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The 5 Best COVID-19 Travel Insurance Options

does bupa international travel insurance cover covid

Travelex Insurance Services »

does bupa international travel insurance cover covid

Allianz Travel Insurance »

does bupa international travel insurance cover covid

World Nomads Travel Insurance »

does bupa international travel insurance cover covid

Generali Global Assistance »

does bupa international travel insurance cover covid

IMG Travel Insurance »

Why Trust Us

U.S. News evaluates ratings, data and scores of more than 50 travel insurance companies from comparison websites like TravelInsurance.com, Squaremouth and InsureMyTrip, plus renowned credit rating agency AM Best, in addition to reviews and recommendations from top travel industry sources and consumers to determine the Best COVID Travel Insurance Options.

Table of Contents

  • Rating Details
  • Travelex Insurance Services
  • Allianz Travel Insurance

Even though COVID-19 is no longer considered a global emergency, concerns around illness-related costs remain for many travelers. If you're looking for travel insurance that covers COVID – as well as other potential disruptions like flight delays and lost luggage – these are your best options.

  • Travelex Insurance Services: Best Optional Coverage Add-ons
  • Allianz Travel Insurance: Best for Multitrip and Annual Plans
  • World Nomads Travel Insurance: Best for Active Travelers
  • Generali Global Assistance: Best for Comprehensive Travel Insurance
  • IMG Travel Insurance: Best for Travel Medical Insurance

Best COVID Travel Insurance Options in Detail

Plans include coverage for COVID-19

Optional CFAR coverage is available with Travel Select plan

Some coverages require an upgrade, including rental car collision, accidental death and dismemberment, and more

Not all add-ons are available with every plan

Allianz offers some travel insurance plans that come with an epidemic coverage endorsement

Single-trip, multitrip and annual plans available

COVID-19 benefits don't apply to every plan

Low coverage limits with some plans (e.g., only $10,000 in emergency medical coverage with OneTrip Basic plan)

24-hour travel assistance services included

More than 200 sports and activities covered in every plan

Low trip cancellation benefits ($2,500 maximum) with Standard plan

No CFAR option is offered

Free 10-day trial period

Some coverage limits may be insufficient

Rental car damage coverage only included in top-tier Premium plan

Offers travel medical insurance, international travel health insurance and general travel insurance plans

Some plans include robust coverage for testing and quarantine due to COVID-19

Not all plans from IMG offer coverage for COVID-19

Cancel for any reason coverage not available with every plan

Frequently Asked Questions

When comparing COVID-19 travel insurance options, you'll want to make sure you fully understand the coverages included in each plan. For example, you should know the policy inclusions and limits for COVID-related claims, including coverage for testing, treatments, trip cancellation or COVID-related interruptions that can occur. Meanwhile, you should understand how your coverage will work if you contract some other illness while away from home.

Also ensure your travel insurance coverage will kick in for other mishaps that occur, and that limits are sufficient for your needs. If you're planning a trip to a remote area in a country like Costa Rica or Peru , you'll want to have emergency evacuation and transportation coverage with generous limits that can pay for emergency transportation to a hospital if you need treatment.

You can also invest in a travel insurance policy that offers cancel for any reason coverage. This type of travel insurance plan lets you cancel and get a percentage of your prepaid travel expenses back for any reason, even if you just decide you're better off staying home.

It depends on your private health insurance provider and/or travel insurance policy. As of May 11, 2023, private health insurers are no longer required to cover the cost of COVID-19 testing. Out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 test kits at local drugstores and on Amazon are relatively affordable, however.

As you search for plans that will provide sufficient coverage for your next trip, you'll find travel insurance that covers COVID-19 quarantine both inside and outside the United States. However, you'll typically need to have your condition certified by a physician in order for this coverage to apply. Also make sure your travel insurance plan includes coverage for travel claims related to COVID-19 in the first place.

Many travel insurance plans do cover trip cancellation as a result of COVID-19, although the terms vary widely. You typically need to be certified by a physician in order to prove your condition. Disinclination to travel because of COVID-19 – such as fear of exposure to illness – will generally not be covered. This means you will actually have to test positive for coronavirus for benefits to apply; simply not wanting to travel is not a sufficient reason to make a claim.

If you want more flexibility in your COVID-19 travel insurance, ensuring you have a cancel for any reason policy may be your best bet, but be sure to check with your chosen travel insurance provider to assess your options.

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Holly Johnson is an award-winning writer who has been covering travel insurance and travel for more than a decade. She has researched the best travel insurance options for her own trips to more than 50 countries around the world and has experience navigating the claims and reimbursement process. Over the years, Johnson has successfully filed several travel insurance claims for trip delays and trip cancellations. Johnson also works alongside her travel agent partner, Greg, who has been licensed to sell travel insurance in 50 states.

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What You Need to Know Now About Travel Insurance

A spate of new travel insurance policies have begun covering Covid-19, just as many international destinations begin to require it. Here’s what to look for.

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does bupa international travel insurance cover covid

By Elaine Glusac

When the pandemic struck, many travel insurance policies failed to cover Covid-19-related trip interruptions and cancellations, often because they excluded pandemics. But in the intervening months, the travel insurance industry has introduced a spate of new policies covering the disease just as many foreign destinations begin to require them.

“We’ve seen progress in that many plans will now treat Covid like any other unexpected sickness or illness,” said Stan Sandberg, a co-founder of the comparison website Travelinsurance.com . “If you have a trip and travel insurance and came down with Covid-19, which made it impossible to travel, that would fall under cancellation coverage as an unexpected illness that prevents you from traveling.”

Likewise, policies now including Covid-19 would cover holders in the event that a doctor diagnosed them with the virus while traveling under the trip interruption benefit.

Not all travel insurance excluded pandemics when the coronavirus began to spread early this year; Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection was one exception. But the broader change partially arises from consumer demand, a better understanding of the virus — including mortality rates and hospital costs — and the industry’s eagerness for travel to resume.

“People who are traveling are more conscious of their risks and thinking about protecting themselves and their investment,” said Jeremy Murchland, the president of the travel insurer Seven Corners. The company launched policies that included Covid-19 coverage in June; they now account for more than 80 percent of sales.

But, like all insurance, the devil is in the details when it comes to understanding travel insurance, including what’s covered, destinations where it’s required, and the inevitable caveats, as follows.

How travel insurance covers Covid-19

The new Covid-inclusive insurance generally covers travelers from the day after purchase until their return home. During that period, if you become sick and a doctor determines you cannot travel (because of the virus or another illness), trip cancellation and trip interruption benefits would kick in.

These benefits vary by policy, but a search to insure a $2,000 weeklong trip to Costa Rica in December on Travelinsurance.com turned up a $69.75 Generali Global Assistance Standard policy with Covid-19 benefits that would be triggered if you, your host at your destination, a travel companion or a family member tested positive for the virus.

If this happened before your departure, the policy would cover your prepaid travel expenses. If you or your travel companion contracted Covid-19 during the trip and were diagnosed by a physician, it would reimburse prepaid arrangements, such as lodgings, and cover additional airfare to return home — once a doctor deems it safe to travel — up to $2,500. Should you be required to quarantine and can’t travel, travel delay coverage for lodging, meals and local transportation would pay up to $1,000. The policy also covers medical expenses for up to one year, even after you return home, up to $50,000 — though the policy also states that a holder would have to exhaust their own health insurance benefits before seeking coverage under the travel insurance plan.

Travelers should read these policies carefully to understand the benefits (for example, some rules vary by your state of residence), but brokers like TravelInsurance.com, InsureMyTrip and Squaremouth are making them easier to find through filters, F.A.Q.s and flags.

The new more comprehensive policies don’t necessarily cost more. On a Squaremouth search for insurance for two 40-year-olds on a two-week trip costing $5,000, the site turned up a variety of policies with or without coronavirus exclusions from $130 to $300, with no apparent premium for Covid-19 coverage.

Not every Covid-19-related expense is covered by many of these policies, including tests for the virus that many destinations require before arrival (those may be covered by private insurance).

Many policies include medical evacuation to a nearby facility, but won’t necessarily transport you home. For those concerned about treatment abroad, Medjet , a medical evacuation specialist, now offers Covid-19-related evacuations in the 48 contiguous United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean that will transport you to the hospital of your choice in your home country (trip coverage starts at $99; annual memberships start at $189).

“Covid-19 requires special transport pods to protect the crew and others, which adds logistical issues,” said John Gobbels, the vice president and chief operating officer for Medjet.

In addition to the Medjet plan, travelers would need separate travel insurance with medical benefits to cover treatment costs and trip interruption.

Destination insurance requirements

Travelers aren’t the only ones worried about health. A growing list of countries are mandating medical coverage for Covid-19 as a prerequisite for visiting, often along with other measures like pre-trip virus testing and health screenings for symptoms on arrival.

Many Caribbean islands are among those requiring travel medical insurance, including Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas . St. Maarten requires health insurance coverage and strongly recommends additional travel insurance covering Covid-19.

Farther-flung countries also require policies that cover Covid-19, including French Polynesia and the Maldives .

Some destinations specify the required plan as a way to ensure travelers have the correct coverage and to expedite treatment. Aruba requires visitors to buy its Aruba Visitors Insurance, regardless of any other plans you may have.

“Insurance through a destination typically only covers Covid and infection while you’re there,” said Kasara Barto, a spokeswoman for Squaremouth.com. “If you catch Covid before, they don’t offer cancellation coverage. If you break a leg, the policy may only cover Covid medication. It varies by country.”

Costa Rica also requires insurance that includes an unusual benefit stipulating a policy cover up to $2,000 in expenses for a potential Covid-19 quarantine while in the country.

In response to the new requirement, which Costa Rica announced in October, insurers, including Trawick International , have begun introducing policies that meet the standard.

“It was a pretty quick and nimble reaction,” Mr. Sandberg of TravelInsurance.com said.

Normally, travel insurance varies by factors including the age of the traveler, destination, trip length and cost (most range from 4 to 10 percent of the trip cost). But some destinations are providing it at a flat fee, with most policies spelling out coverage limits and terms for emergency medical services, evacuation and costs associated with quarantines.

Jamaica, which will require insurance, but has not said when the new rule will go into effect, plans to charge $40 for each traveler. The Bahamas will include the insurance in the cost of its Travel Health Visa, an application that requires negative Covid-19 test results, which runs $40 to $60 depending on length of stay (free for children 10 and younger). The Turks and Caicos is offering a policy for $9.80 a day, and Costa Rica ’s policies, if purchased locally, cost roughly $10 a day.

Expect this list of destinations to grow. In January, the Spanish region of Andalusia plans to require travel medical insurance and is working on finding a provider to make it easy for travelers to buy it.

Gaps in travel insurance

Policies that cover Covid-19 as a medical event that may cause trip cancellation or disruption, or those that provide coverage for medical treatment and evacuation still don’t necessarily cover travelers who have a change of heart when they learn they will have to quarantine upon arrival, even if they don’t have the virus. Nor are policies necessarily tied to conditions on the ground, like a spike in infections, State Department travel warnings, a government travel ban or the cessation of flights to and from a destination.

For those events, there’s Cancel For Any Reason, or CFAR, an upgrade to plans that generally only returns 50 to 75 percent of your nonrefundable trip costs.

“Prior to the pandemic, we wouldn’t necessarily recommend CFAR because most of travelers’ concerns were covered by standard plans,” Ms. Barto of Squaremouth.com said. “It’s about 40 percent more expensive and we didn’t want travelers to pay for additional coverage.” Now, she added, there’s been a surge in interest in the upgrade, including in 22 percent of policies sold at the site since mid-March.

