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COVID Era Travel Insurance
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Traveling may seem complicated, especially if your trip includes international travel. Each country sets its testing protocols and restrictions, with some cities and states offering more travel rules than others. 

Although we are more than a year and a half into the pandemic, the COVID-19 delta variant made it more challenging to move forward as the world reopened after a long shutdown. It’s possible to plan a trip now and large numbers of Americans are traveling domestically and abroad, but it’s crucial to be aware of the rules and regulations imposed at your destination. 

Travel insurance is an essential financial safeguard that may also be required, depending on where you want to go. Not all travel plans cover COVID-related medical expenses and cancellations, however. 

Some Countries Require Visitors To Carry Travel Insurance Coverage

As more Americans resume international travel, they must deal with the more than two dozen countries (at the time of this article posting) that require medical and travel coverage for COVID-related illness and incidents. Getting essential medical care while traveling abroad can be prohibitively expensive, and smaller countries with less-robust healthcare systems must protect themselves. U.S. health insurance plans don’t usually provide coverage for medical care in another country.  

In some countries, visitors must provide proof that they have travel insurance that covers the costs of their medical care in case they contract COVID while abroad. Some countries also require coverage for expenses related to mandatory quarantining if visitors test positive for COVID. 

Many countries also require proof of a recent negative COVID test before they’ll allow visitors to enter. Due to the varying requirements, it’s essential to learn about the latest rules for entering another country before leaving for your trip. 

Travel Insurance Requirements

  • Anguilla, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Turks, and Caicos: All incoming visitors must provide proof of travel insurance covering Covid-19 medical expenses.
  • Aruba: Visitors must purchase Covid-19 travel insurance from the Aruba government.
  • Bahamas: Mandatory Bahamas Health Travel Visa fee providing health insurance mandated by the Bahamian government.
  • Cambodia: All visitors must have insurance covering at least $50,000 for Covid-19 treatment.
  • Chile: Visitors must have a health insurance policy providing coverage for Covid-19.
  • Costa Rica: Unvaccinated travelers must have travel medical insurance with $50,000 for Covid-related medical treatment and $2,000 for quarantine lodging expenses.
  • French Polynesia: Visitors must purchase travel insurance with Covid-19 coverage, or sign a declaration promising to pay all costs if they contract Covid-19.
  • Jamaica: Visitors must pay a mandatory insurance fee covering medical treatment for Covid-19.
  • Nepal: Visitors must have a travel medical insurance policy including coverage for Covid-19 medical benefits as well as repatriation.
  • St. Maarten: Tourists must purchase Covid-19 insurance from the government. 
  • Thailand: Travelers must have at least $100,000 in travel medical insurance for Covid-19 care. 
  • Ukraine: Visitors must buy an insurance policy from an insurance company registered in Ukraine to cover Covid-19 treatment.

Benefits of Buying Travel Insurance

Whether you purchase travel insurance to fulfill the requirements of the country you’ll visit or want the extra financial protection offered by travel coverage, several distinct benefits come with travel insurance. 

Specific plans help travelers recover prepaid trip costs if the reason for cancellation is covered under the policy. While some plans provide coverage for an unexpected illness, many also offer coverage for COVID-related illness and expenses. 

Trip cancellations, delays, and interruptions are more common than ever due to the pandemic, and travel insurance companies have had the chance to pivot to meet consumers’ needs. 

Travel Insurance With Medical Coverage

If you choose a good travel insurance policy, you may have access to emergency services to help arrange medical evacuation if you or someone in your party needs medical care. Travel insurance providers can help you find testing locations, reschedule canceled flights, and get prescriptions while abroad. 

Domestic travel doesn’t generally require additional medical coverage since health insurance plans and Medicare typically cover accidents and unexpected health challenges, including COVID testing and treatment. 

If you aren’t leaving the United States, you may only need trip cancellation coverage, which helps protect you from the negative financial consequences of trip delays, interruptions, and cancellations. 

If you plan to travel abroad, it’s essential to understand your medical coverage and buy a travel policy that provides access to affordable and high-quality medical care if you contract COVID during your trip. 

Third-Party Travel Insurance 

When you purchase travel insurance from an airline, cruise line, or another travel provider, you won’t have access to insure all of your non-refundable trip costs. Airlines provide refunds for airfare only, and they only offer a credit or refund if you cancel for approved reasons. 

A Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) policy provides coverage for your trip costs for reasons not covered by standard trip cancellation coverage. This flexible alternative to other travel policies may provide up to 75% reimbursement of all pre-paid costs, no matter the reason for your trip cancellation. 

Verify that your travel policy covers you and your traveling companions for COVID-related medical care and evacuation. Look for a policy that provides at least $100,000 of coverage so you can get the care you need for COVID-related problems. 

Standard travel insurance may not cover unexpected quarantines or last-minute travel bans that can derail your trip. CFAR coverage may be the answer to travel bans, but you may have a limited amount of time to purchase a policy (usually 21 days or less from the date you first paid any money towards your trip).

Tips For Buying Travel Insurance During the Pandemic

  • Confirm medical coverage requirements imposed by the country you’ll visit before buying a travel insurance policy. 
  • Look for a travel insurance plan with benefits that extend beyond medical coverage and trip cancellation. Some plans also provide reimbursement for travel delays, missed connections, and lost personal items or baggage. 
  • Never assume your health insurance or Medicare will cover your COVID-related expenses while you are away from home. Verify your coverage with your carrier and look for a plan to fill in the gaps. 
  • When shopping for travel insurance, read the fine print related to COVID coverage carefully. When quoting on TravelInsurance.com, click on the “COVID-19 FAQs” link to read the coverage details provided by the insurance company.
  • If you are unsure about traveling and may change your mind about the trip, buy cancel for any reason (CFAR) travel insurance so you can make the decision to postpone or cancel your trip without taking a large financial hit. 
  • Include travel insurance in your trip budget. Expect to pay 10% to 12% of the total cost of your trip for a comprehensive policy appropriate for traveling during a pandemic. 
  • If adventure sports or traveling to remote areas is part of your plan, consider purchasing extra coverage for medical evacuation services. 

All TravelInsurance.com insurers offer coverage with benefits if you contract COVID-19 during your trip and require emergency medical assistance. You can also get trip cancellation coverage in case you contract the virus before you leave for vacation, as well as trip interruption coverage if you get COVID while traveling and need to go home to recover. 

Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) policies allow you to cancel your trip if your worries about contracting COVID in a high-risk area cause you to change your mind about traveling. Shutdowns and travel restrictions imposed at your destination generally aren’t covered with a standard travel insurance policy. Still, CFAR coverage can help you recover your expenses if COVID concerns cause you to change your plans. 

 


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