Popular Tourist Destinations Require Travel Insurance

Traveling abroad is an enriching endeavor. However, purchasing travel insurance is becoming more important. A small, but growing list of countries are making travel insurance a mandatory requirement for getting both short and long-term entry visas.

The most recent on the list is Ecuador, which moved to add proof of travel insurance to visa requirements on May 1st of this year. Experts predict this trend of requiring travel insurance will continue as more countries seek to ease the burden of the unpaid medical bills left by tourists. This is caused by travelers who either take advantage of free healthcare in a country where they do not pay taxes or who simply leave without paying the bill, creating a financial burden within that country!

Travel insurance is essential for any trip abroad, but these destinations should be given special attention as you search for a suitable policy to meet their requirements.

green button that reads quote and compare travel insurance

world map of countries that require travel insurance

1-26. The Schengen Area: 26 European Countries

The 26 countries within Europe’s Schengen Area have similar requirements when it comes to travel insurance. Anyone applying for a Schengen visa is required to demonstrate evidence of insurance. These countries include:

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

*Students or other non-working expats who are not required to obtain a Schengen visa may have additional insurance requirements

27. Antarctica

Travelers to Antarctica are required to purchase travel health insurance with coverage that includes provisions for medical emergencies, emergency evacuation, and repatriation of remains.

28. Australia

If you plan to do any adventure sports while in Australia, don’t forget to request a plan that covers medical evacuation incidents related to those sports.

29. Bahrain

A trip to this island between Saudi Arabia and Qatar will require health insurance coverage for foreigners and expatriates.

30. Cuba

Travelers who arrive to Cuba without coverage are required to buy their insurance from a local Cuban provider, which typically results in a much more expensive premium. Make sure to buy necessary coverage in advance!

31. Ecuador

As of May 1st this year, Ecuadorian Ministry of Tourism has announced that all foreigners will be required to provide proof of insurance while visiting or living in Ecuador.

32. Oman

Health insurance is necessary when traveling to Oman. Explore the deserts and coastlines of Oman with confidence in a travel insurance policy that’s right for you.

33. Philippines

Because the Philippines is requiring travel insurance for foreign visitors, make sure you buy travel insurance before you head out on your trip.

34. Qatar

Qatar began requiring travel insurance for those living abroad in 2015 to cover the rising cost of foreigners relying on state healthcare.

35. Russia

Applying for a tourist visa for Russia is a difficult and lengthy process on its own. It is nearly impossible to obtain a visa without demonstrating confirmation of a travel healthcare policy.

36. Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has required proof of travel insurance for all visa applicant since December 2015.

37. Turkey

As of January 2016 all applicants for visas to Turkey are required to have medical insurance coverage that will be valid during their stay in Turkey.

38. UAE (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, etc)

Anyone traveling to the United Arab Emirates on a visa is required to show verification of insurance upon arrival.

Countries Pending Legislation

Despite new requirements of travel insurance for these countries, traveling to those that don’t is still a large risk and can be potentially costly. Listed below are some countries are considering new legislation that requires proof of travel insurance from foreigners that enter their country. We wouldn’t recommend traveling without international medical insurance if one of these destinations is on your list of trips!

39. Malaysia

40. Kuwait

41. Thailand

Regardless of whether or not travel insurance is required, we recommend you don’t even consider leaving home without it! At Yonder, we help you make the best travel policy decision that fits your travel style. Get an instant quote today.

For more details and current information of visa requirements, visit cibtvisas.com For more information on health, vaccination and other travel advisories visit the CDC Travel page.

Get an instant travel insurance quote!