10 Countries Travel Insurance Is Required
We know that it may come as a shock to some that buying travel insurance would be a required item in their luggage to travel to another nation. Historically, nations have required some sort of travel insurance policy for visits within their borders, regardless of the purpose of the visit, and the concept of required insurance is generally not new.
Most states and nations mandate auto liability insurance for those choosing to own and operate motor vehicles on public streets or highways, and for a brief time, the United States mandated health insurance for most citizens before a successful judicial challenge changed the rule.
We understand that travel insurance may be an expense you have never contemplated or considered for your international adventures, but we believe it truly is a luggage item you should never leave at home.
Your core insurance policies usually do not follow you when you leave your country of origin; therefore, it is necessary to replace them with travel insurance that helps keep you protected while abroad. We encourage purchasing travel insurance for every journey regardless of government mandates.
Embarking on Your Expedition
The day is slowly and quickly approaching all at the same time. The day when you set out on the adventure of a lifetime that seemed so far in the future is now within sight. You have done all of the preparing, planning, investing, budgeting, and training your journey requires, and now all that is left to do is wait.
Have you planned for the unpredictability of life by purchasing a quality travel insurance plan? If not, we are here to help and illustrate why this is perhaps the single most important step you should take.
What Is Travel Insurance? Is It Worth It?
Travel insurance from Insured Nomads is a packaged insurance plan that provides you with protection against many different perils that can be experienced while traveling abroad. Starting at less than $30.00, our travel insurance plans offer financial and personal protection against emergency evacuation or medical care, catastrophes, damaged and lost personal property, COVID-19 and Malaria infections, trip interruption, travel delay coverage and trip cancellation insurance, natural disaster evacuations, medical evacuations, and much more.
Unfortunately, two things occur when we leave home to explore the beauty our world has to offer. First, the curve balls that life can throw at you with the precision and skill of Pedro Martinez pack their ballbags and join us, and second, the core insurance plans we have at home stay at home.
Surprised by that last one? We often hear from our clients that they had no idea they were not protected by their health and auto insurance when traveling outside their country, and often even the state they live in. Medicare, for example, does not cover you when you are outside the U.S.
Not only do we have you covered, but you also have the comfort of knowing that you have a travel insurance plan from a company founded on the same love and passion for travel that you possess. We get you, and we get traveling.
What’s more, we also understand insurance can be more complicated than imagined once you scratch beneath the surface. We have gone to great lengths to simplify both the process and our plans in order to provide you with straightforward travel insurance that is easy to understand and will not leave you stranded or forced to navigate catastrophe alone.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, many nations required travelers to provide proof of travel insurance, and the pandemic has only exacerbated this requirement. Nations from Argentina to Vietnam are requiring travelers to show that they have a travel insurance plan that provides assistance with medical costs, including those associated with COVID-19. Any plan that does not offer COVID-19 benefits will not suffice.
Below we will take a look at 10 popular global destinations that require proof of travel insurance that includes COVID-19 and health benefits prior to being allowed to cross their borders.
1. The Bahamas
Some of the most beautiful water anywhere in the world can be found surrounding the 700 islands of The Bahamas. Considered a favorite destination of people from around the world, the people of The Bahamas are some of the most welcoming you can find. Global history, especially the history of the Americas, runs deep here. Numerous tales of pirates, conquests, exploration, and monstrous hurricanes owe their origins to this nation of numerous islands and cays.
COVID-19 restrictions here are still very much a daily part of life. The government of The Bahamas has remained vigilant in the fight against the pandemic. Public spaces such as bars, clubs, and restaurants require proof of vaccination before you can step foot inside the door.
Proof of travel insurance is also required before entry into the country is allowed. Like so many other nations, trip insurance that includes coverage for medical expenses, especially for COVID-19 infections, is required.
