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The 5 Best COVID-19 Travel Insurance Options

travel insurance inc covid

Travelex Insurance Services »

travel insurance inc covid

Allianz Travel Insurance »

travel insurance inc covid

World Nomads Travel Insurance »

travel insurance inc covid

Generali Global Assistance »

travel insurance inc 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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travel insurance inc covid

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travel insurance inc covid

Is Travel Insurance Worth It? Yes, in These 3 Scenarios

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How COVID-19 Travel Insurance Works

From weekend getaways to extended vacations, specialized covid-19 travel insurance can provide security if the virus affects your travel plans..

Amy Beardsley

3+ years writing about auto, home, and life insurance

7+ years in personal finance and technology

Amy specializes in insurance and technology writing and has a talent for transforming complex topics into easy-to-understand stories.

Read Editorial Guidelines

Featured in

Danny Smith

Licensed auto and home insurance agent

4+ years in content creation and marketing

As Insurify’s home and pet insurance editor, Danny also specializes in auto insurance. His goal is to help consumers navigate the complex world of insurance buying.

Updated September 18, 2023

Reading time: 4 minutes

travel insurance inc covid

Table of contents

  • Pandemic insurance
  • What’s covered
  • Is it worth it?
  • Secure a policy

Travel lets you see new places, meet new people, and experience different cultures. But the lurking shadow of COVID-19 can make traveling uncertain. Almost half of canceled trips in 2020 were due to the virus, according to the U.S. Travel Insurance Association (UStiA). [1]

Travel insurance can help if something goes wrong before or during your trip, but not all policies cover COVID-19 issues. Let’s explore how COVID-19 travel insurance works and how it might — or might not — shield you on your next journey.

How pandemic travel insurance works

Most travel insurance policies include protections for trip cancellations, delays, or other trip interruption coverage. However, many policies don’t cover disruptions due to pandemics. [2] That’s where COVID travel insurance comes into play.

COVID travel insurance is a specialized policy that can refund your money if the virus throws a wrench into your plans. It typically has three coverage levels: coverage for a trip delay, canceling for any reason, and medical care if you get sick.

Travel delay coverage

Illness, injury, jury duty, and other circumstances beyond your control can delay your travel plans. Travel delay insurance covers flight issues, bad weather, sudden breakdowns, and unexpected illnesses or injuries that happen before reaching your destination. It can pay you back for non-refundable expenses and cover extra costs, too — like food, hotel rooms, or cab rides.

Cancel for any reason

Travel insurance policies typically have strict rules, but a cancel-for-any-reason (CFAR) option offers more leeway, allowing you to cancel for reasons not covered in the original policy.

But with CFAR benefits, you might only get a partial refund amount. Reimbursements usually range from 50% to 75% of the total price. [2]

Medical coverage for COVID-19

If your health insurance is only valid in a specific area and doesn’t cover international travel, travel insurance with medical expenses coverage can fill the gap.

If medical insurance is included in your trip policy, it can help pay for medical attention and treatment costs if you, a family member, or another traveling companion becomes ill from COVID-19 before or during your trip.

Will travel insurance cover you if you need to quarantine?

Some travel protection plans cover quarantine or self-isolation due to COVID-19 concerns. It can reimburse you for lost prepaid expenses and cover additional lodging and meal costs. However, it depends on your policy and the conditions leading to the cancellation, delay, or disruption.

Protection often hinges on two factors:

Not all travel insurance plans include a pandemic as a covered reason. If COVID-19 was a significant public concern when you purchased the policy, insurers may not provide coverage because it’s a “foreseeable” threat. But some plans let you add COVID-19 coverage as an endorsement.

Even if you set out to buy COVID-19 travel insurance, it may not be available for your plan or location. Review your benefits and endorsement options to look for “pandemic” or “epidemic-related” language to see if COVID-19 is a covered event.

Is travel insurance worth it?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared the COVID-19 public health emergency over in May 2023, but there’s still a risk of infection, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). [3] [4]

Your credit card’s travel protections are worth considering, but you may not want to rely on that alone. Credit cards often limit travel coverage, and most companies don’t include trip cancellation coverage. [5]

Travel delay benefits can fill the gap — especially benefits with COVID-19 coverage. Compare the policy cost against the potential loss if you have to cancel or delay your trip to determine if it’s worth it. The up-front payment for travel insurance is typically a fraction of what you might spend out of pocket if plans go south.

The CDC reports that medical bills in the first six months of a COVID-19 diagnosis average nearly $8,400. [6] Factor in non-refundable trip costs, accommodation charges, and other miscellaneous expenses, and the expenses can skyrocket.

How to find the best travel insurance

If you’re concerned about the pandemic and the potential effects on your travels, here are some tips to help you secure a policy with the best travel insurance plan:

Research coverage and services

Compare multiple companies and policies and read reviews to see others’ experiences.

Check for pandemic coverage

Not all policies cover travel disruptions from COVID-19. Review your coverage to make sure it specifically addresses pandemic reasons.

Buy medical coverage

Travel policies don’t automatically include medical emergencies. Consider adding medical travel insurance, and ask about emergency assistance coverage and medical evacuation in case of a natural disaster.

Consider a cancel-for-any-reason insurance policy

CFAR policies can be beneficial, especially with unpredictable pandemic-related concerns and travel restrictions.

Understand refund policies

Read the fine print and policy information to verify how the insurer handles refunds. Some policies might offer partial refunds.

COVID travel insurance FAQs

The COVID-19 virus has made travel plans tricky. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a month-long vacation, here’s what you need to know about COVID-19 travel insurance.

Will travel insurance cover COVID cancellations?

It depends. Standard travel insurance policies don’t cover COVID-19 or other pandemic-related reasons, but some travel insurance companies offer specialty COVID-19 coverage against the virus’ potential interference. If you cancel your trip due to the virus, a COVID travel insurance policy may provide refunds or reimbursements for your expenses.

Do you get your travel insurance premium refunded if you cancel your trip?

Travel insurance offers varying refund policies depending on the travel insurance company, but it doesn’t refund your premium. Instead, coverage can reimburse you for prepaid trip costs, meals, hotel rooms, or cab rides because of the interruption.

Will travel insurance cover quarantine outside the U.S.?

It’s possible. Travel insurance policies may cover quarantine or self-isolation expenses outside the United States due to COVID-19 concerns. However, coverage depends on your specific policy and the circumstances leading to the quarantine. It’s crucial to review the specific details and look for “pandemic” or “epidemic-related” language to ensure coverage.

How does COVID travel insurance differ from regular travel insurance?

Regular travel insurance often covers typical trip cancellations, interruptions, or delays. However, many don’t address pandemic-related disruptions. COVID travel insurance provides specialized coverage for travel hiccups related to the virus, ensuring you’re shielded financially if COVID-19 affects your journey.

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The best Covid-19 travel insurance companies to protect yourself against the uptick in cases

Travel insurance can help if you have to cancel or cut a trip short due to covid..

thumbnail

Though the height of the pandemic may have passed, Covid-19 continues to be a consideration in everyday life. And that's especially true for those who are traveling or booking a trip.  

Getting sick on the road or having to cancel your vacation because of illness is a common concern. However, travel insurance can help you ensure you're covered. Many travel insurance policies consider Covid like they would any other illness, but not all. So, you'll still want to carefully read any travel insurance policy you're considering to make sure Covid isn't excluded. For the most comprehensive coverage, you'll want to opt for a plan with cancel for any reason (CFAR) coverage.

To find the travel insurance policies best suited to handle Covid-related issues, CNBC Select looked at Covid coverage and limits for medical coverage and evacuation, among other factors. We found four standouts for the best Covid travel insurance policies. (See our methodology to learn more about how we created this list.)

Best Covid-19 travel insurance   

  • Best overall : AXA Travel Insurance  
  • Runner up : Nationwide Travel Insurance
  • Best for luxury travel : Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection  
  • Best for cancel for any reason coverage : Allianz Travel Insurance  

Best overall  

Axa assistance usa travel insurance.

The best way to estimate your costs is to request a quote

Policy highlights

AXA Assistance USA offers several travel insurance policies that include travel interruption, trip cancellation, and the option of cancel for any reason (CFAR) coverage.

24/7 assistance available

  • Three tiers of plans available
  • Highly rated for financial strength
  • Cancel for any reason only available on highest-tier coverage

Who's this for?  AXA Travel Insurance is ideal for those seeking high coverage limits for emergency accident and sickness medical expenses, as well as emergency evacuations.

Standout benefits:  AXA's silver plan offers up to $25,000 of medical emergency accident and illness coverage and $100,000 of emergency evacuation coverage, higher than many of the base travel plans we compared. The company's gold and platinum plans offer higher limits, up to $250,000 of medical emergency coverage and $1 million of evacuation coverage. When comparing AXA policies, make sure you have the "Epidemic Coverage Endorsement" included.

[ Jump to more details ]  

Runner up   

Nationwide travel insurance.

Nationwide's wide coverage for travel insurance allows many different types of travelers to find coverage that fits their needs. Three levels of cruise insurance coverage gives extra options to cruise passengers.

  • 10-day review period on cruise insurance policies to make sure the plan meets your needs (not available in NY or WA)
  • Most basic cruise plan doesn't offer CFAR coverage

Who's this for?  Nationwide's travel insurance offers higher limits than many other base plans we reviewed, with limits of $75,000 for medical coverage and $250,000 of emergency evacuation coverage in its essential plan.  

Standout benefits:  Nationwide offers several plans tailored to different needs, including a cruise-specific travel insurance plan and an annual plan for frequent travelers.  

Best for luxury travel 

Berkshire hathaway travel protection.

Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection has multiple plans to cover vacations from luxury travel to adventure travel. The brand's LuxuryCare offers the highest limits of travel insurance coverage offered by the company. Quotes and policies are available online.

  • Wide variety of policies available
  • Strong financial strength rating by AM Best
  • Cancel for any reason only provides reimbursement for up to 50% of non-refundable trip payments

Who's this for? Those considering expensive travel can find sufficient coverage with Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection that meets a variety of needs, including coverage for Covid if needed. 

