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Will Travel Insurance Become A Must-Have Purchase?

Travel insurance is truly a must for people like Barbara Howell. This is because she has used it repeatedly, to cover her doctor's cruise visits, and this spring, to get a refund for the cancellation of COVID-19. But will one day travel insurance become a necessity for everyone else?

"The world has changed so much that it is impossible to travel without travel insurance," says Howell, a frequent traveler and registered nurse from Carpenteria, California. "I would not leave our shores without full coverage and I do not mean full."

In travel insurance, it is mandatory, and then it is mandatory.

Mandatory, in Howell's sense, means that travel insurance has become so important that you couldn't imagine booking a trip without it. Although it is not a legal requirement in the United States, some countries require travel insurance prior to your arrival. And for them, mandatory means that if you don't have it, you can't visit.

Where is travel insurance mandatory?

"Travel insurance is already mandatory for many countries around the world," says Blame Kamishi, travel insurance editor at VisaGuide.World.

The list can change, but these destinations typically include:

  • Antarctica
  • Cuba
  • Ecuador
  • Europe (excluding Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland and Romania)
  • Iran
  • Morocco, West, sunset
  • Qatar
  • Russia
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • The United Arab Emirates

Requirements vary by country, according to travel insurance experts.

"Some countries require visitors to demonstrate that they have emergency travel medical insurance as a condition of entry," explains Daniel Durazzo, spokesman for Allianz Travel. Tourists to the Czech Republic, for example, must carry proof of a valid health insurance policy that covers hospitalization and medical treatment.

When does travel insurance become mandatory everywhere?

"Mandatory travel insurance is a matter of time," says Rajiv Shrivastava, CEO of, a travel insurance website. "No Yes."

Shrivastava believes that mandatory travel insurance has yet to be created because countries depend on tourism dollars.

“Government regulatory agencies have been at odds with their own tourism boards that have not wanted a mandate that could affect travel to their countries, even though the cost of medical care for uninsured foreign visitors has had an impact important in national health systems around the world, "he says." In the wake of the pandemic, these systems have been pushed to the brink and will not bear an additional burden to treat uninsured travelers. "

According to observers, the COVID-19 pandemic has not started the mandatory travel insurance process, but has accelerated it.

"It is already becoming a growing trend for countries to seek health coverage due to the precarious increase in medical bills from foreign travelers," says Casara Barto, spokesperson for the Squaremouth travel insurance company.

How much coverage do you need? A policy with emergency medical coverage of at least $ 50,000 and $ 100,000 for cruises or trips to a remote location, says Bartow.

Travel insurance is mandatory for some activities

If you are going somewhere outside the network, your tour operator may already require travel insurance. Mar Nouibi, Pure Adventures Product Development Manager, says that some tours require insurance.

"We are mainly specialized in self-guided tours and adventure travel around the world," he says. "Some of our partners need insurance. For example, in parts of Argentina and Chile, very remote areas where altitude can affect people, it makes sense to require travel insurance."

Travel insurance can also be mandatory for some types of travelers. At least that's the assessment of Stephen Roy Goodman, educational advisor and author of College Success Stories that Inspire.

"Some form of travel insurance or enhanced travel insurance is likely to be mandatory for international students," he says. "For an American student planning to travel to study abroad or earn a full-time degree, many universities will simply do what some adventure travel companies do: they will require a supplemental policy like World Nomads."

Will travel insurance be mandatory for your next trip?

Regardless of what some countries do, or don't require, you may want to think about your situation. Should I travel anywhere without travel insurance?

Travel insurance can cover a variety of problems, including hospital treatment and medical evacuation. It can also help you if you have to cancel a flight due to your layoff, your flight is delayed or interrupted due to loss of contact, lost luggage or other problems. You may not be able to afford a trip without this type of coverage.

“With the misfortune that the pandemic has caused so many people with cancellations and travelers losing huge sums of money, travelers will be more inclined to purchase travel insurance to ensure they are covered in case their trip is unexpectedly canceled again. ”Says Lee Jerry, international health care manager for the expat group.

How to determine if travel insurance is necessary

"Travel insurance should definitely be a little more important now, especially since people are willing to travel abroad," says Jeremy Moorsland, president of Seven Corners Travel Insurance.

But how do you know if it is necessary for your situation?

If you are afraid of contracting COVID-19 while traveling. Travelers worried about the illness turn to insurance companies that can cover a coronavirus claim. "Only a few insurance companies still cover COVID-19-related expenses," says PK Rao, president of INF Visitor Care, an insurance company for visitors from the United States and Canada.

If you spend more than $ 5,000 on vacation. This is known as buying an "expensive ticket." Even outside of the pandemic, you should consider obtaining this type of license.

If you are a nervous traveler. Travel insurance provides peace of mind. Even if your issue doesn't mean cancellation, trip interruption coverage and other benefits are still available.

If you are on tour. Tour operators, even during the pandemic, have some more restrictive refund rules. Better safe than sorry.

If you have a long or complicated itinerary. If you are on a quiet auto tour with many moving parts, insurance can be beneficial. When a part doesn't work as planned, the right policy can help you recover quickly.

What time do you leave the country? Medical providers abroad often request advance payments for medical care. Travel insurance can provide these payments. The cost of medical evacuations and repatriations can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

If you have Medicare and are traveling internationally. Look for travel insurance that covers medical expenses, as Medicare generally doesn't cover problems outside of the United States.

Travel insurance may not be required for your next trip. It may not be legally required. But it may be necessary for you if the circumstances require it.