Industry experts predict some of these outstanding issues may work their way into policies of the future as they adapt to enduring realities, much as they did after 9/11 in covering travelers in case of terrorist events, which was not the norm before.

The pandemic “was unprecedented, but once it happened, the industry has been pretty quick to react and create coverage, and that’s in the spirit of how this industry is trying to define itself, to be one of those subtle but valuable assets,” Mr. Sandberg said. “Once the world opens back up, we expect travel insurance to be much more top of mind with travelers.”

Follow New York Times Travel on Instagram , Twitter and Facebook . And sign up for our weekly Travel Dispatch newsletter to receive expert tips on traveling smarter and inspiration for your next vacation.

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Bupa travel insurance review

There are 5 policies to choose from with bupa travel insurance, along with a heap of add-ons including adventure activities, snow sports and wide-ranging cruise cover..


In this guide

Compare your travel insurance quotes

What does bupa travel insurance include, bupa travel insurance features – an overview, comprehensive policy features, optional add-ons, more reasons to consider bupa, frequently asked questions.


Our Verdict

  • Enjoy the flexibility to pick between a wide range of policies and set your own trip cancellation limit
  • If you're involved in an emergency while you're overseas, you can enjoy peace of mind you can contact Allianz Global Assistance for help at any time – 7 days a week.
  • Bupa health insurance members can score a 15% discount on their travel insurance.
  • Bupa's COVID-19 coverage is limited in comparison with brands such as Fast Cover and Southern Cross Travel Insurance.
  • Its cover limit of $10,000 for theft or damage to luggage and personal belongings is decent, but some competitors offer $15,000.

Review by our insurance editor James Martin

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Bupa travel insurance is underwritten by Allianz. Bupa offers quality travel insurance that can bring peace of mind that you can make the most of your trip, while knowing you'll receive financial support if things do go wrong.

All policies come with a basic excess . In most cases, you'll pay this when making a claim. You have the option to vary this excess – by committing to a higher sum, you could reduce the cost of your insurance. Keep in mind that an additional $500 excess applies to Bupa's Adventure Pack and Snow Pack.

With Bupa, you can choose between a single, couple and family policy. This provider offers a cooling-off period of 14 days – you can cancel your policy within 2 weeks for a full refund.

Check icon

  • Overseas emergency assistance – unlimited
  • Overseas medical expenses – unlimited
  • Accidental death – up to $25,000 (or $50,000 with a family plan)
  • Permanent disability – up to $25,000 (or $50,000 with a family plan)
  • Trip cancellation costs – chosen by you
  • Additional expenses – up to $50,000 (or $100,000 with a family plan)
  • Travel delay expenses – up to $2,000 (or $4,000 with a family plan)
  • Personal liability – up to $5 million
  • Luggage, personal effects and valuables – up to $10,000 (or $20,000 with a family plan)
  • Alternative transport costs – up to $5,000 (or $10,000 with a family plan)
  • Travel documents, bank cards and traveller's cheques – up to $5,000 (or $10,000 with a family plan)
  • Rental Vehicle Excess – up to $6,000
  • Luggage & personal effects delay expenses – up to $500 (or $1,000 with a family plan)
  • Theft of cash – up to $250 (or $500 with a family plan)

Additionally, Bupa offers multi-trip cover, a domestic policy and an entry-level Essentials plan. Finally, you can opt for a non-medical plan – a basic policy that's good if you want some insurance but without cover for a pre-existing condition .

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  • Adventure Pack . Available to those under the age of 75, this optional cover includes insurance for activities including abseiling, deep sea fishing, caving, quad bike riding, outdoor rock climbing and motorcycles/mopeds.
  • Cruise Pack . Get cover while you cruise overseas and in Australian waters. In addition to features such as unlimited medical cover and unlimited evacuation cover, you can claim up to $1,000 if you need to cancel (for an unforeseen reason) any pre-booked tours.
  • Snow pack . Available to those under 75, the Snow Pack comes with a range of snow sports activities including skiing and snowboarding. Overseas emergency assistance is capped at $100,000.

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  • Travelling when you know you are unfit or against medical advice
  • Going to a country where a 'Do not travel' alert has been issued by the Australian government
  • Breaking the law
  • Being under the influence of alcohol or ilicit drugs
  • Death, illness or injury from an existing condition (unless it's specifically covered by your policy)
  • Any consequential loss or loss of enjoyment
  • A loss caused by or in connection with a criminal or dishonest act
  • Failure to take precautions after a public warning of strike, riot, civil commotion or natural disaster
  • Driving a rental vehicle in an illegal or dangerous manner.

Be sure to read Bupa's PDS for a full list of exclusions. Learn more about travel exclusions here .

  • Range of options. Bupa offers high-quality cover with a wide range of options to meet your travel needs. But you may also opt for lower-priced cover that will come with fewer and/or lower benefit limits.
  • 24/7 assistance. If the unexpected happens while you’re travelling overseas, emergency help is available 24 hours a day. If you have any difficulties while you are travelling, you can contact the Emergency Assistance Hotline and you will be able to speak with one of Bupa's trained staff. You can call Bupa on +61 7 3305 7497 (overseas) or 1800 119 412 (within Australia).
  • Discounts for existing members. Bupa health insurance members can receive up to a 15% discount on their travel insurance premiums.

Am I covered for pre-existing conditions?

You can get cover for some pre-existing illnesses. However, according to Bupa's policy wording, you'd need to have "disclosed the condition to Allianz Global Assistance and they have agreed in writing to include cover under your policy for the condition".

Be aware, you won't be able to get cover for pre-existing conditions under Bupa's Essentials or Non-Medical Plans.

Is there a cooling-off period?

Yes. If you change your mind about a policy, Bupa offers a 14-day cooling off period, in which time you can cancel your insurance and get a full refund, so long as you haven’t begun your travels or made a claim. If you wish to cancel or change your policy outside of this period, you can apply to Bupa online or over the phone.

How long do I have to make a claim?

If you wish to make a claim, you typically must phone Bupa within 30 days of completing or cancelling your journey.

does bupa international travel insurance cover covid

James Martin

James Martin was the insurance editor at Finder. He has written on a range of insurance and finance topics for over 7 years. James often shares his insurance expertise as a media spokesperson and has appeared on Prime 7 News, WIN News, Insurance News, 7NEWS and The Guardian. He holds a Tier 1 General Insurance (General Advice) certification and a Tier 1 Generic Knowledge certification, both of which meet the requirements of ASIC Regulatory Guide 146 (RG146).

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Bupa is an international healthcare services provider that also offers insurance to cover car, home, life and travel.

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4 Responses

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I have benign irregular heart beat. cardiologist letter says fit for travel. Which cover can I buy that covers this? John


Thanks for your inquiry.

There are brands that offer travel insurance to people with heart conditions . You can compare the costs and get more details about the cover by clicking on the “Get Quote” button. It is also best to contact your chosen insurer if you want to discuss more the level of cover.

Before applying, please ensure that you read through the relevant Product Disclosure Statements/Terms and Conditions when comparing your options before making a decision on whether it is right for you. You can also contact the provider if you have specific questions.

Hope this helps.

Cheers, May

Do you cover missed flights due to illness? and providing you a medical certificate for proof?


Hi Michelle,

Thanks for your question. finder.com.au is a comparison service and not an insurer. Bupa Travel Insurance do provide cover for cancellation and yes you will need to be able to provide them with substantiating evidence that a claimable event did happen.

I hope this was helpful, Richard

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Will my health insurance cover getting COVID-19 while traveling in the US⁠⁠—or abroad?

Oct 27, 2021 • 6 min read

Young female medical healthcare patient in the ICU of hospital. Patient is sitting alone on medical bed, waiting for healthcare in hospital. Medical doctor is coming

Figuring out what your health care covers while traveling can be difficult © Stocksy

If you’re ready to travel again, it’s important to understand the scope of your travel medical insurance coverage should you contract COVID-19⁠—even when traveling with the US. Even if you’re vaccinated, you could still test positive for the virus or experience a breakthrough infection.

If you’re traveling domestically in the US, and you are covered by a US health insurance provider, or Medicare, your health plan will cover urgent care visits, medical expenses, imaging, medicine and hospital stays.  Beyond general illness or injury, if you test positive for COVID-19, or require medical treatment or hospitalization due to the virus, the scope of your coverage could vary. It’s best to check for the specific provisions of your personal health plan.

If you are fully vaccinated and planning on vacationing abroad, then purchasing a travel insurance policy that includes travel medical expense and medical evacuation coverage should be part of your travel check-list. Your US based medical insurance will not be accepted abroad.

It’s best to be prepared by purchasing a comprehensive travel insurance policy that will cover medical expenses you incur if you get sick, or injured while outside the US.  Many travel insurance carriers offer plans that cover COVID-19-related medical expenses. You should research and find a policy that best matches your needs. 

Beyond medical care, your travel plan may even cover the self-isolation costs tied to quarantining like lodging and meals due to a positive COVID-19 test.

Here’s what you need to know so you’re protected whether you travel to Miami or Madrid.

Here’s how to prepare if traveling within the US 

Before planning any type of travel, it’s best to check with your healthcare insurance company about the scope of your coverage. You can find your carrier’s contact information on the back of your member card.

“First and foremost, always check with your health insurance provider to see what your plan covers and what it does not and become familiar with the limits of your policy” says Kathy Kimmel, spokesperson with InsureMyTrip, a travel insurance comparison site.  

If you’ve traveled domestically in the past, you know you can utilize your personal insurance for issues like a fever, food poisoning, severe sunburn, stitches, or a sprained ankle.

The pandemic has caused a whole set of ‘what if’s’ for travelers⁠—even if you’re not leaving the country. As always, coverage is dependent on your particular plan. “It is best for travelers to check with their provider to know how COVID is covered and what steps should be taken to prepare should they contract the virus on a trip,” says Jeremy Murchland, president of Seven Corners Travel Insurance.

Health insurance may cover COVID-19, Murchland says, but it typically will not cover emergency evacuations back home or quarantine expenses that may come from destination mandates. 

What about road-tripping in the US?

Bailey Foster, spokesperson with Trawick International, a travel insurance carrier, says if you have health insurance and you are traveling in the United States, your health insurance will cover the expense related to COVID-19.

Long straight road through barren desert in the American Southwest with extreme heat haze on a sunny day.

“This would work like any other illness you may catch and your healthcare insurance would cover the costs associated with the travelers’ treatment,” she says. “The traveler would have to be responsible for their copays related to their medical treatment.”

Read more: Expert tips for a safe road trip during the pandemic

Will US-based health insurance cover COVID-19 infection abroad?

The simple answer is no. “Your US-based healthcare insurance will not cover COVID-19 related illness expenses while you are abroad,” says Foster with Trawick International. “It’s imperative that travelers purchase a travel insurance plan that clearly states it provides coverage related to COVID-19 losses.”

Read more: How do you choose travel insurance that covers COVID-19?

If your policy includes COVID-19 coverage, it will cover medical care, hospitalization, medicine, and any other treatment needed due to COVID-19. 

It’s best to call the insurance carrier to make sure COVID-19 is covered by the policy.

Will US-based health insurance cover pre-travel testing? 

In general, pre-travel testing will be a personal expense. “Travel insurance does not cover pre-travel COVID testing or any other testing required before your trip, nor will it offer coverage for vaccines,” says Kimmel with InsureMyTrip. 

What else will my travel insurance policy provide if I contract COVID-19?