Standout benefits:  Berkshire Hathaway's top-tier LuxuryCare Travel Insurance includes coverage for up to 150% of the trip cost for trip interruption coverage and $100,000 of medical expense coverage.  

Best for cancel for any reason coverage 

Allianz travel insurance.

10 travel insurance plans make it possible to customize your coverage. For families, Allianz's OneTrip Prime package covers children age 17 and younger when traveling with a parent or grandparent.

  • Trip cancellation benefits can reimburse your prepaid, nonrefundable trip payments if you have to cancel your trip for one of the covered reasons stated in your plan documents. 
  • Limited coverage for risky sports

Who's this for?  For those wanting the option to cancel for any reason (CFAR), Allianz Travel Insurance plans offer lots of different options, including CFAR add-ons.  

Standout benefits:  Allianz's Cancel Anytime upgrade can reimburse up to 80% of non-refundable trip costs for almost any unforeseeable reason not already covered by the policy. That's higher than most other CFAR coverage, which generally covers 70% to 75% of non-refundable trip costs. It's only available on the brand's OneTrip Prime and OneTrip Premier policies.  

More on our top Covid travel insurance companies 

Axa travel insurance  .

AXA offers three travel insurance plans starting at $16. Its silver plan, the lowest tier of coverage, offers high limits for emergency medical expenses at $25,000 and up to 100% of trip costs for trip interruption coverage. Many policies now include epidemic-related covered reasons.

CFAR coverage available?    

Yes, up to 75% of prepaid, nonrefundable trip costs 

24/7 assistance?   

[ Return to summary ]

Nationwide Travel Insurance 

Nationwide offers travel insurance plans for single trips, multi-trips and cruise-specific plans. The company has an A+ rating for financial strength from rating agency AM Best, and its most basic single trip and cruise plans offer a high limit of $75,000 of medical coverage.  

Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection  

Berkshire Hathaway's travel coverage can be tailored towards the specific needs of cruise and luxury travelers, with options for higher coverage limits for medical coverage and trip interruption benefits.  

Yes, up to 50% of prepaid, nonrefundable trip costs 

Allianz Travel Insurance 

Allianz Travel Insurance stands out for those who want cancel for any reason coverage, as the percentage reimbursed is higher than other travel insurance providers we reviewed. For traveling families, the company's OneTrip Prime plan also offers free coverage for children ages 17 and younger with a parent's coverage.  

Yes, up to 80% of prepaid, nonrefundable trip costs through the optional Cancel Anytime upgrade 

Does travel insurance cover Covid?  

Travel insurance generally covers Covid-19 as it would any other illness. While fear of catching an illness isn't a cause for cancellation under most policies without a cancel for any reason (CFAR) add-on, being diagnosed with Covid-19 right before or during your trip could qualify you for cancellation, interruption or travel delay coverage.

As with any insurance coverage you're considering, read your travel insurance policy carefully to understand what it does and doesn't cover.  

What does travel insurance cover?  

Travel insurance can cover your trip expenses if you're unable to go due to an unforeseen, covered reason or face an illness or injury during your trip. It can also help in the event that you lose your bags or face delays in your itinerary. 

Bottom line  

If you find yourself coming down with Covid before or during a trip, travel insurance could help you recoup funds from a lost trip or cover medical bills while you're abroad. Look for a travel insurance plan with strong medical coverage and flexible cancellation options. 

Money matters — so make the most of it. Get expert tips, strategies, news and everything else you need to maximize your money, right to your inbox.  Sign up here .

Why trust CNBC Select? 

At CNBC Select, our mission is to provide our readers with high-quality service journalism and comprehensive consumer advice so they can make informed decisions with their money. Every travel insurance   review is based on rigorous reporting by our team of expert writers and editors with extensive knowledge of travel insurance   products .  To research the best travel insurance companies, we compiled over 100 data points on more than a dozen travel insurance companies. While CNBC Select earns a commission from affiliate partners on many offers and links, we create all our content without input from our commercial team or any outside third parties, and we pride ourselves on our journalistic standards and ethics. See  our methodology  for more information on how we choose the best travel insurance.

Our methodology  

To determine the best Covid-19 travel insurance companies, CNBC Select analyzed dozens of travel insurance companies and compared them based on their Covid policies, and medical and evacuation coverage limits. 

While narrowing down the best travel insurance companies, we focused on Covid-19 coverage, availability of cancel for any reason coverage, and the limits of emergency medical coverage and emergency medical evacuation coverage. We also considered factors like whether 24-hour assistance was available, Better Business Bureau ratings, and financial strength ratings from AM Best .

Note that the premiums and policy structures advertised for travel insurance companies are subject to fluctuate in accordance with the company's policies.  

Catch up on CNBC Select's in-depth coverage of credit cards , banking and money , and follow us on TikTok , Facebook , Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date.  

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Is There Travel Insurance That Covers COVID Quarantine?

Carissa Rawson

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 .

We get it — traveling these days can be an uncomfortable experience. In the ever-changing world of COVID-19 variants, border restrictions and PCR tests, learning how to stay protected is important.

Travel insurance can insure you against a variety of complications during travel, including trip delay, trip cancellation and medical issues. But not all policies are the same, and coverage can vary not only across providers, but across policies themselves.

Let’s take a look at travel insurance that covers COVID-19 quarantine, plus the best COVID-19 travel insurance.

What does travel insurance usually cover?

Travel insurance can provide peace of mind on vacation, especially when things go awry. There are varying types and levels of coverage for travel insurance, though these are common inclusions for travel insurance policies:

Trip cancellation insurance.

Trip interruption insurance.

Trip delay insurance.

24-hour hotline assistance.

Emergency medical insurance.

Primary/secondary medical insurance.

Lost or delayed baggage insurance.

Rental car insurance.

There's a lot of variety when it comes to travel insurance and the types of incidents it’ll cover. The cost of your premium will vary according to the plan you select.

Cancel for Any Reason insurance allows you to cancel your trip and recoup your costs, no matter why you’ve chosen to cancel.

Before buying travel insurance, check to see if any of your credit cards offer trip insurance . Some travel credit cards offer this insurance free of charge when you use your card to pay.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card , for example, provides primary rental car insurance when you charge the car to your card.

The Platinum Card® from American Express , meanwhile, will cover trip cancellation, trip delay and lost luggage insurance. Terms apply.

There are no credit cards whose benefits include medical insurance. You’ll want to read the terms carefully to be sure that any travel insurance you purchase covers instances of COVID-19.

» Learn more: Will my travel insurance cover coronavirus?

Finding insurance that covers COVID quarantine

In the beginning of the pandemic, many insurance policies covered losses related to COVID-19, including trip cancellation and medical issues.

Since then, some providers have chosen to exclude coverage for coronavirus-related issues. So you’ll need to search specifically for an insurance policy that covers COVID-19.

Fortunately, there are still insurance providers that’ll provide coverage in the event you’re affected by COVID-19, including:

Trip cancellation.

Trip delay.

Medical care/hospitalization.

Quarantine.

Several countries — like Thailand — actually require that you purchase this insurance before traveling.

If you already have an insurance provider in mind, take a look at their coverage options — and any available add-ons — to see if COVID-19 quarantines are covered.

» Learn more: The best travel insurance companies

If you aren’t already committed to an insurance company, sites such as SquareMouth, a NerdWallet partner, will allow you to search for and compare policy coverage from multiple companies at once.

You’ll be asked to provide a variety of information, such as your destination, dates of travel, age, and whether you’d like to be reimbursed for cancellations.

travel insurance inc covid

SquareMouth’s search also includes the ability to filter search results so you’ll only see policies with COVID-19 protections.

Once you’ve found a provider whose policy includes COVID-19 coverage, you’ll want to make certain that quarantine will also be reimbursed. Reading the policy in full will tell you; it can look something like this:

travel insurance inc covid

» Learn more: What to know before buying travel insurance

How much will COVID quarantine travel insurance cost?

The price of travel insurance is going to depend on many factors, including the length of your trip, your age, your destination and your coverage limits.

As you’d expect, the more comprehensive your coverage and the higher your limits, the more expensive your policy will be. The same is true if you’re heading out of the country for an extended period of time.

When comparing insurance policies, you’ll want to think about coverage limits as well as whether the insurance will provide primary or secondary coverage. Compare these factors against other policies to see which policy is the right fit for you.

Here’s a comparison between two different policies. Although neither of these requires a deductible, one of these is secondary (it pays out after other insurance) and caps out at $15,000 per person in emergency medical expenses.

The other is primary (it pays out before other insurance policies) and covers up to $100,000 per person in emergency medical expenses:

travel insurance inc covid

While $15,000 may seem like a lot of money, remember that this total includes all doctor visits, tests and medications — in addition to the cost of your quarantine stay.

If you’re staying somewhere expensive, those costs can quickly add up.

Although some communities, such as New York City, may provide cost-free isolation accommodation, others will leave you to fend for yourself.

Even if staying in a moderately priced hotel, five to 10 days (or more) of isolation can quickly run into the thousands of dollars. You’ll want to be sure your insurance policy can cover this.

» Learn more: Does travel insurance cover COVID-19?

Final thoughts on travel insurance that covers COVID quarantine

Although the world is still trying to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be looking to get out and travel again. Being protected in the event something happens can give you peace of mind when away from home.

This is especially true when it comes to mandatory COVID-19 quarantine, when costs can easily pile up. Acquiring travel insurance with COVID-19 quarantine protection can save you — and your wallet — in case of an emergency.

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℠.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

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.

travel insurance inc covid

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

Oct 26, 2021 • 5 min read

couple discussing over travel insurance and bills while using laptop at table.

COVID-19 has made it more important to check the health coverage on your travel insurance © Maskot/Getty Images

After 18 months of pandemic-related travel restrictions, you may be itching to act on your pent-up wanderlust⁠⁠—but the situation and the rules are still continuously evolving. So before you go anywhere, it’s best to have a travel insurance plan that protects the investment you’ve made in a long-awaited trip.