Famous, among other reasons, for being one of the longest countries in the world, Chile is a special place surrounded by beauty. That beauty comes from its fine cuisine, landscapes, art, poetry, legendary landmarks, and coastline. As one of South America’s most recognizable nations, Chile provides Nomads who find their way there with experiences in culture, enlightenment, and beauty that they cannot soon forget.
While they no longer require any quarantines upon arrival, the government does still require a negative COVID-19 test prior to arrival, as well as proof that your travel insurance covers health and infections from COVID-19. That way, you’ll receive reimbursement if you or a family member gets sick and requires medical treatment.
3. French Polynesia
Those of us who have had the pleasure of sleeping over beautiful crystal clear turquoise waters in bungalows owe our good fortune to French Polynesia, where the concept was first created. French Polynesia is full of surprises. For instance, the word tattoo originated here, where the custom of getting inked dates back to at least 1500 BC!
While exploring this paradise, Nomads will discover beautiful coral gardens, flowers that only grow on specific islands and nowhere else in the world, and even a Catholic church built entirely of coral!
We may think of overwater bungalows and Tahiti when we first hear this nation mentioned, but it has so much more to offer. Those among us who are lucky enough to travel here will find it difficult to find anywhere else on Earth quite like it.
French Polynesia remains part of France and requires proof of travel protection upon your arrival. Like all of the other nations on our list, your travel insurance options must include a medical insurance policy that protects against COVID-19 infections. Unlike some other nations, they do offer an exception to this requirement so long as you sign a declaration that you have the funds to fully pay for any services you receive. With the cost of healthcare rising everywhere in the world, we think you would agree that this is not a risk worth taking, regardless of your financial assets.
While we are hanging out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean we might as well go ahead and make a stop in Fiji. Why not, right? While French Polynesia is famous for the origins of bungalows built over water and tattoos, Fiji is famous for the origins of walking or running on hot coals!
Made up of over 300 islands, Fiji owes much of its economy to tourism
. The Fijian way is one of kindness and hospitality, which only enhances its appeal to foreign travelers and Nomads. Like so many other global destinations, its natural beauty is magnified by the beauty of its people and culture.
However, unlike French Polynesia, Fiji requires travelers to provide proof of travel insurance prior to entering the country and there is no option to sign declarations that you can and will cover the costs of healthcare should the need arise.
With the intersection of the world’s largest religions converging upon its lands, Israel has a history of being a popular destination for religious pilgrimages. Israel offers travelers opportunities for exploration and discovery that are so unique that they cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
You can visit the hill that Jesus was crucified on and the tomb he was laid in. You can discover the well dug by Jacob and stand on the ground Muhammed spoke on in Jerusalem. It is a surreal experience, regardless of your religious views, to walk on grounds so revered and storied, as well as witness the intermingling of so many believers from each of the world’s largest religions.
Israel still has strict COVID-19 protocols in place, including quarantine requirements upon arrival. Travelers must take a PCR COVID-19 test once they arrive in the country and are released from quarantine after a negative result. Proof of vaccination is not required.
Israel also requires travel insurance that includes medical benefits for COVID-19 infections. They specify that all travelers must have this coverage in place prior to arrival. Interestingly, they have waived these requirements for refugees from Ukraine while the war with Russia is ongoing.
(update: due to the current war/conflict it is not possible to transfer funds to hospitals so travel insurance is not available for those going into Russia)
While the US State Department strongly discourages US citizens from traveling to Russia or Ukraine, we understand that not all of our Nomads are US or Canadian citizens.
Despite the recent geopolitical conflicts involving Russia, it remains a popular destination for those Nomads seeking adventure and true wilderness exploration. Russia holds the title of being the largest nation on the planet by landmass and could be its own continent given its sheer size.
Russia mandates that all travelers to the nation provide proof of travel medical insurance before being allowed entry. The plan must include global coverage and must specifically name Europe and The Russian Federation on the declarations. Visitors must also provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to embarkation.
