Popular Tourist Destinations Require Travel Insurance

Last Updated on 4/7/2023

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. Don’t forget to check out our travel safety guides on top tourist destinations!

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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 and $1,000,000 for 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. Australian visa holders are required to obtain adequate health insurance.

30. Bahamas

It’s no longer required to opt for mandatory travel insurance when visiting the Bahamas. However, your medical coverage may not apply to international destinations, so it’s a good idea to purchase a separate plan in case an emergency happens during your trip. 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 is highly recommended since your healthcare in the U.S. doesn’t often provide coverage internationally.

32. Bermuda

Bermuda is requiring visitors to 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

It may not be required to upload proof of travel insurance coverage to enter the BVI, but it’s always a good idea to get travel insurance in case you have to cancel your trip or you need medical attention during your trip.

34. Chile

Travel insurance is no longer mandatory to travel to Chile, but it’s recommended by the Chilean government.

35. Cuba

Travelers who arrive in 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 the necessary coverage in advance!

36. Curacao

Having health insurance or travel insurance is mandatory when visiting Curacao for longer than 30 days. 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 the 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

Jamaica has previously had compulsory travel insurance through the Jamaica Cares Program. Even though this is no longer required, it’s likely your health insurance in the States won’t provide coverage in Jamaica. It’s best to purchase a separate travel insurance policy. Check out our Jamaica travel safety guide for more information.

43. Jordan

Those traveling to Jordan are required to purchase travel insurance that includes medical expense coverage in case you need medical attention 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

Malaysia no longer requires travelers to show proof of travel insurance upon entry. However, having travel insurance is a wise idea as medical emergencies can be expensive if your health insurance doesn’t provide international coverage.

46. Nepal

Those traveling to Nepal must obtain travel insurance that includes Medical Expense and Medical Evacuation if you plan on doing any trekking or other types of adventurous activities.

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

Singapore has remove the mandatory COVID-19 requirements, but it’s always a wise idea to still purchase a travel insurance policy in case something unexpected like a cancellation, trip delay, or sickness comes up.

52. Sint Maarten

Sint Maarten (the dutch half of Saint Martin) offers an optional travel insurance policy that provides coverage in case you contract COVID-19. We recommend purchasing a more comprehensive travel insurance policy like those found on Yonder.

53. Tahiti/French Polynesia

Travelers no longer require travel insurance to enter French Polynesia, however, it is still recommended to do so.

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

As of April 1, 2023, Turks and Caicos doesn’t require travel insurance for their visitors. 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. 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 cibtvisas.com For more information on health, vaccination and other travel advisories visit the CDC Travel page.

As a seasoned professional with over five years of experience in the travel insurance industry, Meagan has honed her expertise in marketing and operations working for Yonder Travel Insurance. Throughout her career, she's shown dedication assisting customers at every stage of their travel insurance journey, from the initial quote process to navigating the claims process. Her expert understanding of travel insurance equips her to provide unbiased and valuable insights, which help travelers find the best coverage and maximize its benefits.


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