A robust travel insurance plan will reimburse pre-paid trip costs and non-refundable deposits if you have to cancel or interrupt your trip, encounter trip delays, experience baggage loss or require medical expense and medical evacuation. Your policy will also reimburse “covered reasons” in your plan, such as death, illness or injury, serious family emergencies, unplanned jury duty, military deployment, acts of terrorism, or your travel supplier going out of business.

But COVID-19 has added an additional checklist to your usual insurance needs⁠—it’s now important to check to ensure your travel insurance plan includes coverage for COVID-19 medical expenses, and losses related to illness. Your policy should also cover quarantine costs if you need to self-isolate after testing positive for the virus.

What do I look for in COVID-19 insurance coverage?

When you’re shopping for a travel insurance plan that covers COVID-19, you need to do your research and read the fine print of your plan. 

Look for a travel insurance product that will protect your non-refundable, prepaid expenses if you have to cancel your trip due to illness caused by COVID-19. Your policy should also cover emergency medical treatment and emergency medical transportation. With regard to COVID-19 coverage, be sure your policy covers medical care, medicine, hospitalization and quarantine expenses.

“The type of coverage you should look for depends on you, your needs, travel dates, and the type of trip you’re taking,” says Sasha Gainullin, CEO of battleface , a travel insurance carrier. He says some travel insurance companies have now excluded COVID-19 coverage because it has been labeled a “known/foreseeable event”, while others may exclude pandemics altogether.

“It’s important to search for plans that include medical and quarantine expenses as well⁠—this will be critical in the event you become ill and need to receive treatment while traveling,” continues Gainullin. 

One additional tip is to confirm there are no exclusions based on the destinations you’re traveling to⁠—this can happen with countries under government-issued travel warnings, Gainullin says.

“If a traveler feels uncertain, I recommend speaking with the travel insurance company directly. They can review the policy details with you, answer all of your questions, and confirm all of your required coverage options are included,” he adds.

Is getting coverage dependent on vaccination?

While it’s a good idea to be fully vaccinated before traveling, vaccination is not required to purchase a travel insurance policy, says Daniel Durazo, spokesperson with Allianz Partners USA.

What are the medical costs that are covered by travel insurance?

Travel insurance can cover the cost of both medical treatment and emergency medical transportation. A US health insurance plan, as well as Medicare, generally will not cover overseas medical expenses, so it’s best to check with your personal health insurance provider if any global coverage is available. 

“While losing the cost of a trip due to an unexpected cancellation would be painful, paying for expensive emergency medical treatment or emergency medical transportation can be financially devastating,” Durazo says.  

Under a travel insurance plan, medical costs could range doctor visits, pharmacy expenses, imaging costs and covering a hospital stay if required. Other expenses that can be covered are transportation to medical care and medicine.

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

What about covering an unexpected quarantine due to COVID-19?

Many international destinations are now requiring that visitors purchase travel insurance coverage for an unexpected quarantine. Allianz Travel Insurance has added coverage to many of its products that includes reimbursement for quarantine-related accommodations if you or a traveling companion is individually-ordered to quarantine while on their trip, says Durazo. 

This coverage typically covers the cost of additional food, lodging and transportation while quarantined. In addition, trip interruption and travel delay benefits on certain Allianz plans also provide coverage if you or your travel companion is denied boarding by your travel carrier due to suspicion of illness.

The benefits for quarantine coverage vary from carrier to carrier. For example, on select Trawick International plans, they offer $2,000 in quarantine benefits and for an additional charge, and you can increase it up to $7,000. 

What about pre-flight COVID-19 testing?

Your plan may provide coverage for flights if you are turned away at a border for not passing a health inspection. Foster says Trawick’s travel insurance plans that cover COVID-19 would cover the expenses if you could not pass your pre-health inspection.  Also, the plan would cover the costs of the failure of your PCR test to return to the United States, such as having to quarantine abroad. 

Doctor in protective workwear taking nose swab test from young woman.

It’s important to note that the actual cost of the PCR test is not covered by your policy, just the loss associated with the negative test.

Read more:  PCR tests for travel: everything you need to know

Some destinations require COVID-specific insurance coverage⁠—how do I comply with those restrictions? 

Before any international travel, you should check the country where you are headed to make sure you comply with insurance coverage requirements. Countries like Spain, Turks and Caicos and Thailand are among the nations that mandate COVID-19 insurance coverage.

“You first must check the countries’ specific COVID regulations for entry into the country. Some countries require travelers to provide proof of travel insurance that covers COVID-19 related expenses purchased from a third party,” explains Foster. Providing proof coverage is key; so travelers need to ensure they receive documentation from their insurance provider that their policy covers COVID-19 related expenses to show customs officials, she says.

Should you arrive in a country that requires proof of insurance to cover COVID-19 medical expenses and quarantine costs, and you don’t hold a policy, you will not be granted entry.

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

You may also like:  What happens if I'm denied entry to a country on arrival? What is a vaccine passport and do I need one to travel? What is the IATA Travel Pass and do I need it to travel?

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June 1, 2020

Due to travel restrictions, plans are only available with travel dates on or after

Due to travel restrictions, plans are only available with effective start dates on or after

Ukraine; Belarus; Moldova, Republic of; North Korea, Democratic People's Rep; Russia; Israel

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UPDATED APRIL 6, 2022

The information in this FAQ is current as of the time of publication but is subject to change .  Please see our Coverage Alert for the latest coverage information.  The information in this FAQ is intended to provide general information only and is not a coverage determination in any respect on any claim.  All claims are evaluated under the terms, conditions, and exclusions of the plan purchased based on the particular facts and circumstance of that claim.  The below FAQ responses address only losses incurred on or after the publication date of these FAQs . If a loss was incurred prior to that date, these responses may not apply to you or may vary. Please contact us at the number listed on your plan with any questions about coverage or to file a claim.

For customers purchasing a new travel protection plan, some of our plans now include an Epidemic Coverage Endorsement, which adds epidemic-related covered reasons for certain benefits. Benefits vary by plan and by state of residence, and are not available in all jurisdictions.

Please read your plan documents to see if the Epidemic Coverage Endorsement is included in your plan. We are also offering certain temporary accommodations as described in our COVID-19 coverage alert .

For frequently asked questions regarding details of the Epidemic Coverage Endorsement, see below section on “Epidemic Coverage Endorsement.”

General COVID-19

+ - i am worried about covid-19 impacting a trip i have scheduled or plan to schedule. should i buy an allianz travel protection plan to cover me in case covid-19 impacts my trip.

COVID-19 is a known and evolving epidemic that is impacting travel worldwide, with continued spread and impacts expected.  Our travel protection plans do not generally cover losses directly or indirectly related to known, foreseeable, or expected events, epidemics, government prohibitions, warnings, or travel advisories, or fear of travel.

However, we are pleased to announce the introduction of our Epidemic Coverage Endorsement to certain plans purchased on or after March 6, 2021.  This endorsement adds certain new covered reasons related to epidemics (including COVID-19) to some of our most popular insurance plans.  Please see the below FAQ section on “Epidemic Coverage Endorsement” for more information.  Note, the Epidemic Coverage Endorsement may not be available for all plans or in all jurisdictions.  To see if your plan includes this endorsement, please look for “Epidemic Coverage Endorsement” on your Declarations of Coverage or Letter of Confirmation.

Additionally, in response to the ongoing public health and travel crisis, we are temporarily extending certain claims accommodations as follows*:

1. For plans that do not include the Epidemic Coverage Endorsement, we are temporarily accommodating claims for the following:

  • Emergency medical care for an insured who becomes ill with COVID-19 while on their trip (if your plan includes the Emergency Medical Care benefit)
  • Trip cancellation and trip interruption if an insured, or that insured’s traveling companion or family member, becomes ill with COVID-19 either before or during the insured’s trip (if your plan includes Trip Cancellation or Trip Interruption benefits, as applicable)

2. If an insured or their traveling companion become ill with COVID-19 while on their trip, that insured will not be subject to the Trip Interruption benefit’s five-day maximum limit for additional accommodation and transportation expenses (however, the maximum daily limit for such expenses and the maximum Trip Interruption benefit limit still apply).

These temporary accommodations are strictly applicable to COVID-19 and are only available to customers whose plan includes the applicable benefit.  These accommodations apply to plans currently in effect but may not apply to plans purchased in the future, so please refer to our  Coverage Alert  for the most up to date information before purchasing.

+ - Am I covered if I want to cancel my travel plans because I’m afraid to travel due to COVID-19?

No, canceling a trip because you’re afraid to travel due to COVID-19 is generally not covered by our travel protection plans.

However, if you’re concerned about traveling during this time, many airlines and other travel suppliers are allowing their customers to change the dates of their travel without change fees. If you change your trip’s dates, we are happy to allow you to move your plan coverage dates to cover a new or rescheduled trip, so long as that trip is scheduled to be completed within 770 days from the plan’s original purchase date.* For terms and details, please see the below FAQ on changing your travel protection plan’s effective dates .

This temporary accommodation is strictly applicable to COVID-19.  This accommodation applies to plans currently in effect but may not apply to plans purchased in the future, so please refer to our  Coverage Alert  for the most up to date information before purchasing.

+ - Am I covered if I cancel or interrupt my trip due to COVID-19?

Claims due to known, foreseeable, or expected events, epidemics, government prohibitions, warnings, or travel advisories or fear of travel are generally not covered.  As such, our travel insurance plans do not generally cover trip cancellations or interruptions directly or indirectly related to COVID-19. 

However, we are pleased to announce the introduction of our Epidemic Coverage Endorsement to certain plans purchased on or after March 6, 2021.  This endorsement adds certain new covered reasons related to epidemics (including COVID-19) to some of our most popular insurance plans. Please see the below FAQ section on “Epidemic Coverage Endorsement” for more information.  Note, the Epidemic Coverage Endorsement may not be available for all plans or in all jurisdictions.  To see if your plan includes this endorsement, please look for “Epidemic Coverage Endorsement” on your Declarations of Coverage or Letter of Confirmation.

