required to have at least $50,000 in travel medical insurance 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.
Uruguay: To visit Uruguay you must have proof of health insurance that will cover medical costs in the country.
Why do countries need Covid-19 travel insurance?
Many countries require visitors to purchase travel medical insurance so that they do not absorb the financial burden of treating uninsured travelers who contract Covid-19. Generally, your policy should cover you for the entire length of your stay.
Some countries require you to purchase travel medical insurance from the government. For example, visitors to Jamaica are required to purchase a Jamaica Care policy, which includes coverage for Covid-related medical expenses. You can also purchase your own travel insurance policy to supplement the mandatory Jamaica Cares coverage.
In countries where you are not required 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 traveling to Thailand must have at least $50,000 in travel insurance that covers Covid-related medical expenses.
What happens if you don’t buy the required insurance?
If you arrive in a country that requires travel insurance and you do not have a policy, you will not be allowed to enter.
Note that some countries still require a recent negative Covid test for entry. Some countries may specify the type of testing that is acceptable and must be performed by an accredited laboratory. At-home tests are often excluded and some countries may specify that only RT-PCR is eligible.
More travel insurance protection
It is a good idea to consider purchasing more coverage than your destination country’s minimum requirements. The required insurance may not be enough for you.
For example, in many countries, the US The Department of State recommends a travel insurance plan that includes emergency medical evacuation coverage.
Aside from Covid-related expenses, it’s good to have travel insurance for other types of issues, such as trip cancellations and lost luggage. Here are some other coverage types that can be included in a comprehensive travel insurance plan:
Trip cancellation insurance will reimburse you 100% of the prepaid, non-refundable deposit 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 the traveler.
Trip delay and interruption coverage helps if you miss part of your trip or it is cut short due to an issue covered by your policy (such as a late flight). This coverage compensates you for additional expenses due to delays or interruptions.
Baggage loss coverage pays for baggage and belongings lost, damaged or stolen 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 cost (usually 50% or 75%, depending on the plan).
Tips for the pandemic traveler
Many travel insurance policies offer good medical coverage, but do not cover all COVID-related issues. If it’s important to you, make sure the plan you’re buying specifically covers you in case you contract COVID, says Squaremouth spokesperson Casaro Barto.
Squaremouth recommends at least $100,000 in emergency medical and medical evacuation coverage to account for medical care and evacuation costs related to COVID-19.
Sudden travel bans and unexpected quarantine requirements can also derail your trip, but standard travel insurance won’t cover these issues, Barto warns. Buying cancellation for any reason coverage will give you some compensation, regardless of your reason for canceling.
But Barto advises adding quick-cancel coverage for any reason if you want. You may only have a few weeks before the option expires for your plan.
Also, some travel destinations abroad have medical coverage requirements for incoming travelers. Before you buy a travel insurance plan you should confirm the medical coverage requirements for your destination.
Quarantine-related travel insurance coverage
The following travel insurance benefits may offer coverage for quarantine expenses, assuming the plan covers Covid-19 expenses.
Travel delay coverage
This benefit can cover your accommodation and food expenses during quarantine if you are infected with the virus. If you are forced to stay beyond your return date due to a positive test, this coverage can be extended by seven days.
“Policies with this benefit provide total coverage between $100 and $2,000 per person, with daily limits ranging from $50 to $300,” says Benna.
Trip interruption coverage
This coverage will compensate you for the missed parts of your trip if you are forced into quarantine due to a positive Covid test. It can cover 100% to 200% of your prepaid and non-refundable trip expenses, depending on the policy, says Benna.
For example, Travic International’s Safe Travels Voyager Plan covers expenses if you are forced to quarantine domestically or abroad due to a positive Covid test. “These plans can also provide reimbursement for medical expenses and emergency medical evacuation costs if you are injured or ill while traveling on your trip,” says Bailey Foster, a spokeswoman for Travic International.
“Cancel for any reason” coverage
Consider a plan that allows you to upgrade to “cancel for any reason” coverage. These upgrades typically add 50% to the cost of your travel insurance, but will allow you to cancel your trip for any reason and receive some reimbursement (often 75%) of the cost of the lost trip. Your reason may be covid-related, such as finding out there is an increase in covid at your destination. Or your reason may be unrelated—for example, you may file a CFAR claim because you don’t like the rainy view at your beach resort.
If you want CFAR coverage, be sure to purchase a travel insurance plan and add CFAR immediately after you make your first trip deposit. There is usually a purchase time frame for CFAR, such as two weeks.
“Interruption for any reason” coverage
If you’re worried about being quarantined while on your trip because of a positive Covid test, standard trip interruption insurance can compensate you for parts of your trip you miss—if your plan has coverage for Covid. For example, you can file a claim under Trip Interruption Benefits if you paid in advance for non-refundable hotel stays, travel or entertainment and can’t participate because you have a virus and must quarantine.
But what if you don’t have Covid and need to follow mandatory quarantine? That’s where “disruption for any reason” will help. “Interruption for any reason” coverage is offered as an upgrade from a small number of travel insurance companies. If you have this upgrade, you may be reimbursed for parts of your trip that you miss if you have to quarantine but don’t have Covid. It can also pay for the transportation costs to get you to your planned itinerary.
“Interruption for any reason” is not a common benefit, but the following companies offer it on some plans: iTravelInsured, Nationwide, Seven Corners and Travel Insured International.
Other Plan Benefits to Look For
A comprehensive travel insurance plan will also include coverage for:
- Travel delays, such as extra expenses when you’re stuck in an airport due to weather problems
- Missed connections
- Baggage and personal items, including lost or damaged baggage