Countries That Require Travel Insurance for COVID-19 and More

Last updated November 17, 2020

Travel insurance isn’t just the smart thing to do. A surprising number of countries – more since the COVID-19 pandemic – require visitors to supply proof of travel insurance to be allowed in. And knowing the countries that require travel insurance before you travel can save you a lot of headaches down the road.

Jump straight to:

Why Do Countries Require Travel Insurance?

For many countries, medical insurance that will cover the visitor in the country is at the heart of the requirement. Often countries that require travel insurance provide free or nearly free healthcare. They’d prefer a visitor pay for their own healthcare, or have an insurance company pay, rather than having the medical expenses on their books, or have a traveler skip the country without paying their medical bills.

As a result, many countries’ travel-insurance requirements specify travel medical insurance, and then any other coverage you want to tuck in is OK.

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Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.

How Much Travel Medical Insurance is Enough?

It depends on the country. Generally there’s no set dollar amount, though in most cases it’s prudent to buy as much emergency medical as your carrier allows and you can afford. In the case of Generali, you can get $250,000 of coverage for Medical and Dental and $1,000,000 of Emergency Assistance and Transportation coverage per person through our Premium plan.

However, there are exceptions. Dubai requires $100,000 in emergency medical coverage, and travelers to Antarctica need a minimum of $100,000 in medical evacuation and emergency medical coverage.

Read more about emergency medical coverage

What Countries Require Travel Insurance?

The countries that require travel insurance can be divided into:

1. The countries where some form of travel insurance is normally mandatory

2. The countries that require travel insurance because of the COVID-19 pandemic

Countries that Have Always Required Travel Insurance

Countries that require travel insurance, and did so even before the Coronavirus pandemic, include:

  • Antarctica (which is technically a continent, not a country) – Medical coverage is mandatory to travel to Antarctica, but the coverage level requirements depend on the tour company. Normally at least $100,000 in medical evacuation and emergency medical coverage are required. Our Preferred and Premium plans meet these minimums.

  • Ecuador – Requires all visitors to have health insurance that will cover them in Ecuador.

  • EgyptU.S. citizens must show proof of health insurance, that will cover them in Egypt, upon arrival in the country. No specific amount is required, but it needs to cover them for the whole trip.

  • Russia – U.S. citizens are required to obtain a visa to visit Russia, and one of the requirements for a visa is proof of medical insurance that is valid in the country for the length of the trip.

  • Turkey – Medical insurance that will cover you in Turkey is required to acquire a visa to enter the country, and U.S. citizens need a visa. No specific amount of coverage is required, but it must cover your entire time in Turkey.

  • United Arab Emirates –  U.S. citizens need proof of travel insurance in order to stay in the country for more than 30 days and depending on where you travel, such as Dubai, you may need a certain amount of travel insurance medical coverage. A new requirement due to the Coronavirus pandemic states that U.S. citizens are required to “obtain international health insurance for the entire duration of travel” in the UAE.

Countries that Require Travel Insurance Due to Coronavirus

Here are countries that are requiring travel insurance because of COVID-19:

  • Costa RicaAll travelers to Costa Rica are required to have insurance that covers at least $50,000 in medical expenses for the entire trip and also cover lodging expenses that are a result of the pandemic.

  • St. Maarten – “Travelers with destination St. Maarten are required to have health insurance coverage. This does not apply to transit passengers. Additional travel insurance covering COVID-19 related expenses is strongly recommended.”

  • Tahiti – “Travel insurance is mandatory for anyone traveling to French Polynesia who is not a French citizen and is not affiliated with French social security.”

  • Turks and Caicos – U.S. residents need to “upload the summary or certificate page of your insurance showing COVID 19 coverage.” Generali is listed as a recommended insurance partner.

This list can change fairly frequently, so we’ll be updating it on a regular basis. Consider this general information – it is NOT intended for legal reference. Each country has its own specific regulations on what plans meet their requirements and what counts as proof of insurance. We cannot guarantee Generali travel insurance plans will meet those requirements in all cases.

A lot of great destinations require travel insurance, so if you’re making them a part of your post-pandemic travel plans, get a travel-insurance quote today.

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