+ - What if my travel supplier (e.g. airline, cruise line, tour operator, etc.) cancels a portion or all of my trip due to COVID-19?

Travel supplier cancellations due to COVID-19 are generally not covered under our travel protection plans. However, if your supplier cancels your trip, you may be eligible for a refund directly from your supplier, and we encourage you to contact them for assistance.

If you have rescheduled your trip or rebooked a new trip, we are happy to allow you to move your plan coverage dates to cover a new or rescheduled trip, so long as that trip is scheduled to be completed within 770 days from the plan’s original purchase date.*  For terms and details, please see the below FAQ on changing your travel protection plan’s effective dates .

Alternatively, if your travel supplier has canceled your trip due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for a refund of the cost of your travel protection plan.*  For terms and details, please see the below FAQ on canceling your plan .

These temporary accommodations are strictly applicable to COVID-19.  These accommodations apply to plans currently in effect but may not apply to plans purchased in the future, so please refer to our  Coverage Alert  for the most up to date information before purchasing.

+ - Am I covered if I cancel my travel plans because of a travel ban or other government-imposed restriction on travel related to COVID-19?

No, canceling a trip because of a travel ban or other government-imposed restriction on travel directly or indirectly related to COVID-19 is generally not covered by our travel protection plans.

Please note, many airlines and other travel suppliers are allowing their customers to change the dates of their travel without change fees.  If you change your trip’s dates, we are happy to allow you to move your plan coverage dates to cover a new or rescheduled trip, so long as that trip is scheduled to be completed within 770 days from the plan’s original purchase date.* For terms and details, please see the below FAQ on changing your travel protection plan’s effective dates .

Alternatively, if your travel supplier has canceled your trip due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for a refund of the cost of your travel protection plan.* For terms and details, please see the below FAQ on canceling your plan .

+ - How do I know if COVID-19 testing and/or vaccination is required for my destination?

Check our interactive map for the latest information on travel requirements and entry restrictions for international destinations, including COVID-19 testing, vaccination policies, necessary travel documents and quarantine periods. (Content is provided by Sherpa, an affiliated third party).

Please keep in mind that travel restrictions change often, so you should check the travel requirements again before you leave for your trip.

+ - What should I do if my destination requires proof of travel insurance that covers COVID-19?

If your destination requires proof of travel insurance, we're happy to provide a summary letter that describes your travel insurance plan benefits, also called Proof of Insurance. Click here to request Proof of Insurance (please allow approximately 48 hours for a response).

If you’re not sure whether the information provided in the Proof of Insurance satisfies the requirements of your destination country, we recommend that you or your travel advisor contact the nearest embassy or consulate of that country to confirm.

+ - Can travel insurance cover trip cancellation or interruption if I don't meet the COVID-19 entry requirements for my destination?

Failing to meet a country’s entry requirements, whether for COVID-19 or any other reason, is not a covered reason for trip cancellation or interruption. It’s the responsibility of the traveler to check international entry requirements before booking a trip.

Before you book, and before you travel, use our interactive map to see current information on travel requirements and entry restrictions for international destinations, including COVID-19 testing, vaccination policies, necessary travel documents and quarantine periods. (Content is provided by Sherpa, an affiliated third party).

+ - I have an upcoming trip to an area with reported cases of COVID-19. Will I be covered if I cancel my trip?

No, canceling a trip because of an area being affected by COVID-19 is generally not covered by our travel protection plans.

+ - Am I covered if I cancel or interrupt my trip because the government has issued a travel advisory or warning for my destination due to COVID-19?

Our plans do not generally cover losses directly or indirectly resulting from government-issued travel advisories or warnings related to COVID-19, including those issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Department of State.

However, as a temporary accommodation, please note that the accommodations and other coverage for which you are otherwise eligible under your plan continue to apply regardless of any U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Department of State travel alerts regarding COVID-19 that exist on the effective date of our COVID-19 Coverage Alert . For the latest information and updates, please see our COVID-19 Coverage Alert .

+ - Can I cancel my travel protection plan and get the cost of my travel protection plan refunded?

You may be eligible to cancel your plan and receive a refund of your plan cost in the following situations:

  • You generally have 15 days (or more, depending on your plan and state of residence) from the date your plan was purchased to request a refund of the cost of your plan, provided you have not started your trip or initiated a claim. Please note, plan refund rules vary by state and plan purchased, so please see your plan for details.
  • Additionally, for a temporary period, we are offering refunds for the cost of your single-trip travel protection plan if your travel supplier cancels your trip due to COVID-19, as long as no payable claim has been filed under the plan. (This is not available for annual travel insurance plans, which may be canceled any time for a refund of unearned premium.) Refunds must be requested within 770 days of the original plan purchase date.*

To cancel your plan for one of these situations, please call us at the number listed on your plan. 

Unless earlier canceled or otherwise ended in accordance with its terms or the accommodations stated here, plans end 770 days after the original plan purchase date.  Plans do not provide any coverage or accommodation for any loss incurred after the plan ends.

+ - If I rebook my trip to a later date, can I change my travel protection plan’s effective dates to cover the rebooked trip?

Yes, you may change your travel protection plan’s effective dates to cover a new or rescheduled trip, as long as that trip is scheduled to be completed within 770 days from the plan’s original purchase date.  Changes can be made at www.allianztravelinsurance.com or by calling the phone number on your plan. 

Please note, if you wish to move your plan’s covered trip dates to cover a new or rescheduled trip, you must update your trip dates prior to the departure date of that new or rescheduled trip and prior to any loss for which you seek coverage.*  Additionally, if your trip costs for your new or rescheduled trip are different than the cost of your original trip, you will need to update your plan’s coverage limits accordingly.  Any change in trip cost insured for the new or rescheduled trip may result in a change in premium.  If you update your plan’s trip dates to cover a new or rescheduled trip but do not adjust your limits, the original plan limits will apply to the new or rescheduled trip.

+ - What are your temporary accommodations for COVID-19?

To learn more about the temporary, specific accommodations we are currently offering, please read our Coverage Alert .  These accommodations apply to plans currently in effect but may not apply to plans purchased in the future, so please refer to our  Coverage Alert  for the most up to date information before purchasing.

+ - Am I covered for trip cancellation due to COVID-19 if I have a Cancel Anytime plan?

Our Cancel Anytime plans provide up to 100% reimbursement of non-refundable, pre-paid trip costs when a trip is canceled for a covered reason, and up to 80% of those costs for most other unforeseen reasons for cancellation. However, our plans do not provide “Cancel For Any Reason” coverage, and coverage under these plans is subject to terms, conditions, and exclusions. Specifically, Cancel Anytime plans generally exclude coverage for losses directly or indirectly resulting from any of the following: known, foreseeable, or expected events, epidemics, and government prohibitions, and certain other causes of loss. As such, losses directly or indirectly resulting from COVID-19 are not generally covered under our Cancel Anytime plans.

However, we are pleased to announce the introduction of our Epidemic Coverage Endorsement to certain plans purchased on or after March 6, 2021.  This endorsement adds certain new covered reasons related to epidemics (including COVID-19) to some of our most popular insurance plans.  Please see the below FAQ section on “Epidemic Coverage Endorsement” for more information.  Note, the Epidemic Coverage Endorsement may not be available for all plans or in all jurisdictions.  To see if your plan includes this endorsement, please look for “Epidemic Coverage Endorsement” on your Declarations of Coverage or Letter of Confirmation.

+ - Am I covered if I need emergency medical care because I become ill with COVID-19 while on my trip?

Claims due to known, foreseeable, or expected events, epidemics, government prohibitions, warnings, or travel advisories or fear of travel are generally not covered.  As such, our travel insurance plans do not generally cover medical claims directly or indirectly related to COVID-19. 

However, we are pleased to announce the introduction of our Epidemic Coverage Endorsement to certain plans purchased on or after March 6, 2021.  This endorsement adds certain new covered reasons related to epidemics (including COVID-19), including related to emergency medical care if you or a traveling companion become ill with COVID-19 while on your trip, to some of our most popular insurance plans. Please see the below FAQ section on “Epidemic Coverage Endorsement” for more information.  Note, the Epidemic Coverage Endorsement may not be available for all plans or in all jurisdictions.  To see if your plan includes this endorsement, please look for “Epidemic Coverage Endorsement” on your Declarations of Coverage or Letter of Confirmation.

Please note, the above applies to emergency medical care for insured individuals who become ill with COVID-19 while traveling.  For the elimination of doubt, we do not provide coverage or reimbursement for the cost of COVID-19 testing required for travel, the cost of COVID-19 vaccination, or any other such expenses.

We urge any customer who has a medical issue while traveling or needs help to call us.  We are assisting customers 24/7/365 who wish to change their travel plans, need travel assistance, or would like to file a claim.  Our assistance team is ready to help all of our customers who need help while traveling, such as locating medical facilities or rebooking transportation.  You can also use our self-service options on this website. We review every claim based on its unique facts and circumstances and are happy to answer any questions you may have.

+ - Is a “long-haul” or an ongoing or active case of COVID-19 considered a pre-existing medical condition?

Our plans generally define a pre-existing medical condition as an injury, illness, or medical condition that, within the 120 days prior to and including the purchase date of your travel protection plan:

  • Caused a person to seek medical examination, diagnosis, care, or treatment by a doctor;
  • Presented symptoms; or
  • Required a person to take medication prescribed by a doctor (unless the condition or symptoms are controlled by that prescription, and the prescription has not changed).

The illness, injury, or medical condition does not need to be formally diagnosed in order to be considered a pre-existing medical condition.

If your medical documentation indicates that COVID-19 symptoms/treatment were present within the 120 day look-back period prior to your insurance purchase, the condition could fall under the definition of a pre-existing medical condition.