Some travel insurance carriers will transport you for more specialized medical treatment. 

“At Seven Corners, we assist in evacuations and repatriations on a normal basis for typical illnesses and injuries abroad,” explains Murchland. “Even with the added challenge of assisting someone who has contracted COVID away from home, we are ready to help make the return safe and ensure that proper care is given to the sick or injured traveler.”

In addition, your travel insurance carrier has a 24/7 travel support hotline that can assist with medical referrals, coordinating medical care and arranging lodging accommodations should you need to quarantine due to COVID-19.  Some companies even provide language translation services if you are experiencing barriers regarding your medical care. 

How do I best protect myself when traveling abroad? 

As you plan expensive international trips, the worry about COVID and the Delta variant and its impact on your travels is likely on your mind. Kimmel from InsureMyTrip states the best way to protect yourself while traveling abroad is to buy a comprehensive travel insurance policy with the added Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) Benefit, which is an optional upgrade to your policy that allows you to cancel for reasons beyond your standard trip cancellation policy. This add-on will increase your travel insurance policy rate about 50 percent but offers you the most flexibility to cancel. If you meet the requirements, you can be reimbursed up to 75 % of your trip’s cost.

However, this is a time-sensitive benefit and not all trips are eligible for this add-on.  There are some requirements that need to be met like canceling your trip no later than 48 hours before your scheduled departure. 

Most traditional travel insurance policies do not allow travelers to cancel because of COVID-19 fears, like if there’s an increase in COVID cases at your destination.   “The Cancel for Any Reason add-on is really the only way for a traveler to recoup some of their pre-paid, non-refundable trip costs if they decide not to travel because of a spike in cases,” says Kimmel.

Not all policies and carriers offer CFAR coverage upgrades. InsureMyTrip has a tool that is making it easier to find out if your policy and trip are eligible for CFAR.  

For more information on COVID-19 and travel, check out Lonely Planet's Health Hub .

You may also like:  What do I do if my flight gets cancelled—and can I get a refund? PCR tests for travel: everything you need to know

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Traveling This Summer? Here’s Why You Need COVID Travel Insurance

Gabriella Clare Marino/Unsplash

Key Takeaways

  • Some travel insurance will cover COVID-19 infection and quarantine. However, the fear of contracting COVID is not covered under most plans. In that case, “Cancel for Any Reason” coverage may offer protection.
  • Many countries now require travel insurance. Depending on where you go, you may need to purchase a nationally administered plan.
  • If you’re planning a trip, know that these requirements are changing frequently. Always read the fine print on any coverage you’re considering. Before you depart, double-check your plan to make sure that it’s complying with the requirements of the country you’re traveling to.

Jonathan Tucker didn’t intend to contract COVID-19 in Ireland in early April.

Tucker, who plays djembe and sings with the pirate band The Musical Blades, was touring the Emerald Isle as part of a guided tour featuring the musical group.

After seeing many of the sights, he and roughly 20 of the 65 tour participants came down with COVID and had to stay behind to quarantine.

While quarantining in an Irish hotel room isn’t ideal, Tucker told Verywell that he was prepared for the possibility.

“We got travel insurance, although it wasn’t exclusively for COVID,” said Tucker. “We also made sure we saved enough for double the trip expenses just in the event that this happened. Otherwise, it would be irresponsible.”

Tucker chose a plan through Allianz that reimbursed his expenses, including accommodations while traveling.

Since Ireland’s quarantine time is counted from the first sign of COVID symptoms , without that coverage, Tucker would have been on the hook for an additional seven days of accommodations.

What Is Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance has been around far longer than COVID, but the pandemic has made it much more attractive to travelers.

Typical plans cover trip delays, lost baggage, or medical care if a traveler has to visit a healthcare facility abroad. Most domestic healthcare plans don’t offer coverage.

Some plans, like Tucker’s, work for solo travelers or couples traveling together—even if only one person tests positive for COVID.

Travel Insurance for COVID

While there are options for travelers trying to prepare for the possibility that COVID could derail their plans, it hasn't always been that way.

Damian Tysdal, the founder of CoverTrip , told Verywell that epidemics were historically excluded from travel insurance.

Tysdal has written about travel insurance trends on his blog since 2006. He told Verywell that he’s seen plans change throughout the pandemic.

“COVID coverage with travel insurance has been evolving since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Tysdal. “Some companies outright excluded any losses resulting from an epidemic. Others covered it, but only if you purchased insurance before it became a ‘known event’—after which it could not be insured.”

According to Tysdal, most companies covered COVID as if it were any other illness—they paid for medical care, or if you were diagnosed before your trip, they covered trip cancellation.

However, consumers need to read plans carefully and look for loopholes such as exclusions for epidemics.

Is COVID Fear Covered?

Tysdal said that one thing that most plans don’t cover is the fear of contracting COVID, even if case rates justify that fear.

“The main problem came down to people wanting to cancel out of fear of getting COVID. That is not covered,” said Tysdal.

According to Tysdal, an exception would be a plan with “Cancel for Any Reason” coverage, which is “an optional upgrade that extends your list of covered reasons for cancellation. In that case, you could cancel out of fear.”

What Will Travel Insurance Cover?

Joe Cronin, MBA , president of International Citizens Insurance, told Verywell that travel insurance plan coverage varies, particularly when it comes to COVID-related expenses.

For example, some plans will only cover the costs of medical treatment, while others will pay for the cost of quarantining (as in Tucker’s case).

For quarantine coverage, plans might pay a set amount of money for meals, transportation, and lodging.

Read the Fine Print

Cronin said that travelers need to know that self-administered COVID tests are not always enough to trigger plan coverage.

“In most cases, a physician must diagnose you with COVID to receive coverage,” said Cronin. “If you discover you have COVID through a self-administered test, you may have to go to a doctor to get the diagnosis confirmed for the coverage to take effect.”

Cronin explained that “some policies will only cover quarantine if you can show that a government authority or doctor mandated it and that it was because you tested positive or are symptomatic.”

To make sure you’re complying with the policy you’ve purchased, Cronin said it’s crucial that you read the fine print.

Some traditional travel insurance plans changed to accommodate COVID, but there are others that are specifically geared toward it. For example, CAP and Covac Global both offer programs that are optimized for COVID coverage.

Do I Need Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance used to be an optional expense, but Cronin said that many countries now require it for entry.

As borders open to summer travelers, some countries are starting to require travelers to purchase the insurance coverage that’s offered by their national governments.

As of February 2022, Belize requires all visitors to purchase mandatory international health insurance through their tourism portal and covers medical treatment in the country.

Other countries only require travel insurance if you’re unvaccinated.

For example, Singapore requires unvaccinated travelers to carry travel insurance with a minimum of S$30,000 coverage (about US$22,000). Vaccinated travelers are encouraged, but not required, to have insurance.

Know Requirements—and Check for Changes

Cronin said that the requirements for travel insurance change rapidly, so it can be hard to keep up.

“Some countries have said they are implementing a travel insurance requirement only to remove it at the last second,” said Cronin. “Other countries have officially removed their travel insurance requirement—but border control agents are still asking for your travel insurance plan on entry. It is important to check the requirements of the country you are going to.”

As of April 2022, the United States has no travel insurance requirement for entry. Still, White House representatives have stated that there is no intention of lifting the testing requirement for reentry into the U.S.

As that testing remains, more Americans could wind up stranded abroad with COVID—whether they are symptomatic or not. Travel insurance could be the only thing standing between them and a very expensive quarantine.

What This Means For You

Travel insurance used to be a precaution that many travelers considered an unnecessary expense. Now, it might be necessary for entry into a country you plan to visit.

If you choose to purchase travel insurance, read the fine print carefully. Make sure that you know what’s covered—and what’s not—when it comes to COVID medical care and quarantine support.

The information in this article is current as of the date listed, which means newer information may be available when you read this. For the most recent updates on COVID-19, visit our  coronavirus news page .

By Rachel Murphy Murphy is a Kansas City-based journalist with more than a decade of health writing experience.

Does travel insurance cover pandemics?

Melissa Klurman

More than a quarter of the population of the U.S. has received at least one COVID-19 vaccination as of this week, and all those shots in arms seem to be directly correlating to a surge in travel.

In fact, the number of passengers in U.S. airports reached their highest numbers in more than a year last week according to the Transportation Security Administration ( TSA ). Whether you're vaccinated or not, concerns about new strains of the coronavirus are high, so it's not surprising to hear that inquiries about travel insurance have also hit their highest level since the pandemic began, according to InsureMyTrip .

However, "there is a big misconception about what travel insurance does — and doesn't — cover," said Meghan Walch, pandemic travel insurance expert for InsureMyTrip . In the company's latest poll of travel insurance agents, the vast majority of questions (a whopping 97%) from would-be travelers are regarding how travel insurance may or may not cover COVID-19 related travel concerns.

So, does your travel insurance cover a pandemic? Here's everything you need to know.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter .

Why travel insurance usually doesn't cover epidemics and pandemics

In general terms, regular travel insurance policies cover the "unknowns" — for example, an accident you couldn't have anticipated in advance, such as falling while you were hiking and breaking your leg — and not losses caused directly or indirectly by known or foreseeable events (in this case, an epidemic complete with government travel advisories).

Similar to a weather event , once something becomes "known" it may not be a covered reason for cancellation if a traveler purchases insurance after that date.

In other words, if you purchased travel after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic, you've entered "known" territory, the same as deciding to fly into the eye of a hurricane.

Related: Avoiding outbreaks isn't covered by most travel insurance

What travel insurance normally covers

"Essentially, travel insurance covers unexpected events during your travels and pre-departure starting the effective date of your policy," said Christina Tunnah, general manager of the Americas of travel insurance company World Nomads.

According to Tunnah, regular travel insurance breaks down into three main categories:

  • The protection of your pocketbook (investment in flights, delays, interruption, cancellation)
  • The protection of yourself (emergency medical and evacuation)
  • The protection of your belongings ( delayed and lost bags , theft)

Many credit cards also offer travel protection. Covered situations, maximum coverage amounts and eligible expenses vary across the cards that offer this benefit. Covered situations typically include accidental bodily injury; loss of life or sickness; severe weather; terrorist action or hijacking and jury duty or a court subpoena that can't be postponed or waived.

Related: The best credit cards with complimentary travel protection

Are some insurers covering COVID-19?

Not all the news on the COVID-19 insurance front is negative. According to Walch, many traditional travel insurance policies will cover your COVID-19 related travel concerns if you meet regular guidelines.

Examples of COVID-19 coverage in traditional plans include:

  • If you must visit a doctor or hospital during a trip due to a COVID-19 illness
  • If you get sick with COVID-19 and must cancel a trip
  • If a physician orders you to quarantine before a trip
  • If you lost a job during the coronavirus pandemic by no fault of your own

In addition, some plans are now offering higher travel delay limits in order to help with additional accommodation expenses due to a covered quarantine, adds Walch.

And, there are also some individual insurers that are simply covering COVID-19 outright. For example, World Nomads' plans cover the diagnosis of COVID-19 the same as any other illness with benefits that could include emergency medical care, emergency medical evacuation, trip delay and trip interruption coverage if you contract COVID-19 while traveling.

How to find a plan that covers COVID-19

First of all, you should look in the exclusion section to see if pandemics or epidemics are mentioned. If so, you'll need to shop around for a different policy, said Tunnah.

Even though travel insurance companies may offer COVID-19 sickness coverage, they typically don't offer benefits for every circumstance.

