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Popular Tourist Destinations Require Travel Insurance

Last Updated on 4/1/2022

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.

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.

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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 $200,000 coverage that includes provisions for medical emergencies, emergency evacuation, and repatriation of remains. 

28. Aruba

Since August 1st, 2021, Aruba now requires all travelers ages 15 years old and older to purchase a flat rate COVID-19 travel insurance policy online when completing the Embarkation and Disembarkation (ED) program.

29. 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.

30. Bahamas

It is required for travelers visiting the Bahamas to pay for mandatory COVID-19 health insurance upon completing the travel health visa application. Check out our Bahamas travel safety guide to plan a safe trip in the future.

31. Bahrain

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

32. Bermuda

Bermuda is requiring visitors provide proof of travel insurance upon entry. The policy must provide benefits in the event the traveler contracts COVID-19 during their stay.

33. British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands are requiring visitors upload a copy of their travel insurance through the BVI Gateway Application in addition to other requirement documentation.

34. Chile

Before boarding your flight, you’ll need to show proof that you have at least $30,000 of Medical Expense travel insurance coverage that includes benefits if you contract COVID-19 during your trip.

35. 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!

36. Curacao

Having health insurance or travel insurance is mandatory when visiting Curacao and the insurance must provide coverage for Medical Expense and Emergency Medical Evacuation benefits.

37. Democratic Republic of Congo

The U.S. Embassy in the Democratic Republic of Congo recommends traveling with proof of travel insurance while in country.

38. Ecuador

It’s no longer required to purchase travel insurance to travel to Ecuador, however, you will need to provide proof of travel insurance if traveling to the Galapagos Islands.

39. Egypt

It is required for travelers visiting Egypt show proof of health insurance. Keep in mind that most U.S.-based medical plans don’t extend coverage to international destinations. Purchasing a travel insurance plan will fulfill the requirement of travel insurance when traveling to Egypt.

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40. Iran

Most travelers will need a visa to enter Iran and one of the requirements for obtaining a visa is purchasing travel insurance. Make sure your policy contains coverage for Iran as not all do.

41. Israel

Purchasing medical and medical evacuation health coverage is required before traveling to Israel.

42. Jamaica

You’ll be required to complete a Travel Authorization entry process in which you’ll be charged for the “Jamaica Cares” mandatory travel insurance policy. This plan includes coverage in the event you contract COVID-19, need a medical evacuation, and medical expense coverage should you need medical care.

43. Jordan

Those traveling to Jordan are required to purchase travel insurance that includes medical expense coverage in case you get COVID-19 during your travels.

44. Lebanon

It is required that you show proof of travel health insurance that is valid for the entirety of your trip.

45. Malaysia

All short-term visitors will be required to show proof of travel insurance that covers at least $20,000 of coverage in the event you contract COVID-19 during your trip.

46. Nepal

Those traveling to Nepal must obtain travel insurance that includes Medical Expense and Medical Evacuation coverage for COVID-19.

47. 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.

48. Qatar

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

49. 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. Make sure the policy has at least 35,000 EUR of Medical Expense coverage.

50. Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia requires proof of travel insurance for all visa applicants.

51. Singapore

Any short-term visitors to Singapore that aren’t fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are required to purchase COVID-19 travel insurance that includes at least $30,000 of Medical Expense coverage prior to their departure date.

52. Sint Maarten

Sint Maarten (the dutch half of Saint Martin) requires all travelers to obtain COVID-19 travel insurance during the Electronic Health Authorization System (EHAS) application.

53. Tahiti/French Polynesia

All travelers who visit Tahiti must purchase travel insurance for the duration of their stay. If you don’t provide proof of travel insurance purchase, you could be denied entry into the country.

54. Thailand

It’s a newer requirement for all travelers to Thailand purchase travel insurance that has at least $20,000 of Medical Expense and Medical Evacuation that help cover costs if you contract COVID-19 during your trip.

55. Togo

If applying for a visa to visit Togo, you must also purchase travel insurance that includes Medical Expense and Medical Evacuation coverage.

56. 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.

57. Turks and Caicos

To visit the Turks and Caicos islands, you must show proof you’ve purchased travel insurance that protects against COVID-19 medical expenses and medical evacautions during the pre-authorization portal. Read up on other travel safety information in our Turks and Caicos travel safety guide.

58. Ukraine

Before entering Urkaine, travelers must provide proof of travel insurance purchase that covers illness related to COVID-19. The insurance must be purchased from a Ukrainian company or company with a partnership or contract with a Ukrainian company.

59. 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!

60. Kuwait

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 For more information on health, vaccination and other travel advisories visit the CDC Travel page.


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