Please note:  Many plans include a Pre-Existing Medical Condition Exclusion Waiver. If your travel insurance plan includes this Waiver, and you meet the conditions of the Waiver, then this exclusion will not apply to your plan.  One of the conditions to qualify for this Waiver is that you must be medically able to travel on the day you purchased your plan.  As such, if you are not medically able to travel on the day you purchase your plan as a result of “long-haul” or an ongoing or active case of COVID-19, you may not be eligible for this Waiver. Please see your plan documents for details, and learn more about pre-existing medical conditions here .

Epidemic Coverage Endorsement

+ - if i was exposed to someone with covid-19, would trip cancellation benefits apply.

Exposure to someone with COVID-19 is not by itself a covered reason under the Trip Cancellation benefit. However, the Trip Cancellation benefit would apply if you or a traveling companion test positive for COVID-19 or you are diagnosed with COVID-19 by your physician. 

The Trip Cancellation benefit would also apply if you or your traveling companion are individually-ordered to quarantine as a result of your exposure. Benefits may not cover the full cost of your quarantine and are subject to applicable benefit limits. For information on what qualifies as an “individually-ordered quarantine,” see the FAQ above on what is meant by individually-ordered quarantine .

For more information, please refer to the Epidemic Coverage Endorsement within your plan details.

Please note, this answer is specific to products that include the Epidemic Coverage Endorsement and applicable benefit(s) and covered reason(s) described. To see if your plan includes this endorsement, please look for “Epidemic Coverage Endorsement” on your Declarations of Coverage or Letter of Confirmation.

+ - What happens when a traveling companion or I become ill with an epidemic disease such as COVID-19 or is ordered to quarantine?

If you or a traveling companion become ill due to an epidemic disease (such as COVID-19) or are individually-ordered to quarantine, these are covered reasons that could trigger Trip Cancellation or Trip interruption benefits for the insured .  Note, the plan only covers expenses of the insured. Expenses of traveling companions are not covered unless they are also an insured under the plan.  Benefits may not cover the full cost of your quarantine and are subject to applicable benefit limits.  For information on what qualifies as an “individually-ordered quarantine,” see the FAQ below on what is meant by individually-ordered quarantine . 

+ - What is meant by “individually ordered” quarantine?

A quarantine is considered “individually ordered” when these conditions, as specified in the plan, are met:

i. The quarantine is specific to you or a traveling companion, meaning that you or a traveling companion must be specifically and individually designated by name in an order or directive to be placed in quarantine due to an epidemic; and

ii. The quarantine does not apply generally or broadly (a) to some segment or all of a population, geographical area, building, or vessel (including without limitation shelter-in-place, stay-at-home, safer-at-home, or other similar restriction), or (b) based on to, from, or through where the person is traveling. This condition (ii) applies even if the quarantine order or directive specifically designates you or a traveling companion by name to be quarantined.

Example 1 : While you are on a cruise, the crew of your cruise ship is checking temperatures of all passengers and you or your traveling companion demonstrate a temperature outside the accepted range, causing you both to be ordered to quarantine while on board. This would qualify as an individually-ordered quarantine.

Example 2 : While you are on a cruise, the crew of your cruise ship is checking temperatures of all passengers. As a result of a passenger (not part of your traveling party) demonstrating a temperature outside the accepted range, all passengers on the ship are ordered to quarantine while on board. Because this quarantine applies generally or broadly to the population of the entire vessel, this would not qualify as an individually-ordered quarantine.

Example 3 : While you are on a cruise, the crew of your cruise ship is conducting random COVID-19 testing of passengers.  A passenger who is not part of your traveling party but with whom you have had close contact tests positive for COVID-19.  As a result, you or your traveling companion are ordered to quarantine while on board.  Other passengers who are not close contacts of the ill passenger are allowed to continue freely moving about the ship as normal.  This would qualify as an individually-ordered quarantine.

Example 4 : You fly to a country that requires all persons entering the country to quarantine for fourteen days prior to being permitted to freely travel in the country.  Because this is a general/broad quarantine that applies based on the country to which you are traveling, this would not qualify as an individually-ordered quarantine.

+ - Will the new Epidemic Coverage Endorsement meet government requirements for my trip?

Travel requirements vary by country and continue to rapidly shift and evolve.  While we continually monitor and adapt our products and services as best as we can to meet these requirements, and our plans offer robust benefits in an effort to provide products that meet our customers’ needs, we cannot guarantee that a plan will meet the need in all situations.

Though it is the insured’s responsibility to comply with the specific country requirements, we can assist in locating this information. Our interactive map shows current information on travel requirements and entry restrictions for international destinations, including COVID-19 testing, vaccination policies, necessary travel documents and quarantine periods. Check your destination’s entry requirements here. (Content is provided by Sherpa, an affiliated third party).

We also can provide a summary letter of travel insurance plan benefits, which we refer to as Proof of Insurance. If your destination requires proof of travel insurance, we're happy to provide a summary letter that describes your travel insurance plan benefits, also called Proof of Insurance. Click here to request Proof of Insurance  (please allow approximately 48 hours for a response).

If it is unclear whether the information provided in the Proof of Insurance satisfies the requirements of the destination country, we recommend that you or your travel advisor contact the nearest embassy or consulate of that country to confirm. To the extent you determine the plan you purchased does not meet your needs, contact us so that we can help you find one that does.

+ - If I’m diagnosed with COVID-19 but I’m asymptomatic, would Trip Cancellation benefits apply?

Even if you or a traveling companion are asymptomatic, proof of a positive COVID-19 test or confirmation of a COVID-19 diagnosis by a doctor would be accepted as verification of illness and may be coverable under Trip Cancellation. For more information, please refer to the Epidemic Coverage Endorsement within your plan details.

+ - Is a positive COVID-19 test administered by someone other than a doctor considered sufficient proof of illness?

To confirm COVID-19 illness, we require a physician's diagnosis or confirmation, or the verified record of a positive molecular (e.g. PCR) or antigen COVID-19 test performed by a third party testing service provider.

+ - Which types of COVID-19 test results can be accepted as proof of illness?

+ - if i believe i’m sick with covid-19 but my test result is negative, how can i show proof of illness.

If you’re sick but test negative for COVID, a doctor must advise you to cancel your trip before you cancel it. If this isn’t possible, a doctor must examine or consult with you within 72 hours after the cancellation to confirm the decision to cancel.

+ - If I’m asymptomatic when I arrive at my destination, and then test positive for COVID-19, would trip interruption benefits apply?

Even if you or a traveling companion are asymptomatic, proof of a positive COVID-19 test would be accepted as verification of illness and may be coverable under Trip Interruption.

Please note, this answer is specific to products that include the Epidemic Coverage Endorsement and applicable benefit(s) and covered reason(s) described. To see if your plan includes this endorsement, please look for “Epidemic Coverage Endorsement” on your Declarations of Coverage or Letter of Confirmation. Coverage is subject to the plan’s terms, conditions, and exclusions.

+ - What happens if I’m denied boarding based on suspicion of COVID-19 illness, but do not test positive and I end up not being ill?

Even if you never test positive or become ill, if you or a traveling companion is denied boarding due to suspicion of COVID-19 illness, and your plan includes the denied boarding covered reason under Trip Interruption or Travel Delay, you may be eligible for coverage under that benefit. The specific expenses that may be covered depends on the benefit and may vary by plan.  Please note, this does not include being denied boarding as a result of your refusal or failure to comply with rules or requirements of entry to your destination.  You may file a claim under multiple benefits, but you may not be paid more than once for the same expense.

+ - If I’m denied boarding due to suspicion of being ill with COVID-19, would travel delay benefits apply?

If you or a traveling companion is denied boarding due to suspicion of COVID-19 illness, and your plan includes the denied boarding covered reason under Trip Interruption or Travel Delay, you may be eligible for coverage under that benefit. The specific expenses that may be covered depends on the benefit and may vary by plan.  Please note, this does not include being denied boarding as a result of your refusal or failure to comply with rules or requirements of entry to your destination.

Example 1 : The crew of your cruise ship is checking temperatures of all passengers prior to allowing them to reboard following a shore excursion.  You or your traveling companion demonstrate a temperature outside the accepted range, causing you both to be denied boarding.  This may qualify for coverage under the denied boarding covered reason.

Example 2 : During the process of reboarding a cruise ship after a shore excursion, you are required to fill out a form indicating whether you have attended any gatherings of 50 or more people while off the ship, which the cruise ship has indicated is prohibited for cruise ship passengers.  However, you did not follow that rule and attended a party with more than 50 people during the shore excursion.  You indicated that on the ship’s form, and as a result, you were not allowed to reboard the ship.  This boarding denial would not qualify for coverage under the denied boarding covered reason because you did not follow the travel supplier’s rules and requirements to travel, an express condition of the denied boarding covered reason.

+ - If I contract COVID-19 after starting my trip and must quarantine, would I qualify for both quarantine and interruption benefits?

Being individually ordered to quarantine while on your trip is a covered reason under the Trip Interruption benefit.  However, “Quarantine” is not itself a benefit under the plan that provides any separate coverage from Trip Interruption. For information on what qualifies as an “individually-ordered quarantine,” see the FAQ above on what is meant by individually-ordered quarantine .

If you or a traveling companion later become ill with COVID-19 while on your trip, in addition to the Trip Interruption, you may also be eligible for other benefits as well, such as Emergency Medical Care and Emergency Transportation benefits. You may file a claim under multiple benefits, but you may not be paid more than once for the same expense.

+ - Do your insurance plans cover the cost of additional accommodations for an individually-ordered quarantine?

If an insured is individually ordered to quarantine while on their trip, they may be eligible for coverage under the Trip Interruption benefit for expenses incurred for additional accommodations while quarantined.  Benefits may not cover the full cost of quarantine and are subject to applicable benefit limits. For information on what qualifies as an “individually-ordered quarantine,” see the FAQ above on what is meant by individually-ordered quarantine .

Additionally, as a temporary accommodation, if you or a traveling companion become ill with COVID-19 while on your trip, you will not be subject to the Trip Interruption benefit’s five-day maximum limit for additional accommodation and transportation expenses (however, the maximum daily limit for such expenses and the maximum Trip Interruption benefit limit still apply).*

This temporary accommodation is strictly applicable to COVID-19 and is only available to customers whose plan includes the Trip Interruption benefit.  This accommodation applies to plans currently in effect but may not apply to plans purchased in the future, so please refer to our  Coverage Alert  for the most up to date information before purchasing.