"Every policy is different, so you'll want to get a good grasp of a plan's coverage before you purchase it," Tunnah explained. Some of the questions you should ask yourself are: Does the plan cover emergency medical and evacuation expenses if I contract COVID-19? What are covered reasons for cancellation? What if my trip is delayed or interrupted because of a COVID-19 event?

If you're getting confused from reading the legal jargon of a policy, you can contact the customer service department of your travel insurance company, Tunnah advised. Representatives should be able to provide plain English explanations of coverage and help you identify a plan that meets your specific trip needs.

To see multiple options in one place, InsureMyTrip has a COVID-19 coverage tool that allows you to compare different policies.

Here's what you should be looking for according to the company:

  • Trip cancellation coverage: While traditional trip cancellation does not allow a traveler to cancel a trip due to COVID-19 fears, it may cover a traveler in the event they get sick from COVID-19 and must cancel a trip.
  • Trip interruption coverage: In the event a traveler gets sick from COVID-19 and the trip is interrupted, this coverage may apply.
  • Cancel for any reason coverage : If eligible, this protection allows travelers the option to cancel a trip due to concerns over COVID-19, whereas traditional trip cancellation coverage does not (see below for more details).

Cancel for any reason insurance could be your best option

Cancel for any reason, also known as CFAR in the insurance industry, is an add-on to certain traditional trip insurance policies.

While travel insurance policies can offer a range of inclusions (think: medical evacuation, trip cancellation due to foreign or domestic terrorism or rental car damage) not every eventuality is included in all insurance policies. For example, some trip insurance plans cover employment layoffs while others do not. Some policies may have robust emergency medical coverage while competitors don't. That's why it's so important for you to select a plan that meets your specific needs for each trip.

One commonality among insurance policies? A long lists of exclusions. That's where a CFAR policy comes into play.

" InsureMyTrip strongly recommends travelers strongly consider a CFAR upgrade," said Walch. This upgrade offers the most trip cancellation flexibility and is the only option available to cover "fear of travel" (traditional travel insurance does not offer cancellation coverage for "fear of travel," whether related to COVID-19 or not).

If eligibility requirements are met, reimbursement is typically up to 70% of the pre-paid, nonrefundable trip cost. "Just be aware that this add-on will increase the cost of the plan," Walch advised.

Some countries are requiring mandatory insurance for entry

Even in pre-pandemic times, many countries required travelers to have personal medical insurance to visit (although you weren't necessarily required to provide proof). Now, with pandemic concerns, some countries are instituting mandatory COVID-19 insurance for entry.

The Bahamas is one example. Travel health insurance is required for all incoming visitors and the cost for the mandatory insurance is included in the price of the Travel Health Visa all tourists are required to apply for before entry. Aruba is another example where COVID-19 insurance is purchased onsite at arrival and mandatory for entry.

Note that these insurance coverage policies just are for medical coverage, so travelers will still need additional coverage to cover non-health-related expenses such as travel delays or lost baggage.

Bottom line

If you're planning on traveling during a pandemic, don't assume that your usual travel insurance will cover you. Be sure to compare different insurance policies. and strongly consider Cancel For Any Reason insurance if you want to make sure your trip costs are covered.

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Will My Travel Insurance Cover Coronavirus?

Elina Geller

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

If you have upcoming travel plans and are considering a travel insurance policy, check if it covers COVID. Not all providers do, and it's important to know for sure. So, does your travel insurance cover COVID? How can you tell?

As with many things in life, the short answer is: "It depends." And the long answer is: You can only start to determine if your insurance covers COVID when you understand what type of coverage you have, which provider you bought it from and what the exact reason is for your trip cancellation.

While we can give general guidance as to most travel insurance plans, it is in your best interest to give your insurance provider a call to verify whether a given policy will cover coronavirus-related interruptions.

» Learn more: The best travel insurance policies that include COVID coverage

Reasons travel insurance typically covers

While not a comprehensive list (and remember all insurance policies are different), here are some standard reasons when a comprehensive travel insurance policy will kick in:

Sickness, injury or death.

Common carrier cancellations or delays.

Labor strike.

Car accident.

Hijacking or quarantine.

Home uninhabitable.

Destination uninhabitable.

Travel document theft.

Medical evacuation.

Military duty.

Military leave revoked.

Terrorist act.

New vaccination requirements.

Civil disorder.

Some of those reasons might apply to your specific coronavirus situation, such as if you are already ill or under quarantine by a doctor's orders. If you (or your travel companion) contract COVID-19, your travel insurance provider may cover cancellation for a medical reason. You will likely be required to submit a medical diagnosis from a physician.

Nonetheless, we recommend giving your travel insurance provider a call before your trip to verify coverage. And, since many airlines and hotels have loosened change and cancellation policies due to COVID-19, first try to get a refund from the travel supplier. It may be an easier process than dealing with the insurance provider.

Is coronavirus a foreseen event?

If you purchased travel insurance after the World Health Organization declared coronavirus a pandemic on March 11, 2020, then COVID-19 might be viewed by your insurance company as a foreseen event and it may not be covered.

In other words, the company says that you should have known about the potential risks but still chose to travel, so the cost of travel and its consequences are on you. We recommend checking with your insurance provider about the "known" or "foreseeable" status dates of the coronavirus outbreak and how this may affect your specific coverage.

Claims due to known, foreseeable or expected events, epidemics or fear of travel are generally not covered, and coverage can vary by state. However, until further notice, although not covered under most plans, some underwriters are currently accommodating claims for:

Under Emergency Medical Care and Emergency Medical Transportation Benefits: Emergency medical care and emergency medical transportation for a customer who becomes ill with COVID-19 while on their trip.

Under Trip Cancellation or Trip Interruption Benefits: Trip cancellation and trip interruption if a customer becomes ill with COVID-19 either before or during their trip.

Under Trip Cancellation Benefit: Nonrefundable, nontransferable trip cancellation expenses for customers who purchased their plan prior to January 22, 2020, for trip components in Mainland China, South Korea or the Lombardy or Veneto regions of Italy and departing prior to April 1, 2020.”

However, due to the evolving pandemic over the last few years, many providers have updated their policies to include coronavirus coverage. For example, in May 2021, Allianz announced the addition of epidemic-related covered reasons to its popular insurance plans. Plans are now offering accommodations for COVID-19.

» Learn more: Where U.S. citizens can travel right now

Is "I’m afraid to travel" a legit reason?

Almost all travel insurance policies have a "fear of travel" clause. According to AIG , one of the world’s largest travel insurance providers, "Trip cancellation for concern or fear of travel associated with sickness, epidemic, or pandemic, including Coronavirus, is not covered."

If you bought a ticket, then become afraid to travel because of any sickness, that is probably not a covered reason. If you want ultimate flexibility in canceling your trip for any reason, you’ll want to consider "cancel for any reason" (CFAR) travel insurance coverage.

Consider Cancel For Any Reason travel insurance

"Cancel For Any Reason" coverage allows you to cancel a trip for any reason and receive a partial refund (up to 75%) of your nonrefundable trip costs as long as the trip is canceled at least two days in advance. You cannot purchase CFAR coverage on its own; it is an optional upgrade that is sometimes available when you buy travel insurance. Not all providers offer it, so if you’re looking for the CFAR supplement, you’ll have to ask your travel insurance provider about it or filter your online search accordingly.

» Learn more: Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) travel insurance explained

Use your credit card's built-in travel insurance

Comprehensive travel insurance policies offer the highest levels of trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage. Some premium travel credit cards include trip insurance as a complimentary benefit. Although the coverage limits may be below those offered by travel insurance companies on comprehensive plans, the limits may be sufficient for you. As with paid travel insurance, check with the provider to confirm if known conditions such as the coronavirus are covered.

» Learn more: Travel insurance benefits on American Express credit cards

As an example, we took a look at the policy for one of the popular travel cards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card . There are some notable bullet points that are common across many programs.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Similarly, this insurance will not cover a "disinclination to travel based on a pandemic." If you decide that you don’t want to travel because you might get sick or you are afraid to go, you won’t be covered.

The insurance does clearly state, however, that if you are sick or hospitalized before or during your trip, you may be covered by the plan:

Accidental bodily injury, loss of life or sickness experienced by you or your traveling companion which prevents you or your traveling companion from traveling on the trip.

Accidental bodily injury, loss of life, or sickness experienced by an immediate family member of you or your traveling companion when the accidental bodily injury or sickness is considered life-threatening, requires hospitalization or such immediate family member requires care by you or your traveling companion.

If either you or your traveling companion becomes sick and you are prevented from traveling, you may be covered. Also note that if a family member of either you or your traveling companion requires hospitalization and you are needed to care for them, that may be covered as well.

As with all things insurance-related, if you have specific questions about your policy or your credit card’s coverage, it’s always best to give the company a call beforehand. Still, the general consensus is that if you’re afraid you might contract COVID-19, your insurance won't cover you.

» Learn more: Your guide to the Chase Sapphire Reserve's trip cancellation and travel insurance

How travel medical insurance differs

If your trip doesn't include nonrefundable trip costs paid to a travel provider or the trip insurance coverage you have from your credit cards is sufficient, purchasing a standalone travel health insurance policy may be your best bet for an upcoming trip.

These policies provide reimbursement for emergency medical expenses, including evacuations, while you’re traveling. Again, it's important to check if the policy you’re considering has any clauses related to pandemics or exclusions for travel to countries that have current travel advisories to ensure you don't nullify your medical coverage.

» Learn more: Travel medical insurance: emergency coverage while you travel internationally

It depends. Fear of travel generally isn't an allowable reason, so you won't benefit from trip cancellation coverage for nonrefundable payments made to a trip supplier. The reason for cancellation has to fall into one of the unforeseen events listed in the policy. However, if you’ve purchased a CFAR add-on and want to cancel, you will be covered for up to 75% of your nonrefundable deposit as long as you cancel at least two days before the departure date.

Although staying home is the best way to safeguard yourself and others from catching coronavirus, there are some general precautions you can take to reduce the spread. According to the CDC, a few ways include: Checking if the destination you’re going to has increasing cases in the past seven days, knowing whether you’re at an increased risk for severe illness from coronavirus and staying up to date with the airline’s and destination’s requirements/restrictions for travelers (such as wearing masks, enforcing quarantine, etc.). If you choose to travel, consider purchasing a travel insurance policy or a standalone emergency medical insurance plan just in case.

Although staying home is the best way to safeguard yourself and others from catching coronavirus, there are some general precautions you can take to reduce the spread. According to the CDC, a few ways include: Checking if the destination you’re going to has increasing cases in the past seven days, knowing whether you’re at an increased risk for severe illness from coronavirus and staying up to date with the airline’s and destination’s

requirements/restrictions for travelers

(such as wearing masks, enforcing quarantine, etc.). If you choose to travel, consider purchasing a travel insurance policy or a standalone emergency medical insurance plan just in case.

How can I be sure if my travel insurance covers COVID?

Deciding whether to travel during the coronavirus pandemic is a personal decision. Get familiarized with the different insurance protections and airline change/cancellation policies that may be applicable for your trip, as they could help you get your money back in the event of a trip cancellation.

When considering the health implications of travel, keep in mind that travel medical insurance is an option, especially if you don’t need the trip cancellation coverage provided by comprehensive policies. Regardless of which policy you choose, confirm that coronavirus-related losses are covered by insurance before purchasing coverage.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024 , including those best for:

Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

on Chase's website

1x-10x Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel℠ immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

60,000 Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

1x-5x 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.

60,000 Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

1x-2x Earn 2X points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare. Earn 2X points on internet, cable, and phone services, and select streaming. Earn 1X points on all other purchases.

