Travel Insurance Required: Three Countries So Far

Worry less when you buy travel insurance, it's always good to have a backup.
Worry less when you buy travel insurance, it's always good to have a backup.

Buying Travel Insurance, Made Easy

By Olivia Gilmore

When booking a trip, it's easy to think of all the joyous moments that can go right, but we sometimes forget to think about all the things that can go wrong. Whether it be a canceled flight or terrorist attack, it is always beneficial to have travel insurance as a backup.

So far, there are three countries that require proof of travel insurance, they are Poland, Czech Republic, and Cuba. However, it will be no surprise if more countries join this list, says one of the co-founders of travelinsurance.com, Stan Sandberg.

So Why Buy Travel Insurance?

Trip Cancellation: As much as we all want to think we are perfect humans, the reality of it is that we are not. Problems arise, sickness’ occur weather changes and all of a sudden you have to cancel your one-way flight to paradise.

The principal purpose of a basic travel insurance policy is to protect travelers from these mishaps, refunding them for their insured and prepaid trip costs. It seems silly to risk the high cost of a trip cancellation when there is such a low cost of trip insurance available. It is always better to be prepared, and feel stress-free!

Emergency Medical Coverage: Travel insurance plans also offer medical coverage for emergency medical expenses that occur while traveling. Becoming ill or injured while abroad is sometimes unavoidable, not to mention unpredictable, so it is important to have travel health insurance that covers both domestic and international hospitalization and treatment costs. Medical related costs can easily skyrocket and reach hundreds of thousands of dollars, so if you travel internationally, then medical coverage is a smart move.

Practical and Cost-effective: By comparing rates online, travel insurance is fairly inexpensive. Compared to the possible risk of a canceled trip, the cost of insurance is pretty small. Buying travel insurance is not only simple, but a valuable way to practice smart risk management.

Where Is Travel Insurance Required?

According to Trip Savvy, upon arrival in Cuba, travelers are required to provide proof of travel insurance.  Having a medical insurance card or credit card may not be proof enough, as Cuba does not recognize Western organized health plans.

So if you're planning a trip to Cuba, it is necessary to purchase a travel insurance plan before you enter, through a company that will be accepted by the island nation and is licensed to do so. Those who do not make this preparatory step may be forced to purchase a travel insurance policy upon arrival at a high premium cost.

RELATED  Warnings and Alerts Make Travel Insurance a Good Idea

A travel insurance policy from Allianz is recognized by the Cuban government.  You’ll also need a visa, called a tarjeta de turista, and travel insurance with emergency medical benefits (it’s mandatory), which Allianz Global Assistance offers for covered situations.

Countries such as Thailand are already thinking about creating a mandatory travel insurance policy, primarily because it would protect the country from having to pay for visitors who don't have insurance. When travelers visit a foreign country without insurance and get injured, then the country has to find ways to pay for the costs.

"Mandatory travel insurance policies is a way to shift the burden from the host country to the traveler's insurance," said Sandberg.

How It Works

Many different issues may emerge that prevent you from being able to go on your trip, or causing you to end it early. Travel insurance covers these otherwise non-refundable costs and reimburses you for your expenses.

Problems such as getting sick, severe weather canceling flights, losing your job, jury duty, and many more issues that prevent trips are usually covered by travel insurance plans. Other coverages such as death benefit, emergency medical treatment coverage, and reimbursement for lost baggage are usually offered too.

After checking out and purchasing a plan, you will receive your confirmation of coverage right away via email. An insurance plan typically costs between 5 to 8 percent of the total trip cost.

"Travel insurance is one of those things that you hope you never have to use, but if you do end up needing it, you feel like the luckiest person in the world for having it," said Sandberg.

Unfortunately, if an issue does arise before or during your trip, you need to file a claim to the travel insurance company. You must submit all written documentation to your insurer when filing a claim.

Buying an Annual Travel Insurance Plan

Many travelers have switched to buying annual policies instead of getting one for each trip. It's easy to save money if you travel more than a few times a year.

You already know you need a comprehensive travel insurance plan in case of medical emergencies or other unexpected events while you're traveling. If you're planning three or more separate trips in a year, you can cover them all for less with an annual travel insurance plan.

RELATED  Travel Insurance: Frequently Asked Questions

Most annual plans offer a year's worth of protection for health, property and trip costs. Look for a travel insurance policy that offers emergency medical coverage, coverage in case of illness or death of a family member and travel delay coverage, among other things. Remember that most annual trip insurance plans have a coverage limit for trip cancellations and trip interruptions.

Business Travelers Benefit

If you're a frequent traveler for business reasons, a multi-trip insurance plan is a must. You're familiar with all the things that can go wrong, such as flight delays and misplaced luggage. And you know that a sudden trip cancellation or trip interruption may mean you lose business - and money.

Protect yourself with a multi-trip insurance policy that's designed for business travelers. Look for a plan that offers coverage for special situations, such as business equipment coverage, rental car collision coverage, and business concierge assistance.

Keep it Simple

If you're taking three trips this year, you're not going to buy three suitcases. Why would you buy three separate travel insurance plans?

Trip insurance policies can be complicated. You always need to read the fine print carefully, so you understand exactly what you're buying and what's covered. It makes life much easier if you buy a single, multi-trip policy that covers you all year, instead of buying a new plan for every vacation you take. Just make sure you review your insurance plan carefully before you buy because not all plans offer the same coverage

Find the right policy for you from Allianz Travel Insurance

To learn more about how to buy travel insurance, visit Allianz Travel Insurance

This post is sponsored by Allianz Global Assistance (AGA Service Company) and GoNOMAD has received financial compensation.  The opinions are all our own.

Olivia Gilmore

Olivia Gilmore is a travel enthusiast, writer, and cultural anthropologist who has traveled to West Africa, Europe and across the East and West Coast of the United States. As a member of Amnesty International, her interests include advocating for human rights, humanitarian volunteer work, and cultural immersion. She’s from Lunenburg, MA.