+ - If I’m diagnosed with COVID-19 and need emergency medical care while traveling, would Emergency Medical Care benefits apply?

If you are diagnosed with an epidemic disease such as COVID-19 or test positive with COVID-19 and require necessary emergency medical care while traveling, then you can be reimbursed for reasonable costs for emergency medical care up to your specific plan’s maximum limit for the Emergency Medical Care benefit. For more information, please refer to the Epidemic Coverage Endorsement within your plan details.

+ - If products including the Epidemic Coverage Endorsement become available in my state before I travel, do I need to buy one of the new products to have any coverage related to COVID-19?

The introduction of the Epidemic Coverage Endorsement does not affect any terms or conditions of existing policies. Accommodations that were applicable to existing policyholders prior to the introduction of the Epidemic Coverage Endorsement products remain applicable to those policyholders, including temporary claims accommodations for customers who become ill with COVID-19. For information on these accommodations, please see our Coverage Alert .

Please note, this answer is specific to products that include the Epidemic Coverage Endorsement and applicable benefit(s) and covered reason(s) described. To see if your plan includes this endorsement, please look for “Epidemic Coverage Endorsement” on your Declarations of Coverage or Letter of Confirmation .

+ - Will your current COVID-19 accommodations be expanded to include the broader coverage that the Epidemic Coverage Endorsement offers?

No, this new coverage is only available under plans containing the Epidemic Coverage Endorsement.  For other plans, our existing temporary accommodations continue to apply, including temporary claims accommodations for customers who become ill with COVID-19.  For information on these accommodations, please see our Coverage Alert .

These accommodations apply to plans currently in effect but may not apply to plans purchased in the future, so please refer to our  Coverage Alert  for the most up to date information before purchasing. 

* - The accommodations described here are strictly applicable to COVID-19 and are only available for customers whose plan includes the applicable benefit.  All other terms, conditions, and exclusions of the plan apply as normal. All plans continue to generally exclude losses for epidemics, including COVID-19, except as expressly covered in that plan’s Epidemic Coverage Endorsement. All benefits are subject to maximum limits of liability, which may in some cases be subject to sublimits, day limits, and daily maximums.  Please read your plan for details.  The above-described accommodations are an explicit and limited expression of donative intent only, which is for only the limited purposes expressly specified here and for no other further purpose, express or implied.  Further, this is expressly not a guarantee of coverage or admission of legal or equitable liability.  Nothing contained or described here, nor any payment made pursuant to the position described here, is or should be construed to be a waiver of any term, condition, or exclusion of any plan, or any applicable rights, remedies, or defenses under any plan or at law or equity.  We and our applicable underwriters and reinsurers reserve all rights, remedies, and defenses under the plan and under applicable law and at equity.  Please note, the above accommodations, refunds, and opportunities to change dates may not apply to any third party travel cancellation fee waiver you purchased from a travel supplier.

For all of the above FAQs :  Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply to all plans. Plans are available only to U.S. residents. Not all plans are available in all jurisdictions. Availability of Epidemic Coverage Endorsement, including specific benefits and covered reasons described here, varies by product and by state. Products may not include all benefits or covered reasons described here.  Benefits may not cover the full cost of your expense or loss.  All benefits are subject to maximum limits of liability, which may in some cases be subject to sublimits and daily maximums.  Benefits and limits vary by plan. Be sure to review your plan carefully to understand what coverage is available and what limits apply to your plan. For a complete description of the coverage and benefit limits offered under your specific plan, carefully review your plan’s Letter of Confirmation/Declaration of Coverage and Certificate of Insurance/Policy. Insurance benefits underwritten by BCS Insurance Company, or Jefferson Insurance Company, depending on your state of residence and plan chosen. Plans only available to U.S. residents and may not be available in all jurisdictions. Allianz Global Assistance and Allianz Travel are marks of AGA Service Company dba Allianz Global Assistance or its affiliates. Allianz Travel, Event Ticket, and Registration insurance products are distributed by Allianz Global Assistance, the licensed producer and administrator of these plans and an affiliate of Jefferson Insurance Company. The insured shall not receive any special benefit or advantage due to the affiliation between Allianz Global Assistance and Jefferson Insurance Company. Plans include insurance benefits and assistance services. Any Non-Insurance Assistance services purchased are provided through Allianz Global Assistance. Any non-insurance travel cancellation fee waiver purchased is provided by the travel supplier from whom you purchased that travel cancellation fee waiver. Except as expressly provided under your plan, you are responsible for charges you incur from third parties.

Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply. Please see your plan for full details. Benefits/Coverage may vary by state, and sublimits may apply.

Allianz - TRIP_logo-50

Insurance benefits underwritten by BCS Insurance Company (OH, Administrative Office: 2 Mid America Plaza, Suite 200, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181), rated “A” (Excellent) by A.M. Best Co., under BCS Form No. 52.201 series or 52.401 series, or Jefferson Insurance Company (NY, Administrative Office: 9950 Mayland Drive, Richmond, VA 23233), rated “A+” (Superior) by A.M. Best Co., under Jefferson Form No. 101-C series or 101-P series, depending on your state of residence and plan chosen. A+ (Superior) and A (Excellent) are the 2nd and 3rd highest, respectively, of A.M. Best's 13 Financial Strength Ratings. Plans only available to U.S. residents and may not be available in all jurisdictions. Allianz Global Assistance and Allianz Travel Insurance are marks of AGA Service Company dba Allianz Global Assistance or its affiliates. Allianz Travel Insurance products are distributed by Allianz Global Assistance, the licensed producer and administrator of these plans and an affiliate of Jefferson Insurance Company. The insured shall not receive any special benefit or advantage due to the affiliation between AGA Service Company and Jefferson Insurance Company. Plans include insurance benefits and assistance services. Any Non-Insurance Assistance services purchased are provided through AGA Service Company. Except as expressly provided under your plan, you are responsible for charges you incur from third parties. Contact AGA Service Company at  800-284-8300 or 9950 Mayland Drive, Richmond, VA 23233 or [email protected] .

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Choose the plan that meets your needs and spend more time enjoying your international experience not worrying about your insurance coverage.

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COVID-19 & The Need for Travel Insurance

itravelinsured product set

Travel Insurance to Protect Your Trip & Your Health

Travel insurance has always been there to protect you and your trip expenses from the unexpected, but the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 truly shed a light on how quickly travel plans can change and how important it is to have the proper coverage in place.

While COVID-19 restrictions, limitations, and requirements differ across the world and can change frequently, having travel insurance that offers protection and treats COVID-19 diagnosis the same as any other illness is essential. What if you test positive for COVID-19 right before your trip? During your trip? What if you have to extend your trip due to quarantine?

If you are looking for a travel protection plan that will cover you in the event a COVID-19 diagnosis disrupts your travel plans, check out IMG's iTravelInsured Travel Series or get a quote today.

Family in masks at airport

Travel Insurance to Meet COVID-19 Concerns

There are several ways a positive COVID-19 test can negatively impact your travel plans both before and during your travels, which makes having a travel protection plan in place critical. IMG's iTravelInsured travel protection plans can provide benefits for trip cancellation, trip interruption, and travel delay specifically caused by a COVID-19 diagnosis and/or a quarantine requirement. Below are some examples that could result in a payable claim due to COVID-19. *

Flight Insurance Benefits

travel insurance inc covid

Getting Sick Before You Leave

Your bags are all packed, you’re ready to go, and even if it isn’t required for your destination, you take a COVID-19 test before leaving for the vacation you’ve been looking forward to for months. When the test comes back positive, you contact your physician and realize you have to cancel your trip. With an iTravelInsured travel insurance plan, you can be reimbursed your prepaid, non-refundable insured trip expenses, up to the maximum benefit amount, as long as a physician determines at the time of cancellation that you are not able to travel due to a COVID-19 diagnosis.

travel insurance inc covid

Your Traveling Companion Gets Sick

What if you are traveling for vacation, to visit loved ones, or for other reasons and the person you are traveling with is the one to test positive for COVID-19? With a travel protection plan, you may have trip cancellation or trip interruption benefits that reimburse you as long as a physician has determined at the time of cancellation/interruption that your traveling companion is not able to travel or continue traveling due to a COVID-19 diagnosis.

travel insurance inc covid

Getting Sick While You’re Traveling

You are a couple of days into a journey across Europe when you wake up one morning with a fever and a dry cough. Because these are both symptoms of COVID-19, you take a COVID-19 test which comes back positive. Thankfully, you purchased a plan with trip interruption benefits prior to leaving for your trip, which means you can be reimbursed for your unused, prepaid payments or deposits for the travel arrangements made for your trip, plus the additional transportation cost paid, if a physician determines at the time of interruption that you are not able to continue traveling due to a COVID-19 diagnosis.

travel insurance inc covid

You Have to Quarantine While Traveling

If you test positive for COVID-19 while traveling, it’s bad enough that your trip plans have been ruined, but you may be required to quarantine past the day you expected to return home, thus being forced to extend your trip. If you have an iTravelInsured plan, you can be reimbursed for additional hotel and meal expenses you incur due to a travel delay because of a quarantine as long as a physician or government authority has ordered you to quarantine under strict medical isolation, confined 24/7 throughout its duration.