50,000 Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

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Do You Need Special Health Insurance to Travel Internationally?

Some countries are requiring proof of medical coverage in the covid-19 era.

COVID-19 vaccination certification and travel health insurance form concept

Before your next international trip , you may have to add an item to your packing list: proof of health insurance.

As the world begins to reopen to tourism, Americans are finding that some countries, including many Caribbean nations, now require arriving passengers to document that they have medical coverage. And a few, such as Costa Rica , are even demanding special policies that cover up to $2,000 for the expense of quarantining in a hotel if a visitor tests positive for COVID-19, as well as at least $50,000 of expenses relating to coronavirus care.

"We're seeing this more and more,” says Brook Wilkinson, an editor at travel-advice website WendyPerrin. “If someone wants an easy-breezy trip 2019-style, that's going to be tricky."

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You may already be covered by a health insurance plan in the U.S. A health insurance policy for international travel may be necessary if you don't have your own health plan, if your plan doesn't cover medical care outside of the U.S. or if your destination requires a special country-specific plan.

Here are questions to ask when considering whether you need to purchase travel health insurance.

Does the country you're visiting require travel health insurance?

Before COVID-19, some countries already required visitors to prove they had health insurance coverage, and now a growing number are requiring a special country-specific policy related to the pandemic.

While Western European countries haven't adopted the requirement, countries that have include Cambodia, which requires visitors to buy COVID-19 insurance from a local company ($90 for 20 days); Aruba; the Bahamas; the British Virgin Islands; Dubai; Egypt; Grenada; Jordan; Mauritius; Namibia; Rwanda; Saba; St. Martin/Sint Maarten; the Seychelles; Sri Lanka; and Thailand.


Entry requirements are changing frequently. Ask your travel agent or search online for the latest updates. The best source of information is usually the country's tourism office and the U.S. State Department . Other helpful resources include CanITravel.net and WendyPerrin.com , which maintains a comprehensive list. The sites also have the latest traveler requirements for COVID-19 vaccination, testing and quarantining. Note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises delaying international trips until you are fully vaccinated.

If a country requires special health insurance, you must bring written proof, sometimes specifically mentioning coverage for COVID-19, which the insurer can provide. Without it, airlines may not let you board and some countries may not admit you.

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Travel Insurance Terms

Travel health insurance  covers medical issues that arise while you're traveling. You may need it if you don't have another form of  health insurance , your health insurance doesn't fully cover you outside the U.S. or your destination requires visitors to purchase a particular plan.

Medical evacuation insurance  covers transportation to a medical facility if there isn't one in your immediate destination. It may be included in a travel health insurance policy or bought separately.

Trip cancellation  or disruption insurance  allows you to recoup the nonrefundable portion of a trip canceled for a covered reason. Sometimes it covers cancellation in case of illness, but it doesn't cover medical care. It may or may not cover cancellation due to disease outbreaks (such as  COVID-19 ) in your destination.

Does your current health insurance policy cover medical care outside the United States?

Even if you have health insurance and special coverage isn't required for entry to your destination country, you may still need a travel health policy. Many traditional health insurance policies, including basic  Medicare plans , do not provide coverage outside the U.S. And while some Medicare supplement polices include overseas coverage, it may be limited.

"A lot of U.S. travelers really aren't aware of how much medical coverage they have when they're traveling internationally,” says Stan Sandberg, cofounder of TravelInsurance.com. “They're assuming that health insurance travels with them, but in many cases it doesn't."

If you don't have health insurance (travel or otherwise) that covers you in your destination, you could face bills running many thousands of dollars if a health emergency arises.

Will you be particularly vulnerable during your travels because of a health condition or high-risk activities?

The CDC recommends travel health insurance for international travel, particularly for those who “have an existing health condition, are traveling for more than six months, or doing adventure activities such as scuba diving or hang gliding.”

You can find travel health insurance plans that cover  preexisting conditions , but you often need to purchase one shortly after paying for your trip (usually within two or three weeks). And some plans won't cover medical care for injuries resulting from activities that are generally considered high risk. So be sure your plan does if you want to be adventurous and, say, skydive.

Do you need emergency evacuation coverage?

Even if your health insurance includes medical transportation, it may just cover the cost of getting you to the nearest appropriate medical facility. For example, if you sustained a serious injury on a safari in South Africa, your carrier may pay for transportation to a hospital in Johannesburg but not the cost to fly you back home.

Some travel health insurance policies include emergency evacuation home, and other companies, such as Medjet (MedJetAssist.com) and GlobalRescue.com, sell stand-alone plans that provide the coverage.

Choosing a travel health insurance plan

Travel health insurance generally isn't super expensive. A policy for a 65-year-old going to Europe for two weeks could cost less than $35 for $50,000 in coverage, Sandberg says. Paying just a bit more can bring higher policy limits and extras like lost-baggage coverage. (By contrast, trip cancellation insurance is pricier, costing up to 10 percent of the price of your trip. And coverage that lets you cancel for any reason runs even more.)

Shop around. Sandberg's company offers quotes from multiple plans, as do platforms such as InsureMyTrip.com. These companies also sell travel cancellation insurance, but you can narrow your search for travel health insurance policies by entering $0 as your total trip cost.

And, as noted above, you may want to consider whether a policy covers medical care for preexisting conditions or for COVID-19 and whether it includes emergency evacuation.

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Which travel insurers cover you for cruises?

Cruises are officially back on the cards and people are queuing up to get on board. here's how to make sure you're covered..



Checked for accuracy by our qualified fact-checkers and verifiers. Find out more about fact-checking at CHOICE .

Need to know

  • Most travel insurers cover cruises but there are some exclusions and fine print to be aware of
  • For example, you won't be able to claim for events that occur because you've had too much to drink
  • You need to make sure you declare your pre-existing medical conditions

With the restrictions on cruises finally lifted post-pandemic, the industry has bounced back in a big way this year and is more popular than ever.

But some people lost thousands of dollars on cancelled cruises during the COVID-19 travel bans and some cruise lines might not even let you on board without travel insurance.

So if you're planning a cruise, read on to discover how to choose the travel insurance policy that's best for you.

On this page:

Travel insurance for overseas cruises

Which travel insurers cover international cruises, what cruise travel insurance won't cover, do i need insurance for australian cruises, when to buy travel insurance for a cruise.

Most travel insurers cover international cruises that start and end in Australia, usually as an optional extra (we haven't looked at cover for cruises that start and/or end overseas). 

Some providers also offer tailored cruise travel insurance, which can give you access to additional inclusions that are unique to cruising and that may not be covered in standard policies, such as cover for missed ports, missed departures, or cabin confinement due to illness.

When choosing a policy, it's important to make sure the region you're visiting is covered and that it suits your needs and itinerary.

Check the policy age limit, as some policies cover you up to the age of 100 but others only cover you up to 69. 

It's also worth noting that if you want cancellation coverage in case a relative in Australia becomes ill or dies, the relative will also need to meet the age limit on the policy and satisfy the existing medical condition requirements.

Australian authorities no longer require people to prove they've had a COVID-19 vaccination in order to board, but it may be required for some destinations such as New Caledonia, and cruise ships are still a higher risk setting for diseases like gastroenteritis and respiratory infections, including influenza (flu) and COVID-19. So check if you have medical and cancellation cover for COVID-19 and other illnesses.

Existing medical conditions and pregnancy

As with other types of travel insurance, some pre-existing medical conditions may not be covered, and others will need to be disclosed in order to be covered. If in doubt, contact the insurer to discuss your needs.

It's also worth noting that pregnancy is considered an existing medical condition. Some insurance policies cover pregnancy up to 30 weeks, but most cruise lines won't allow you on board if you're more than 24 weeks pregnant.

Travel insurance and alcohol

Some people liken cruises to a floating RSL club, but the combination of alcohol and a seagoing vessel can cause accidents. 

In an Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) case, Phil* fell down a flight of stairs on a cruise ship and suffered a moderate brain injury, skull fracture and right lung contusion.

All travel insurers have a clause that excludes cover for claims resulting from a person being under the influence of alcohol

Phil said the area was not well lit and the steps would have been slippery, while his wife said he was walking steadily. He was taken to a hospital in Austria and a test showed that he had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.198%.

The insurer had an exclusion for "any conduct engaged in whilst under the influence or effect of alcohol or drugs", and AFCA sided with the insurer, determining that Phil's claim for expenses should be denied.

All travel insurers have a similar clause that excludes cover for claims resulting from a person being under the influence of alcohol.

* Not their real name. Policyholder names are not disclosed in AFCA case records.

Even if you book a cruise that won't be leaving Australian waters, you may still need travel insurance as shipboard medical expenses might not be covered by Medicare. Check that your travel insurance does cover medical costs – you may need international or cruise-specific insurance. Domestic travel or health insurance won't cut it.

Doctors working on cruise ships don't need Medicare provider numbers, so check with your cruise line if they have a Medicare doctor on board. If they don't, and they treat you, you can't claim on Medicare or your private health insurance, even though you never left Australia. 

Domestic travel insurance doesn't cover medical costs, so you'd need either international travel insurance (check that it covers domestic cruises) or special 'domestic cruise' insurance, which is available from a few select insurers.

Cruises are often booked well ahead of time, so you could be forgiven for forgetting or delaying the purchase of your travel insurance. But if your cruise is cancelled ahead of time and you don't yet have cover, you could lose your money. The earlier you buy the policy, the better.

On the flip side, there aren't many insurers that cover you more than a year out from starting your trip. If you book your trip more than a year out, shop around for a policy that will cover you.

Stock images:  Getty, unless otherwise stated.

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  • Travel Insurance

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Travel Insurance With Covid Cover (2024)

Updated: Apr 25, 2024, 11:53am

Reviewed By

Important Disclosure: The content provided does not consider your particular circumstances and does not constitute personal advice. Some of the products promoted are from our affiliate partners from whom we receive compensation. Read More

If you require any personal advice, please seek such advice from an independently qualified financial advisor. While we aim to feature some of the best products available, this does not include all available products from across the market. Although the information provided is believed to be accurate at the date of publication, you should always check with the product provider to ensure that information provided is the most up to date. Read Less

The Covid pandemic is behind us and the past few years has seen ‘business as usual’ resume for UK holidaymakers. But people still fall ill with the virus which can affect their travel plans, and those of their travelling companions.

The good news is, t ravel insurers have largely adjusted their offerings so that Covid is treated like any other illness. This means you’ll get emergency medical treatment for the virus while away, as well as cover cancellation of the trip if you’re diagnosed with Covid usually up to 14 days before you travel. However, always check the terms of each policy.

Why you can trust Forbes Advisor’s ratings

Our top covid travel insurance policies, cover for you, yourtravelcover.com gold.

  • Coverwise Select Silver Plus

Cedar Tree Travel Insurance

Explorer travel insurance, what's our methodology, what covid cover is provided with travel insurance, what won't be covered in relation to covid, what are the rules on international travel, which countries can i visit, tips for a covid-proof holiday, what else can travel insurance cover, frequently asked questions (faqs).

  • Compare Travel Insurance
  • Best Annual Multi-Trip Insurance
  • Best Travel Insurance For The USA
  • Best Travel Insurance For Europe
  • Best Cruise Insurance
  • Best Backpacker Travel Insurance

Our editors are committed to bringing you unbiased ratings and information. Our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers. We use data-driven methodologies to evaluate product providers, so all companies are measured equally. You can read more about our editorial guidelines and the methodology for the ratings below.