Argentina stretches across most of the South American Continent and is the 8th largest nation in the world. The famed Patagonia and Andes can be found in this nation that stretches 2,360 miles from its subtropical northern border with Brazil to its southern subantarctic tip.
Expeditioners have traveled to this nation to test their skills and resilience and to feed their hunger for true adventure. Argentina has something to offer every explorer who dreams to be challenged physically, mentally, and emotionally.
The Argentine government requires that all travelers to the nation have travel health insurance prior to arrival with no exceptions. As is the case with every nation on our list, the insurance must cover COVID-19 infections.
Much like Israel, Egypt is an important geographical location for the world’s largest religions, including Jews and Christians. Egypt is also a paradise for archeological explorers with its infamous tombs, lost cities, and mummies.
Its majestic and awe-inspiring pyramids amaze scientists, tourists, and travelers as much today as they have for thousands of years. Zoologists and biologists often call Egypt the Cradle of Life, made possible by the waters of the crocodile and hippo-infested waters of the Nile River, which is a legend in and of itself.
It could be argued that Egypt is the true destination for any explorer who dreams of following in the footsteps of fictional childhood heroes like Indiana Jones and Laura Croft. Ancient Egyptians are responsible for much more than the pyramids and mummies. Modern items we use to this day were first invented and used in Egypt. Paper, pens, keys, and even toothpaste, were dreamed, designed, and created in Egypt!
Egypt is the only nation on our list where uncertainty surrounds the requirement for travel health insurance. The Egyptian Ministry responsible for health states that it is required, but recent travelers have reported inconsistencies in proof being requested by officials. Due to this uncertainty, we encourage you to consider it a mandatory requirement. It would be a serious delay and inconvenience for you to arrive in the country and not be admitted due to being one of the lucky ones who was asked for proof.
Thailand is a truly remarkable place to visit. One of the coolest lesser-known facts about Thailand is that it is one of the few Asian nations that was never colonized by a European nation.
Known as the Land of Temples (with over 35,000 of them), an explorer could spend a lifetime visiting them all. Made up of hundreds of islands, sprawling forests and jungles, beautiful waters, a tenth of the world’s known species, and home to both the smallest known mammal and largest fish, Thailand truly is an explorer’s paradise.
The Thai government requires that all travelers to the country, regardless of their country of departure, provide proof of travel health insurance that covers treatment for COVID-19, and at least $10,000 in policy limits.
Antarctica is not technically a country, but we thought that it deserved a mention on this list considering it is the epic destination for any traveling Nomad, explorer, or adventurer. Most explorers will never make it to its ice-laced shores, however, considering its status as one of the most exclusive destinations on Earth, we felt it has earned its right to be the proverbial “best for last” on our list.
Although it has no central government, Antarctica is governed by the Antarctic Treaty, formed in 1959 by 12 nations following the debate over what nation had rights to the continent. With no known indigenous population, it was decided that it should be reserved as land for peace and science. Today there are 53 nations that are a part of the treaty, and with the exception of minor squawks here and there, it has remained one of the few places on Earth with continuous peace.
We could write an entire article dedicated to the interesting facts about Antarctica, like how time works differently there due to all of the longitudinal lines responsible for giving us time zones converging at the same point, or how every direction you look is North, and perhaps most amazing, how certain species of fish there have natural anti-freeze in their blood that keeps them from freezing in the frigid temperatures!
Because of its status as being the most remote unforgiving place on Earth above sea level, there are strict travel insurance requirements prior to embarking on the most epic of all epic journeys there. Governed largely by tour operators and member nations, the typical policy limit requirement for travel health insurance is $100,000, and the policies often must include evacuation coverages. In case you are wondering, travel insurance from Insured Nomads has you covered and then some when it comes to policy limit requirements for both health expenses and evacuation expenses.
Making the Cut
To be clear, this list of 10 nations that require travel insurance prior to admittance is not exhaustive. There are several other nations not mentioned that you are sure to want to visit that have travel insurance requirements, and almost all nations have a policy on their COVID-19 mitigation protocols. Our best advice is that mandated insurance should not be a factor in your decision to purchase travel insurance for your adventures.