Popular Plans Ideal for Vacationers & Business Travelers

iTravelInsured Travel SE

iTravelInsured Travel SE

  • Family-friendly plan for domestic and international destinations
  • Trip cancellation maximum benefit up to 100% of trip cost
  • Trip interruption maximum benefit up to 150% of trip cost
  • Up to $125 per day per person to a maximum benefit of $2,000 for trip delay
  • $500,000 maximum benefit for medical evacuation and repatriation of remains

Plan Benefits

The iTravelInsured Travel SE program is our most popular plan for domestic and international destinations. Travel Insurance benefits are available whether traveling on a cruise, tour or vacation abroad.

iTravelInsured Travel LX

iTravelInsured Travel LX

Robust plan with optional cancel and interruption for any reason benefits

  • Up to $250 per day per person, $2,500 maximum benefit for trip delay 
  • $1,000,000 maximum benefit for medical evacuation and repatriation of remains
  • Optional Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) / Interruption for Any Reason (IFAR) add-on benefit available  (Additional cost and terms apply)

The iTravelInsured Travel LX plan provides the highest levels of benefits of all iTravelInsured® plans for the most discerning travelers. Cancel and Interruptions for Any Reason (CFAR) can be purchased as an optional upgrade. This plan provides a variety of benefits and can be ideal for travelers going to remote and exotic locations worldwide.

Additional Travel Insurance Plans

iTravelInsured Essential

iTravelInsured Essential

Limited travel protection with cost effective coverage

iTravelInsured Travel Sport

iTravelInsured Travel Sport

Trip cancellation and interruption coverage for sport or adventure travel

iTravelInsured Travel Lite

iTravelInsured Travel Lite

budget-level plan for price-conscious travelers.

This advertisement contains highlights of the plans, which include travel insurance coverages underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company under form series T7000 et. Al., T210 et. al. and TP-401 et. al. The Crum & Forster group of companies is rated A (Excellent) by AM Best 2022. C&F and Crum & Forster are registered trademarks of United States Fire Insurance Company. The plans also contain non-insurance Travel Assistance Services provided by iTravelInsured. Coverages may vary and not all coverage is available in all jurisdictions. coverages are subject to the terms, limitations and exclusions in the plan, including an exclusion for pre-existing conditions. Benefits and limits may vary by state of residence and not all plans are available in all states. In most states, your travel retailer is not a licensed insurance producer/agent, and is not qualified or authorized to answer technical questions about the terms, benefits, exclusions, and conditions of the insurance offered or to evaluate the adequacy of your existing insurance coverage. CA DOI toll free number: 800-927-4357. The cost of your plan is for the entire plan, which consists of both insurance and non-insurance components. Individuals looking to obtain additional information regarding the features and pricing of each travel plan component, please contact International Medical Group 9200 Keystone Crossing Suite 800 Indianapolis, IN 46240 USA. [email protected]. +1 (317) 655-9796. iTravelInsured Insurance Services CA Non-Resident Producer License No. 0F17093.

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Best COVID-19 Travel Insurance Companies (2024)

We round up the best travel insurance options that offer pandemic and medical protections.

Sarah Horvath Photo

Sarah Horvath is one of the home service industry’s most accomplished writers. Her specialties include writing about home warranties, insurance, home improvement and household finances. You can find her writing published through distributors like HouseMethod, Architectural Digest, Good Housekeeping and more. When not writing, she enjoys spending time in her home in Orlando with her fiance and parrot.

Tori Addison Photo

Tori Addison is an editor who has worked in the digital marketing industry for over five years. Her experience includes communications and marketing work in the nonprofit, governmental and academic sectors. A journalist by trade, she started her career covering politics and news in New York’s Hudson Valley. Her work included coverage of local and state budgets, federal financial regulations and health care legislation.

As the world continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, hotels, airlines and other hospitality-related businesses have seen a surge in travelers . However, the concern of a new variant is consistent —  experts have identified new strains of COVID-19 as recently as Dec. 2023, which could cause some travelers to consider purchasing travel insurance.

While some travel insurance policies now classify COVID-19 as a standard inclusion under medical expense and evacuation coverage, others include varying terms. According to our research, the best travel insurance companies offering COVID-19 coverage are Faye and Travelex. 

Faye Logo

Compare Top Travel Insurance Companies with COVID-19 Coverage

Use the table below to compare COVID-19 coverage inclusions and details of top travel insurance companies:

10 Best COVID-19 Travel Insurance Companies

  • Faye: Our top pick
  • Travelex: Our pick for families
  • Seven Corners: Our pick for international travelers
  • Tin Leg: Our pick for customizable coverage
  • Allianz Travel Insurance: Our pick for concierge services
  • TravelSafe: Our pick for equipment coverage
  • Generali: Our pick for emergency assistance
  • John Hancock Travel Insurance: Our pick for delay coverage
  • Trawick: Our pick for well-rounded coverage
  • HTH Travel Insurance: Our pick for group travel

We pulled price quotes for four vacations outlined in our methodology at the bottom of this page. The costs in this article reflect the premium for each of those four trips for each provider averaged together.

Why Trust MarketWatch Guides

Our editorial team follows a comprehensive methodology for rating and reviewing travel insurance companies. Advertisers have no effect on our rankings.

Companies Reviewed

Quotes Collected

Rating Factors

Faye

Pros and Cons

Why we picked it.

Faye is our top choice for COVID-19 travel insurance because it includes a robust set of protection to support policyholders both before and after diagnosis. The company classifies COVID-19 as a standard illness under its medical insurance policies, which means you can use any medical and evacuation coverages deemed necessary by local health professionals.

Since Faye classifies its travel medical insurance as primary coverage, it goes into effect before your domestic health coverage. This is especially beneficial for COVID-19, which could lead to hospitalization in some cases and include higher diagnosis, evacuation and treatment costs.

Coverage and Cost

Add-On Options

Faye currently offers the following add-ons for international excursions:

  • Cancel for any reason (CFAR) coverage
  • Adventure and extreme sports protections
  • Rental car coverage
  • Vacation rental damage protection
  • Pet care protection

Based on quotes we obtained using the seven trip profiles outlined in our methodology, Faye’s average trip cost is $298.

Travelex

Travelex is one of the most generous travel insurance providers we reviewed in terms of COVID-related situations and when you’re covered. Travelex travel insurance policies include specific language that ensures COVID-related hospitalizations and diagnoses are eligible for trip interruption coverage. Travelex’s policies also specify that if a loved one back home is hospitalized or determined in critical condition due to COVID-19, the policyholder is covered for an early return. These features, combined with lower overall premiums, makes Travelex a top choice for COVID-concious travelers.

Below are customizable add-ons to consider for your Travelex policy:

  • Accidental death and dismemberment (air travel only)
  • Additional medical coverage
  • Adventure sports coverage
  • Cancel for any reason coverage
  • Car rental collision coverage

Based on quotes we obtained using the seven trip profiles outlined in our methodology, Travelex’s average trip cost is $242.

Seven Corners Travel Insurance

Another top option for COVID-related travel concerns, Seven Corners offers a wide range of medical policies, all of which include coverage for coronavirus as a standard illness. Seven Corners policies indicate that both trip interruption and cancellation coverage extends to COVID-19-related reasons, including quarantines. Missed connection coverage may even extend to your travel plans if COVID causes you to miss a portion of your trip, specifically while on a cruise . Overall, Seven Corners offers COVID-friendly policies and includes generous cancellation and interruption benefits to give you peace of mind while traveling.

Below are add-on options you may be able to include in your Seven Corners policy:

  • Trip interruption for any reason coverage
  • Rental car damage coverage
  • Sports and gold equipment coverage

Based on quotes we obtained using the seven trip profiles outlined in our methodology, Seven Corners’s average trip cost is $206.25.

Tin Leg

Tin Leg’s Silver and Gold policies include COVID-19 hospitalization and diagnosis as a standard inclusion under trip cancellation and interruption benefits. Like competitors, Tin Leg’s policies include stipulations that allow you to use travel delay benefits for ordered quarantine periods, offering between $500 and $2,000 depending on your chosen coverage level. However, you will need to receive a documented diagnosis from a licensed medical professional to use your trip benefits — a home rapid test is not sufficient proof.

Below are add-on options for Tin Leg travel insurance:

  • Rental car damage

Based on quotes we obtained using the seven trip profiles outlined in our methodology, Tin Leg’s average trip cost is $166.50.

TravelSafe Insurance

Both of TravelSafe’s insurance policies for international travel include comprehensive coverages and protections for COVID-19 , with identical medical coverage and evacuation limits no matter the condition. Trip delay benefits — available up to $2,000 on the TravelSafe Classic policy — include coverage for mandatory quarantines if required by a licensed medical professional. Policyholders can also apply mandatory quarantine benefits to missed connections coverage, which adds another layer of protection if you have multi-leg trips planned.

Below are add-on options you may include to your TravelSafe policy:

  • Accidental death and dismemberment (air only)
  • Extended personal property coverage

Based on quotes we obtained using the seven trip profiles outlined in our methodology, TravelSafe’s average trip cost is $241.

Allianz Global Assistance

Allianz Global Assistance

Allianz Global Assistance offers a policy endorsement to cover concerns related to COVID-19. Referred to as the “ Epidemic Coverage Endorsement ,” this benefit extends medical expense, emergency evacuation and trip delay coverage to include COVID-related situations. Like most other competitors, you will need a documented diagnosis of COVID-19 and a written order from a local government figure or medical authority requiring you to quarantine before you can use benefits.

When we requested a quote, all three available policies included the Epidemic Coverage Endorsement free-of-charge with standard pricing. However, it’s important to note that coverage for COVID-19 is not specifically written into the terms of Allianz’s policies in the same way as other illnesses, which is the standard verbiage in the industry. Be sure your policy includes this endorsement to maintain COVID-related coverage.

Below are add-ons to consider for your Allianz Travel Insurance policy:

  • Rental car protection
  • Required to work coverage

Based on quotes we obtained using the seven trip profiles outlined in our methodology, Allianz’s average trip cost is $265

Generali Global Assistance

In addition to including COVID as a standard coverage under medical, cancellation and interruption benefits, Generali Global Assistance includes the added peace of mind that comes with around-the-clock assistance. All policies include 24/7 emergency travel assistance with a multi-lingual support team, which can help policyholders communicate with medical staff. This is especially useful if you’re visiting an area where you do not speak the primary language.

