Where is travel insurance mandatory?
While it is highly suggested that you obtain travel insurance when leaving not just the country, but your home province, it isn’t actually mandatory. However, not having insurance can leave you at risk for paying thousands upon thousands of dollars if something were to go awry during your trip, emergencies can happen anywhere and at any time. A point that some countries are latching onto, and putting rules in place to ensure that those who travel there have sufficient coverage. So, while travel insurance is not inherently “mandatory” there are a handful of countries where you cannot enter without it.
What countries are included?
As of this year, the list of countries that require mandatory travel insurance is still extremely short. However, some travel experts are anticipating that the number could grow over time. International relations are growing more and more complex and simply a plane ticket is not enough to get you into your destination, passports are the norm and several places now require travel visas. And, in the case of Cuba, Poland, and Czech Republic you also need proof of travel insurance.
Cuba – Cuba is one of those destinations that requires not only a valid passport, and travel visa, but also sufficient travel insurance. If you are wishing to enter the country, you must be able to provide all three, no matter the length of your stay. Cuba has strict rules when it comes to their travel insurance, and can deny you entry if it does not comply with their regulations. Thankfully however, if you do end up in Cuba without sufficient coverage you are able to obtain a policy at the border, however you will pay a premium for it.
Poland – Poland allows travelers to stay up to 90 days, and while they do not require you to have a travel visa, they do ask for proof of a return ticket home, as well as valid travel insurance. In some cases, they even ask for proof of sufficient funds for your stay. If you arrive to the country without proof of travel insurance, you are able to purchase it there.
Czech Republic – If you are staying for less than 90 days, you do not need a travel visa to enter the country, but no longer how long your stay is, you need to provide both a valid passport and proof of travel insurance. Czech Republic requires that you have emergency medical that covers the costs of hospitalization and medical treatment in the event you are injured or sick. In most cases, Czech Republic accepts traditional travel insurance plans, and travel insurance included with internationally recognized credit cards.
*Always confirm entry requirements with any country’s respective border customs yourself before booking your trip.
Ensuring you have sufficient coverage
Know your travel plans – If you know you are going to one of these three countries, be sure to speak with your travel agent or insurance broker. They will be able to tell you what coverage is needed to enter into which country, helping to ensure your trip starts out smoothly. If you are going on a cruise, or a trip that will take you across multiple countries, be sure to understand your itinerary, and know if you will have to enter Cuba, Poland, or Czech Republic. And as always, if you are unsure, ask better to know and be prepared then be caught unawares at the border.
Shop around for insurance – To get the best price on your travel insurance, be sure to shop around and find a policy that is right for you. By shopping around online you are able to find a policy that meets your needs, whether you are looking for something all-inclusive, strictly emergency medical, or if you need coverage for a pre-existing condition.