  • Market-wide survey of leading travel insurance companies
  • Rigorous assessment of policy features and cover options
  • Thorough analysis of pros and cons

Compare Travel Insurance Quotes

Compare from our range of over 100 policies

With this in mind, it comes down to picking the best travel cover at the right price. We’ve rounded up our top picks below – along with the answers to the most common Covid-related travel questions. For more details on how our providers are ranked, refer to our methodology section.

Cover For You

Cancellation cover

Cover For You has high levels of cover for a competitive premium. This policy offers £15 million medical and repatriation cover, up to £3,000 for cancellations and £2,000 for baggage. It also has a low excess at £50 per person per section on all claims.

Hospital benefit cover is generous at up to £2,000, legal expenses cover is up to £30,000 and personal liability cover is £1.5 million.

  • Up to £3,000 cancellation cover
  • Low excess on claims
  • Higher premium than some competitors

Yourtravelcover.com Gold

This policy was the cheapest we found based on our search parameters (see our methodology below).

This family policy offers cover up to £3,000 per person for trip cancellation, plus £1,500 per person for baggage cover. Medical and repatriation cover is £10 million and the excess on claims is £95 (the cancellation and baggage excess is £75 per person). Excesses will be applied per person, per section of each claim.

The cover also offers £500 cover for hospital benefit, £15,000 legal expenses cover and up to £2 million for personal liability cover.

  • Low premium for cover levels
  • £3,000 cancellation cover
  • Relatively low excess (£75 for cancellation and baggage claims)
  • No sports or gadget cover (can be included at extra cost)

Coverwise Select Silver

Coverwise Select Silver

This cover has a competitive price and offers £20 million medical and repatriation cover, £2,000 for cancellation and £1,750 for baggage. There is a low per person excess of £50 per section per claim.

Hospital benefit cover is up to £2,000 and legal expenses cover is £50,000. Personal liability cover is up to £2 million.

  • Competitive price
  • £2,000 hospital benefit cover
  • low £50 excess
  • £20 million medical cover
  • Relatively higher premium

Cedar Tree Travel Insurance

This policy is competitively priced and includes £15 million medical and repatriation cover, £1,500 cover for baggage and £500 for a missed departure (on either leg of the journey). The £95 excess applies on all types of claim and is per person per section.

There is £200 cover for hospital benefit and £5,000 for legal expenses. Personal liability cover is £2 million.

  • Low premium
  • £15 million medical cover
  • Higher excess than some competitors
  • £200 hospital benefit cover (competitors offer more)

Explorer Travel Insurance

This is a great value policy offering £5,000 in cancellation cover, £2 million medical and repatriation cover, and £2,000 for baggage. The excess is reasonable at £75 per person per section for claims, although some policies have a lower excess. The policy premium is slightly more expensive than some competitors.

There is legal expenses cover of £25,000 and personal liability cover up to £2 million, but there is no hospital benefit included. Gadget cover is also included as standard.

  • £5,000 cancellation cover
  • £2,000 cover for baggage
  • Gadget cover included
  • No excess waiver
  • No hospital benefit

We used data from our quotation journey to review single trip travel insurance policies for a family of four (two adults, both aged in their 40s, and two teenagers) travelling to Spain for seven nights in June 2024.

We identified the least expensive policies that met these credentials. Where premium prices are similar, we’ve factored in coverage limits and excesses. On this basis, we awarded each a Forbes Advisor star rating out of five.

All policies include at least £2 million in medical and repatriation cover, £2,000 in cancellation cover, and £1,500 in baggage and belongings cover. The excess listed applies to each person on the policy and to each accepted claim, unless otherwise stated.

We’ve assumed no members of the family have any pre-existing medical conditions.

While most of the insurers we work with offer cover for Covid-related medical costs, cancellation and curtailment of your trip, check with each provider to ensure you know exactly what you’re getting.

Most travel insurers have retained the cover they began offering for Covid-related issues during the pandemic (although many now refer in more general terms to ‘pandemics’ rather than specifically to ‘Covid’).

A comprehensive travel policy is likely to cover you for some or all of the following Covid scenarios:

  • Emergency medical treatment, and repatriation (the cost of getting home to the UK) if you are ill due to Covid
  • Cancellation cover, if you or a close relative contracts Covid or you or someone you’re due to travel with needs to isolate due to Covid
  • Curtailment , which means cutting your trip short due to specific circumstances relating to Covid, such as government advice to evacuate an area of country and return home.

However, terms and conditions around the cancellation element relating to Covid can vary between insurers so, as with any insurance, check the policy wording carefully to find out what is both included and excluded from cover.

Anna-Marie Duthie, travel insurance expert at financial data company Defaqto, explained: “M edical costs will be covered in relation to Covid, as they would be in any other circumstance or illness.

“However, when it comes to cover for cancellation that is specifically due to Covid, rules will vary by insurer. For example, cancellation may be covered only with a medical note from a medical practitioner advising you not to travel, for example, rather than just a positive Covid test being enough evidence for an insurance claim.

“This is because Covid tests are no longer mandatory and – while there may be a moral argument – there are no legal restrictions regarding travelling with Covid.”

Defaqto data shows that 99% of annual travel insurance policies cover medical expenses in relation to Covid-19, and 95% cover cancellation due to a positive Covid test. 

If you are concerned about the cover you may have in relation to Covid, check with your insurer before you travel.

There are a number of Covid-related scenarios where you’re unlikely to be covered by your travel insurance. These might include:

  • Travelling against government (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) advice
  • Cancelling or returning home early to avoid quarantine
  • Being unable to travel due to a government lockdown or other restriction
  • Being unable to travel due to changes in vaccination or other covid-related requirements in your destination country.

Almost every country in the world has now dropped all Covid-related entry restrictions regardless of whether you are vaccinated against the virus or not.

In terms of returning to the UK, all Covid-related restrictions were dropped in 2022. The latest information and guidance on all aspects of travel can be found at our travel blog, and any official updates via the Government website .

Even unvaccinated travellers can now enter almost every country in the world without the requirement to produce a negative Covid test.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) issues advice on which destinations are safe to visit based on a range of factors, including those related to Covid. So, Covid aside, it’s important to check the FCDO’s advice for changes before purchasing a holiday and travel insurance, and again before departing.

Travelling against FCDO advice can render a travel insurance policy invalid unless it was bought from a specialist insurer which specified that cover would be provided in the chosen destination.

Take out travel insurance when booking the trip

It’s good practice to buy travel insurance at the same time as booking a holiday. This will ensure that cancellation cover starts straight away. In Covid terms, this might include:

  • cancellation cover for testing positive within 14 days of  departure date
  • cancellation cover if a loved one becomes seriously unwell or dies of Covid ahead of the departure date.

However, the ‘key features’ section of a policy document usually lists cover for specific Covid-related risks.

Check the FCDO’s travel guidelines

A travel insurer is unlikely to cover trip cancellation if the FCDO changes its advice on travel to the holiday destination, if an airline or travel company postpones the trip without offering a refund, or if a local or national lockdown prevents the holiday from going ahead.

And it won’t be possible to claim for cancellation if you simply don’t want to travel (known as ‘disinclination to travel’).

If a flight is cancelled the airline should offer a full refund or an alternative departure date. If it offers vouchers instead of a refund, some travel insurers will not pay out.

In addition to cover for medical treatment and Covid-related risks, there’s also the standard offerings under travel insurance.

  • Baggage and possessions: Covers lost, stolen or damaged baggage or any other possessions
  • Personal liability: Covers compensation claims made against the policyholder if they are found responsible for causing injury, death or damage
  • Personal accident: If the policyholder is permanently disabled or killed in an accident, the policy will make a payment to them or to their estate
  • Legal expenses: The insurer will help cover legal costs to pursue compensation or damages following personal injury or other disputed loss while abroad
  • Excess: Most insurance policies require a contribution of a certain amount towards any claim made. This is known as the excess. This sum will be deducted from the claim pay-out.

What protection does cover for Covid-related risks offer?

Protection for Covid-related risks covers the cost of medical treatment and repatriation as a minimum.

Some policies also cover cancellation under certain circumstances, such as if you or a close relative are unwell with Covid or you’re required to self-isolate (subject to a positive test result or confirmation from a doctor, for example).

Others extend to cover if you’re denied boarding a flight or ferry, for example, due to displaying Covid symptoms. Or cover if someone you were due to travel with or stay with on your trip needs to self-isolate.

Does my current travel insurance policy cover Covid related risks?

There are no guarantees that an existing insurance policy will cover Covid-related risks. Check the details of the policy or contact the insurer for confirmation of the extent of cover provided.

Do I need to be vaccinated for Covid for my insurance to be valid?

Over all, travel insurance policies do not require policyholders to be vaccinated.

However, according to Defaqto, around 20% of annual multi-trip policies still require proof of vaccination under certain elements of the cover, most notably claiming on emergency Covid-related medical costs.

In insurance terms, ‘vaccination’ means all recommended doses that were offered, which includes any booster jabs. If you’ve refused any doses of the vaccine or any booster jab in the past, then you may not be covered for Covid-related claims, so be sure to read the small print of the policy wording.

You’ll still be covered if you couldn’t have the vaccine due to a medical exemption, however. 

Am I covered if I have to cut short my trip due to Covid?

Some policies cover cutting a trip short because of Covid. This is known as a ‘curtailment’. Terms and conditions around curtailment cover vary, so check the policy wording.

What happens if I contract Covid overseas?

All the insurers available through our travel insurance comparison tool offer emergency medical and repatriation cover for Covid-related claims as standard. However, as outlined above, some may require the policyholder to have the recommended vaccinations. Again, check the policy.

Can I get cover for my pre-existing medical conditions?

Some policies will cover claims related to pre-existing medical conditions , but they tend to come with higher premiums because of the greater risk of a claim being made.

All pre-existing medical conditions must be declared as part of the application process. Not doing so could invalidate any claim made.

How do I claim on my travel insurance?

If the claim is related to cancellation or delay, the first point to note is that insurers will only consider a claim after the policyholder has applied to the holiday provider for a refund.

If the policyholder accepts a refund (or vouchers or a credit note) from the holiday provider they will not also be able to claim from the insurer (known as a ‘double claim’).

If a refund from the holiday provider has been refused, the policyholder can contact the insurer to claim for all non-refundable costs.

This may include flights and accommodation but also transfer and excursion costs, for example. Deadlines for claims should be stated in the policy.

I am passionate about personal finance issues and helping consumers navigate the world of insurance, credit, savings and pensions. I have been a money journalist for almost two decades, including ten years on the award-winning personal finance desk at the Mail on Sunday.

I've been involved in personal finance and property journalism for the past 20 years, editing websites and writing for national newspapers. My objective has always been to offer no-nonsense information to readers that either saves or earns them cash.

does bupa international travel insurance cover covid

World Nomads Travel Insurance Review 2024

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If you're looking for travel insurance that allows you to confidently participate in a wide range of sports and adventure activities around the world, then World Nomads Travel Insurance might be right for you. The company's policies cover travel to almost anywhere on the globe and are available to residents of nearly every country. 

World Nomads Travel Insurance Review

Among the best international travel insurance companies , World Nomads is particularly good at insuring athletes, covering well over 300 sports, including skydiving, bungee jumping, and golf. World Nomads is also a great last-minute purchase, allowing you to purchase coverage even after your trip has started. However, if you purchase a plan after departure, you will have to wait 72 hours before your plan kicks in.

That said, World Nomads lacks crucial coverage options, such as cancel for any reason coverage and coverage for pre-existing conditions. It also doesn't insure travelers older than 70.