It comes as a surprise to some that when their insurance runs out of money or reaches its policy limits, the remaining liability resides solely on the insured. For instance, let’s say that your auto insurance has a liability limit of $50,000 and you get into a bad wreck because you ran a stop sign. The other people in the car you hit end up having medical bills that come to the sum of $200,000. Once your policy meets the maximum policy limit of $50,000 it stops paying.
The remaining $150,000 is up to you to pay. If you do not have the cash assets to cover those costs, the plaintiffs can come after your real estate assets and future earnings to help cover their expenses.
Liability claims and healthcare costs generally do not come in small amounts. Even the wealthiest people in the world purchase insurance to mitigate their exposure to liability risks. It would be extremely unwise to travel abroad without travel insurance in place to protect your financial assets, just as it would be to drive your car from home to work without auto insurance. We cannot predict the future nor can we control life’s curveballs, and insurance is the answer to life’s unpredictable nature.
Is Travel Insurance Necessary?
You truly cannot put a price on peace of mind. When you travel with a travel insurance plan from Insured Nomads, you travel with the peace of mind that you have taken the biggest step possible to protect you and your family from the mayhem that life can unleash. We cannot predict when, or to our point, where a medical emergency, catastrophe, or covered peril may strike. It is for this very reason that travel insurance is most important.
When we are home it can be easy to get comfortable with the idea of having insurance there for us in the event of major events, emergencies, or catastrophes. At home, when we are driving down the highway to work, we do so with peace of mind that if we get into a wreck we will not have to bear the financial responsibility of it alone.
When a storm is approaching, we know that if a tree falls through our newly built sunroom we have insurance there to help us rebuild. If we go rock climbing in a national park and fall and break our leg, we know that our health insurance policy will cover most of the hospital charges, physician fees, and medical costs we incur due to medical conditions that your policy covers.
We encourage you to spend a moment to take notice of the peace of mind your core insurance plans provide you at home and imagine how different life would be without them. Traveling without travel insurance is what that is like, hence the enormous benefit that peace of mind bears. It cannot be understated.
Comprehensive travel insurance provides emergency medical coverage such as emergency room visits and emergency dental and vision care, as well as serious health issues like heart attacks, strokes, COVID-19 infections, pregnancy care, evacuation services, and much more.
The Insured Nomad’s Difference
Our core passion as an insurance company is not insurance; it’s travel, and insurance is a close second. That is where we differ from many other travel insurance companies. Instead of seeing international travelers as nothing more than potential revenue sources, we see you as partners in a shared passion that deserves to be protected with simplified, yet comprehensive travel insurance coverages.
We understand your desire, or even your need to set sail around this blue ball we all call home. Our company was founded by citizens from every continent and we have built a team made up of your peers, ex-pats, and Nomads who chase the dream of living, working, and yes, playing abroad.
We are a global organization on a mission to make the insurance experience more straightforward, easier to navigate, and affordable. COVID-19 illuminated the delicate preciousness of international travel in a way that hasn’t been seen in generations, and we are emboldened to continue innovating and offering the very best travel insurance available.
Our bags are always packed and ready to join you on every adventure you embark on. Whether by plane, train, or boat, we remain steadfast in our commitment to provide you with the peace of mind and protection you need to see your dreams of being an Expat and Nomad never hindered.
About Insured Nomads
Insured Nomads is the first to take an integrated traveltech, fintech and insurtech solution to the world for remote workers, globally distributed teams, expats, and travelers. Their purpose is to make travel as safe and smart as staying at home. They do this by providing health insurance with exceptional medical benefits in tandem with wellbeing, safety, security, and advanced tech-enabled solutions for ease of payment for healthcare, emergency response and evacuation. Insured Nomads is available through affinity relationships, direct, embedded and through select brokers and partners for groups and individuals.