Additionally the service has received middling reviews from customers, averaging 3.4 stars out of five across 2,510 reviews. Customers often complained about their lengthy claims processes and poor customer service.

Some also took issue with the "Nomads" branding, as some travelers with multiple destinations and long-term trips found their trip wasn't covered by Nomads' specific policies. It's worth noting that World Nomads was very responsive to positive and negative reviews on Trustpilot.

World Nomads Plans Available

World Nomads has two basic policies: Standard and Explorer. Each covers essentially the same things, but Explorer has higher amounts that World Nomads is willing to pay out for claims. The company's policies cover more than 150 specific activities. These range from bungee jumping and rock climbing to hang gliding and hot-air ballooning. You can see the full list on the company's website.

Additional Coverage Options (Riders)

One of the most common upgraded features of a travel insurance policy is cancel for any reason (CFAR) , where you really can cancel for reason beyond what's in a standard policy. This is not available on every policy, but it is often a feature that travelers are looking for while shopping for travel insurance before their trip. At this time, World Nomads doesn't offer CFAR coverage.

At the time of this review, World Nomads also offers sports equipment coverage. In February of 2022, it expanded coverage to include more than 150 sports and activities including Pickleball and FootGolf. It currently covers over 300 sports. So, as you can imagine, plans with sports coverage will cover virtually any sport you might play.

World Nomads Travel Insurance Cost

You can obtain a quote from World Nomads on its website by providing details about you and your trip. Be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Your destination(s)
  • Duration of trip
  • Your country of residence
  • State of residence (if you're from the US)
  • Number of travelers
  • Traveler(s) age

Notably, World Nomads does not ask you for the price of the trip, which many travel insurance companies factor into the trip of your policy. As such, World Nomads may be a good option if you're going on a particularly expensive trip. 

We ran a few simulations to offer examples of how much a World Nomads policy might cost. You'll see that costs usually fall between 5% and 7% of the total trip cost, depending on the policy tier you choose.

As of April 2024, a 23-year-old from Illinois taking a week-long, $3,000 budget trip to Italy would have the following  World Nomads travel insurance quotes:

  • World Nomads Standard: $76.58
  • World Nomads Explorer: $123.34

Premiums for World Nomads's plans are well below the average cost of travel insurance .

World Nomads provides the following quotes for a 30-year-old traveler from California heading to Japan for two weeks on a $4,000 trip:

  • World Nomads Standard: $85.83
  • World Nomads Explorer: $155.06

Once again, premiums for World Nomads plans are between 2.2% and 3.8%, below the average cost for travel insurance.

A couple of 65-years of age looking to escape New York for Mexico for two weeks with a trip cost of $6,000 would have the following World Nomads quotes:

  • World Nomads Standard: $152.96
  • World Nomads Explorer: $276.34

Premiums for World Nomads plans are between 2.6% and 4.6%, once again below the average cost for travel insurance. This is especially impressive as travel insurance is often more expensive for older travelers.

How to File A Claim with World Nomad Travel Insurance

You can start an insurance claim by filing it on the company's website. 

You can call toll-free in the US and Canada if you need to reach the company in an emergency at: (877) 289-0968.

Callers from outside the US and Canada can reach the company at: (954)-334-8143.

The email address is: [email protected]

You'll need to have the following ready to file a claim:

  • Your policy number
  • A contact number
  • The nature of your problem
  • Your location
  • Prescribed medication (if any)

Make sure you keep any documents related to the claim you're filing. This includes any receipts, notices, and invoices.

Compare World Nomads Travel Insurance

World Nomads is particularly good at insuring traveling athletes, but let's see how it stacks up against the best travel insurance companies .

World Nomads Travel Insurance vs. Allianz Travel Insurance

Allianz Travel Insurance is a strong competitor against World Nomads, especially for travelers looking for a more business-oriented option. The company has been in business for more than 120 years and offers a wide range of insurance, not just travel-related, around the world.

A key difference between World Nomads and Allianz Travel Insurance is that Allianz Travel Insurance offers travel insurance that can cover multiple trips in the same year. You can take an unlimited number of trips within the same calendar year, but you do have to double-check that all of your destinations are covered by the policy you select. 

Another difference is that Allianz Travel Insurance offers pre-existing condition waivers for qualifying customers. World Nomads doesn't have the same coverage, requiring that the pre-existing condition is fully stable in order for limited coverage with respect to trip cancellations or having to end a trip early. 

Read our Allianz travel insurance review here.

World Nomads Travel Insurance vs. AIG Travel Guard

Travel Guard , a product backed by AIG Travel, is another potential alternative to World Nomads. AIG is a prominent player in the insurance industry, and the Travel Guard product represents true global coverage. 

Unlike World Nomads, Travel Guard has coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, but there are conditions. Travelers must purchase their policy within 15 days of the initial trip payment to qualify for a pre-existing condition waiver. 

Both travel insurance companies use a tiered approach, but Travel Guard has higher dollar amounts across the board. For example, trip cancellation for Travel Guard covers 100% of the trip cost, while with World Nomads the amount will depends on the tier of the coverage you purchase. Trip Interruption is also a fully covered event with Travel Guard's. Depending on the plan selected, it will either cover 100% or 150% of the trip cost. 

If you're concerned about COVID-19 coverage with trip insurance, there's more coverage with World Nomads than Travel Guard. With Travel Guard, coverage for having to stay in a country past your original booking dates is an add-on, not a standard part of the policy. 

Read our AIG Travel Insurance review here.

Compare World Nomad vs. Credit Card Travel Insurance

If you already have a major credit card in your wallet, you most likely have some travel insurance benefits that come with it. These benefits do vary from card to card. Be sure to check your card's specific policies.

Not all credit cards will feature travel insurance protection. The ones that do may have specific limitations. For example, many credit cards with travel protection require that your airfare is paid for with the card in question for protections to take effect. 

Reimbursement isn't guaranteed. The credit cards do require that you file your claim and wait for a decision. World Nomads makes it easy to file a claim online and submit receipts and documentation. The response is fairly quick based on reviews from travelers that have actually had to file claims. 

The more premium the credit card, the more likely expanded travel protections are part of its features. If you don't already have a premium credit card, it's better to get travel insurance. This is also the case if you have multiple trips planned. Some credit cards limit not just the total dollar amount, but the number of claims within a 12-month period.

Read our guide on the best credit cards with travel insurance here.

World Nomads Travel Insurance FAQs

Can i extend my world nomads policy while already traveling.

Yes, you can extend your World Nomads plan while traveling, but you cannot upgrade a standard plan to the Explorer plan. 

Does World Nomads cover COVID-19 related incidents?

World Nomads covers COVID-19 like any other illness under its emergency medical coverage.

How does the claim process work with World Nomads?

You can file a claim on World Nomads's website, over the phone, or by mail. Make sure to provide as much documentation as possible to ease the claims process. 

What adventure activities are covered by World Nomads?

World Nomads currently covers 326 sports and adventure activities, from ziplining to zorbing.

Can I purchase World Nomads insurance if I'm already traveling?

Yes, you can purchase World Nomads insurance for a trip that has already started. However, a policy purchased during your trip will have a 72-hour waiting period before insurance starts.

How We Reviewed World Nomads Travel Insurance

To prepare this review on World Nomads, we started by detailing the company's travel insurance offerings. Then we looked at the best travel insurance plans and compared them to World Nomads. We looked at things like typical policy costs, coverage options, available add-ons, what's covered, and claim limits.

You can read more about how Business Insider rates insurance products here.

If you enjoyed this story, be sure to follow Business Insider on Microsoft Start.

World Nomads Travel Insurance Review 2024

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Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive financial compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). However, the credit card information that we publish has been written and evaluated by experts who know these products inside out. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers that are on the market. See our advertising policy here where we list advertisers that we work with, and how we make money. You can also review our credit card rating methodology .

AXA Travel Insurance Review — Is it Worth It?

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AXA Travel Insurance Review — Is it Worth It?

Why Get Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance and covid-19, types of policies available with axa, how to get a quote, axa vs. credit card travel insurance, axa vs. other travel insurance companies, how to file a claim with axa travel insurance, final thoughts.

We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.

Whether you’re traveling the world or crossing state lines, travel insurance such as the policies offered by AXA Travel Insurance can offer a safety net in case you have to cancel or interrupt your trip or need support along the way for medical emergencies, lost bags, or missed connections.

For more than 60 years, AXA Travel Insurance has provided peace of mind and financial stability to travelers. With solid ratings and underwriting by Nationwide Mutual Insurance, travel insurance plans sold by AXA are backed by an A.M. Best Excellent financial strength rating. AXA offers travel insurance with trip interruption and cancellation coverage, medical emergency and evacuation benefits, lost or delayed baggage, and more.

Let’s examine AXA’s travel insurance coverage options, benefits, and service and compare it to alternatives such as credit card travel coverage and other travel insurance providers.

Travel insurance can protect what you’ve invested in an upcoming trip. When the unexpected occurs, such as a trip cancellation or medical need , travel insurance can offer the benefits you need to cover it.

You might choose travel insurance for these reasons:

  • Your trip has deposits or payments that you can’t get refunded if you need to cancel your trip.
  • The health insurance you use at home doesn’t work at your destination.
  • You’re planning activities that aren’t covered by your health insurance.
  • Medical care is subpar at your destination and you may need to be evacuated to another location with adequate medical facilities.
  • You’re concerned about the possibility of lost bags, delays, or missed connections, especially if you have multiple flights or transfers.

Travel insurance isn’t necessary for every trip, such as if you’re traveling domestically where your health insurance works and you don’t have major nonrefundable expenses. But travel insurance is worth it if you’ve got a lot of nonrefundable expenses invested in your trip or you’ll need medical coverage at your destination.

COVID-19 can interrupt your travel plans, whether you get sick and have to cancel a trip, need to quarantine or get medical treatment while traveling, or plan to visit a destination with high COVID-19 numbers. While some travel insurance companies  exclude COVID-19 from insurance coverage , AXA offers COVID-19 coverage as part of its travel protection plans , including trip cancellation and trip interruption and emergency medical and evacuation coverage.

Ambulance and gurney

Why Purchase Travel Insurance From AXA?

Any travel insurance company you purchase a policy from should be reputable, reliable, and stable. After all, you’re relying on the company to be there for you when you need it most. It pays to verify reviews and ratings — AXA offers good reassurance in this area.

With 64 years in business, AXA has an A- Better Business Bureau rating . On the travel insurance website Squaremouth , AXA has an overall 4.22/5 rating , with 0.1% negative reviews among more than 69,000 policies sold . AXA’s travel insurance plans are backed by Nationwide Mutual Insurance, which has an A (Excellent) financial strength rating from financial rating company A.M. Best. With 6 decades in business and solid ratings , AXA is a travel insurance company you can trust.

AXA offers travel insurance with medical and emergency evacuation benefits, trip cancellation and interruption, baggage loss, and Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) options. Let’s look at the details of AXA travel insurance policies.

AXA offers 3 levels of travel insurance : Silver, Gold, and Platinum . Each level offers different limits, but all of AXA’s policies have 100% trip cancellation coverage, emergency medical coverage and medical evacuation, baggage delay and loss, and missed connection coverage.

Let’s compare what you get with each policy:

With plans as low as $16 and minimal coverage, AXA recommends the Silver plan for domestic travel. You can cover 100% of your trip cost for trip cancellation and interruption coverage. If your travel is delayed, you can get up to $100 per day for expenses, up to $500 total, and $200 for delayed baggage.

There’s also $500 in missed connection coverage. The $25,000 in emergency medical expense coverage isn’t much, but it might be adequate for domestic travel if you’re using your primary health insurance first.

Gold plans start at $36 but add more coverage and are appropriate for cruises or Schengen travel . Like the Silver plan, the Gold plan offers up to 100% trip cancellation coverage but bumps trip interruption to 150% of your trip cost. Limits for all coverages are higher, with $200 per day and $1,000 maximum in trip delay coverage and $1,000 for missed connections. Baggage delays offer up to $300, and you can get up to $1,500 for lost baggage and personal effects.

The health coverage is also much higher at $100,000, and it adds a $50,000 non-medical emergency evacuation option on top of the $500,000 medical emergency evacuation benefit. This plan also offers an optional $35,000 collision damage waiver.

The Platinum plan , starting at $52, steps up coverage and offers additional options. You’ll get 100% trip cost coverage for trip cancellation and 150% for trip interruption. Trip delay coverage offers up to $300 per day and a $1,250 maximum, plus $600 for baggage delays and $3,000 for lost baggage and personal effects.

Emergency medical treatment is also higher at $250,000, and you’re covered for $1 million in emergency medical evacuation — $100,000 for non-medical evacuation.

The Platinum plan also offers additional coverage for sports, with $25 per day for lost skier days, $500 for lost golf rounds, and $1,000 for sports equipment rental. It also offers optional coverage for up to 75% of trip cost with Cancel for Any Reason coverage and a $50,000 collision damage waiver.

You can get a quote directly from AXA by visiting the AXA Travel Insurance website . The quote form is the first thing you’ll see on the homepage.

To start your quote, you’ll fill out the quote form, including your state of residence, destination country, travel dates, first deposit date, total trip cost, number of travelers (up to 10), and the age of travelers.

AXA travel insurance get a quote

Once you fill out the form, you’ll be presented with plan options. For a 60-year-old visiting Japan and spending $2,500, we were offered a Silver ($155), Gold ($183), or Platinum ($218) plan .

AXA travel insurance quotes

If you select a Platinum plan, you will be able to add CFAR optional coverage for up to 75% of your trip cost.

AXA travel insurance CFAR add on

With your plan and options selected, the next and final step to secure coverage is entering your traveler information including your name and contact information, then making your payment for the policy.

AXA travel insurance checkout

How AXA Compares — Summary

AXA is a good option for travel insurance, but it’s not your only option. Let’s see how AXA compares to the coverage you can get from popular travel credit cards and travel insurance competitors .

Many travel credit cards offer travel insurance as a complimentary benefit, whether it’s car rental collision waivers , trip cancellation coverage , or emergency medical and evacuation benefits. This coverage can be helpful if you’re using your card to pay for your travel expenses, but it’s often not as comprehensive as the coverage you can get from a travel insurance policy like what AXA offers .

Let’s compare AXA’s best travel insurance policy against The Platinum Card ®  from American Express  and the  Chase Sapphire Reserve ® , which both offer some of the best travel protections available with credit card benefits.

Unless you’re taking a trip with expenses higher than $10,000, the trip cancellation coverage should be about the same whether you’re using an Amex Platinum card, Chase Sapphire Reserve card, or the AXA Platinum plan. However, the AXA Platinum plan comes out ahead with 150% of your trip cost for trip interruption.

We see a major difference in coverage for emergency medical treatment and evacuation. The Amex Platinum card doesn’t offer emergency medical coverage, but you can arrange an emergency medical evacuation using the Premium Global Assist Hotline. The Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers up to $2,500 in emergency medical coverage and $100,000 for emergency evacuation. Neither of these offerings compares to the $250,000 in emergency medical coverage and $1 million in emergency medical evacuation coverage you can get from AXA Platinum.

Credit card travel insurance coverage is complimentary if you already have the card, but it is lacking in some areas. It’s a good idea to use your card’s travel insurance as a backup for trip cancellation, interruption, travel delays, or lost baggage, but use the AXA Platinum plan for its superior emergency medical and evacuation coverage.

It’s always a good idea to compare travel insurance quotes across multiple providers so you can find the best price and coverage. We used Squaremouth , a travel insurance comparison website, to see how AXA’s policies compare to those of other companies.

As with the initial price quotes we pulled from AXA’s website, our sample trip on Squaremouth had:

  • Traveling to Japan a month from now
  • Trip cost: $2,500
  • Initial trip deposit paid within the last 24 hours
  • State of residence: Texas

We limited results to policies that offer at least as much coverage as the AXA Platinum policy does on major benefits:

  • COVID-19 coverage
  • Minimum $250,000 emergency medical benefit
  • Minimum $1 million emergency medical benefit
  • 100% trip cancellation
  • 150% trip interruption

Each policy offered nearly identical coverage for these major benefits, and Tin Leg ‘s Silver plan had the lowest cost at $164.35, followed closely by $165.84 from HTH Worldwide ‘s TripProtector Classic plan.

AXA Squaremouth alternatives

If you’re mainly concerned with full coverage for trip cancellation and interruption along with $250,000 in emergency medical and $1 million for emergency medical evacuation, you can save if you go with Tin Leg .

However, the higher-priced policies offer additional coverage and options. For example, AXA Platinum offers the option to add Cancel for Any Reason coverage and includes sports equipment rentals and missed ski days or golf rounds. Tin Leg doesn’t have missed connection coverage, but Seven Corners Trip Protection Choice and AXA Platinum offer up to $1,500 for missed connections on cruises or tours.

All of the policies we quoted except for Tin Leg Silver offer employment layoff as a covered cancellation reason, and AXA Platinum allows you to cancel your trip for work reasons, though none of the other policies do. AXA Platinum also offers $100,000 in non-medical evacuation , which Tin Leg Silver and HTH Worldwide TripProtector Classic policies do not, and is much higher than the $20,000 benefit offered by the Seven Corners Trip Protection Choice policy.

AXA Platinum has a higher cost than competitors but offers more robust coverage. If you’re mainly concerned with major coverage for trip cancellation and interruption, emergency medical, and emergency evacuation, other travel insurance companies may offer a better quote. But if you want additional coverage and options such as non-medical evacuation and expanded cancellation reasons, check out the details on what AXA Platinum offers.

You can file a claim with AXA in a few ways:

  • Using the claim administrator portal

AXA travel insurance file a claim

If you’d like to file your claim online, you can visit the portal for Co-Ordinated Benefit Plans and enter your policy number and last name to get started.

AXA travel insurance claims administrator portal

Alternatively, you can call AXA toll-free at 888-957-5015 or collect at 727-450-8794 .

If you’d like to submit your claim via email or mail, you can download claim forms on the AXA website.

AXA travel insurance online claim forms

Once you download the claim form, you’ll get a list of documents required for submitting your travel insurance claim, along with mail or email info. For example, on a trip interruption claim form, AXA requires you to send in:

  • Completed claim form
  • Policy verification
  • Booking confirmation, such as a ticket or proof of purchase
  • Your original unused, nonrefundable tickets
  • Your new ticket with confirmation of early return
  • A cancellation statement from travel suppliers
  • A medical report or physician statement if you interrupted the trip due to medical necessity
  • Death certificate, if applicable
  • Documentation of circumstances that led to trip interruption
  • Documentation of reimbursement request expenses, such as receipts or credit card statements

You can email the form and other required documents to [email protected] or mail to:

AXA Assistance USA On Behalf of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and Affiliated Companies P.O. Box 26222 Tampa, FL 33623

AXA Travel Insurance is a reliable option with more than 6 decades of experience and solid ratings. There are 3 levels of coverage to choose from — Silver, Gold, and Platinum — that offer varying levels of coverage and options. AXA Travel Insurance isn’t the cheapest option, but it offers robust coverage options and reputable service, so it can be a good choice if you’re looking for enhanced travel protection.

For the premium global assist hotline benefit of The Platinum Card ® from American Express, you can rely on Global Assist Hotline 24 hours a day / 7 days a week for medical, legal, financial or other select emergency coordination and assistance services while traveling more than 100 miles away from your home. Plus, we may provide emergency medical transportation assistance and related services. Third-party service costs may be your responsibility. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. If approved and coordinated by premium global assist hotline, emergency medical transportation assistance may be provided at no cost. In any other circumstance, Card Members may be responsible for the costs charged by third-party service providers.

For the car rental loss and damage insurance benefit of The Platinum Card ® from American Express, car rental loss and damage insurance can provide coverage up to $75,000 for theft of or damage to most rental vehicles when you use your eligible card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver or similar option offered by the commercial car rental company. This product provides secondary coverage and does not include liability coverage. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered. geographic restrictions apply. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car Rental Loss or Damage Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.

For the baggage insurance plan benefit of The Platinum Card ® from American Express, baggage insurance plan coverage can be in effect for covered persons for eligible lost, damaged, or stolen baggage during their travel on a common carrier vehicle (e.g. plane, train, ship, or bus) when the Entire Fare for a ticket for the trip (one-way or round-trip) is charged to an eligible card. Coverage can be provided for up to $2,000 for checked baggage and up to a combined maximum of $3,000 for checked and carry-on baggage, in excess of coverage provided by the common carrier. The coverage is also subject to a $3,000 aggregate limit per covered trip. For New York State residents, there is a $2,000 per bag/suitcase limit for each covered person with a $10,000 aggregate maximum for all covered persons per covered trip. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

For the trip delay insurance benefit of The Platinum Card ® from American Express, up to $500 per covered trip that is delayed for more than 6 hours; and 2 claims per eligible card per 12 consecutive month period. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.

For the trip cancellation and interruption insurance benefit of The Platinum Card ® from American Express, the maximum benefit amount for trip cancellation and interruption insurance is $10,000 per covered trip and $20,000 per eligible card per 12 consecutive month period. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card ® from American Express, click here .

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the axa silver travel insurance plan provide coverage for a safari.

Yes, AXA’s travel insurance policies offer coverage for safaris, including emergency medical expenses. Safaris are under the sports and activities covered for emergency medical and repatriation costs and personal accidents.

Is AXA travel insurance worth it?

AXA travel insurance can be worth it if you need coverage for significant nonrefundable expenses or your health coverage doesn’t extend to your destination. Competitors may offer lower cost policies for similar major coverage, but AXA may have greater policy options, so it’s a good idea to compare your options.

Is AXA travel insurance good for a Schengen visa?

AXA recommends its Gold plan or higher for Schengen travel.

Is AXA an international insurance?

Yes, you can use AXA for international travel , with coverage for countries in Europe, Asia and Pacific islands, the U.S. and Canada, Africa and the Middle East, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

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About Jessica Merritt

A long-time points and miles student, Jessica is the former Personal Finance Managing Editor at U.S. News and World Report and is passionate about helping consumers fund their travels for as little cash as possible.


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    Defaqto data shows that 99% of annual travel insurance policies cover medical expenses in relation to Covid-19, and 95% cover cancellation due to a positive Covid test.

  27. World Nomads Travel Insurance Review 2024

    AIG is a prominent player in the insurance industry, and the Travel Guard product represents true global coverage. Unlike World Nomads, Travel Guard has coverage for pre-existing medical ...

  28. AXA Travel Insurance Review --- Is it Worth It? [2024]

    COVID-19 can interrupt your travel plans, whether you get sick and have to cancel a trip, need to quarantine or get medical treatment while traveling, or plan to visit a destination with high COVID-19 numbers. While some travel insurance companies exclude COVID-19 from insurance coverage, AXA offers COVID-19 coverage as part of its travel ...