However, as of Jan. 2020, newly issued policies include an exclusion that prevents you from using trip delay benefits to cover a quarantine period unless officially diagnosed with COVID-19. This exclusion does not apply if you are sick and quarantined with the virus, in which you can access your benefits to cover the cost of related expenses. This exclusion remains in effect even if a local government mandates your quarantine due to exposure — so we recommend researching the quarantine procedures for the country you’re visiting beforehand if you choose Generali.

Below are coverages you may be able to add to your Generali policy:

Based on quotes we obtained using the seven trip profiles outlined in our methodology, Generali’s average trip cost is $255. 

John Hancock Travel Insurance

Under most travel insurance verbiage, COVID-19 is now considered a known threat, and the announcement of a new variant is considered a risk you accept when booking. This means that travel insurance may not allow reimbursement for trip cancellation due to concerns about the emergence of a new variant.

Cancel for any reason (CFAR) coverage extends your cancellation benefits to include fear of traveling due to COVID-19 or a new variant. In addition to classifying COVID-19 as a standard medical condition, John Hancock allows you to add CFAR coverage to a wider selection of policy choices, including its lower-cost Bronze package. Comparatively, most travel insurance providers limit your ability to add CFAR coverage to the most expensive plan.

Add-on options for John Hancock travel insurance:

  • Rental car collision coverage

Based on quotes we obtained using the seven trip profiles outlined in our methodology, John Hancock’s average trip cost is $225.

Trawick International

Trawick International offers one policy with coverage for COVID-19: Safe Travels International . This plan includes up to $1 million in medical coverage, up to $2,000 in trip delay benefits for potential quarantines and up to $2 million in medical evacuation coverage. This general range of coverage combined with CFAR add-on availability can make Trawick a customizable choice for travelers looking to add protections that cover COVID-19 without reviewing multiple plans.

Below are Trawick International add-on options:

  • 24-hour accidental death and dismemberment
  • Additional accident and sickness medical coverage
  • Interruption for any reason coverage
  • Upgradable trip delay coverage

Based on quotes we obtained using the seven trip profiles outlined in our methodology, Trawick’s average trip cost is $212.

HTH Travel Insurance

While HTH’s policy details do not outline special benefits specifically for COVID-19 , its plans include standard medical interruption language allowing the use of benefits if you’re hospitalized. HTH’s policies include generous medical coverage and evacuation limits of $500,000 and $1 million respectively. The company also offers higher-than-average trip interruption benefits with a maximum benefit of 200% in reimbursements.

Below are additional options that may be available through HTH Travel Insurance:

Based on quotes we obtained using the seven trip profiles outlined in our methodology, HTH’s average trip cost is $221.

HTH also offers discounted pricing for group travel insurance policies.

What To Look for in Pandemic Travel Insurance

Once you understand how travel insurance can benefit you in the event of a COVID-19 diagnosis or emergency, you can get into the details of each coverage option. We’ve compiled a few essential features to consider when shopping for travel insurance with a focus on COVID-19 coverage.

Medical Expense Coverage

If you’re traveling to an area where you think you might be at risk of catching COVID-19, consider choosing a travel insurance policy with higher medical coverage limits. Travel medical insurance can help cover the cost of medical treatments you receive outside the U.S. if you become sick or injured. Most travel insurance policy providers now classify COVID-19 as a standard illness, meaning you can qualify for reimbursement if hospitalized with coronavirus abroad. 

Trip Delay Coverage

If you contract COVID abroad, depending on the country’s requirements, you may have to undergo a mandatory quarantine period before you can leave or enter another country. In these circumstances, your trip delay benefits could help cover the cost of expenses like meals, additional hotel stays and any toiletries you might need. To qualify to use trip delay benefits, most policies state a licensed medical professional must order a quarantine for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, until expiration. 

Trip Interruption Coverage

If you’re leaving dependents or older loved ones at home and concerned about the effect COVID-19 could have on their care, consider a policy with higher trip interruption coverages. Trip interruption insurance compensates you for things like the cost of an early return flight home and unused trip expenses if you must leave your trip ahead of schedule due to a covered reason. Some travel insurance providers like Seven Corners and Travelex include the illness of a family member and hospitalization with COVID-19 as a valid reason to use interruption benefits. Other providers only consider the health status of the insured traveler.  

CFAR Coverage

CFAR coverage is an optional add-on that allows you to receive a partial trip reimbursement if you cancel your trip for a reason not covered by insurance. For all providers on our list, this includes fear of a new variant of COVID-19 emerging at home or your destination. If this is a concern for you, consider a provider like John Hancock, which offers more options for policyholders to buy CFAR-level benefits. 

Does Travel Insurance Cover COVID-19 Directly?

Most travel insurance policies now classify COVID-19 as a standard inclusion under medical expense and evacuation coverage. This means coronavirus is usually treated the same way as any other illness or injury you might sustain abroad or before your trip. While this offers protection for your travel plans if you’re hospitalized due to COVID-19, fear of new variants and minor illnesses will usually not qualify you for a reimbursement . 

Let’s take a look at sample situations when you might need to use COVID-19 coverage as a part of your travel insurance. First, say you fall sick before traveling and are diagnosed with a serious case of COVID-19. Your physician determines you require hospitalization a day before you’re supposed to travel. If you purchased travel insurance, you could file a claim to reimburse nonrefundable trip costs, such as airfare and lodging, because you’re medically unable to travel. 

Now, let’s imagine you have a trip planned to Germany. A few days before your travel, information on a new Covid variant becomes available and officials advise the public to avoid travel if possible. While you may be hesitant to travel due to the new strain, you would not be entitled to reimbursement with travel insurance unless specifically outlined in your policy. However, if you opted for CFAR coverage during enrollment, you could cancel your trip and get a refund for nonrefundable expenses regardless. 

Does Travel Insurance Cover Quarantine?

Your travel insurance policy might cover the COVID-19 quarantines if ordered by a medical professional, which includes expenses related to additional lodging. If you’re diagnosed with a new variant of the virus before your trip and forced to quarantine at home, you will usually qualify for trip cancellation benefits under your policy’s illness cancellation clause. However, travel insurance will not compensate you for additional domestic quarantine-related expenses like food and rent. 

If you’re advised to quarantine abroad after being diagnosed with COVID-19, you could also qualify for coverage under your insurance’s travel delay benefits. While travel delay benefits are designed to help cover hotel rooms and alternate airfare if you’re forced to miss a connection, you can also use coverage for mandatory quarantine orders. To qualify, you will usually need to provide documentation of both your illness and a quarantine recommendation from a local medical professional. 

If you’re concerned about the cost and possibility of an international quarantine, it’s important to look at the travel delay benefits included with your insurance coverage. Policies with higher total travel delay benefits will cover more quarantine-related expenses, which can make these policies more valuable. Be sure to note both overall and daily limits on trip delay benefits, which can also influence policy value.

How Much Does COVID-19 Travel Insurance Cost?

In our comprehensive review of travel insurance policies, we found the average cost of a plan with COVID-19 coverage is about $220 per trip. However, the price of your premium will vary depending on the level of benefits included with your policy. Browse the table below to compare how some of our top travel insurance providers compare in terms of average price and included benefits. 

Factors That Impact Cost

Factors that affect the cost of your travel insurance include your age, where you’re traveling to, the cost of your trip and the length of your trip. Adding various custom riders, like protection for a rental car or cancellation for any reason coverage, will also increase the cost.

travel insurance inc covid

Is Pandemic Travel Insurance Worth It?

While almost all COVID-19 restrictions are lifted in the U.S., the virus is still a global health threat. Even if travel insurance isn’t required for a trip, purchasing insurance that includes COVID-19 protections can help you avoid a financial burden if you contract the virus before or during the trip.

You might not need the pandemic travel coverage if you’re taking a low-cost trip and not crossing international borders. Your health insurance may cover medical costs within the country, and the money you lose from canceling an affordable trip could be too low to justify shopping for and buying coverage. It’s different if you pay a lot of money up front for a long, expensive vacation.

Another option is looking at the travel protections that your credit card company provides. Some cards offer trip protection for emergencies that could include coverage if you call off a trip or end a trip early after contracting COVID-19. But travel costs usually have to be paid for with the card for them to qualify.

Frequently Asked Questions About Travel Insurance

What are the cheapest ways to get travel insurance for a pandemic.

The best way to find cheap travel insurance with pandemic coverage is by shopping around with different providers. Many offer free quotes online, and it takes minutes to check rates.

What are the advantages of purchasing pandemic travel insurance?

The advantage of pandemic travel insurance is that it reimburses prepaid travel costs if you cancel or cut short a trip because of getting COVID-19 before or during the trip. And if a family member contracts COVID-19 while you’re away, pandemic travel insurance may reimburse you for expenses related to returning home early to care for a loved one.

Can you cancel your flight if you have COVID?

Many travel insurance policies now include coverage for trip cancellations due to COVID-19. However, coverage is usually included under standard medical inclusions, which means you must be medically unable to travel at the time of your scheduled departure to claim a reimbursement. Review your specific travel insurance coverage to learn more about flight cancellation benefits.

What does travel insurance not cover?

Travel insurance usually does not cover cancellations due to fear of travel, government restrictions or pre-existing medical conditions. You generally cannot cancel your trip and claim any reimbursements unless it’s for a covered reason such as the illness or death of a family member or natural disasters. Carefully read your policy to understand the exclusions and limitations unique to your coverage.

Methodology: Our System for Rating the Best Travel Insurance Companies

  • A 30-year-old couple taking a $5,000 vacation to Mexico.
  • A family of four taking an $8,000 vacation to Mexico.
  • A 65-year-old couple taking a $7,000 vacation to the United Kingdom.
  • A 30-year-old couple taking a $7,000 trip to the United Kingdom.
  • A 19-year-old taking a $2,000 trip to France.
  • A 27-year-old couple taking a $1,200 trip to Greece.
  • A 51-year-old couple taking a $2,000 trip to Spain.
  • Plan availability (10%): We look for insurers with a variety of travel insurance plans and the ability to customize a policy with coverage upgrades.
  • Coverage details (29%): We review the baseline coverage each company offers in its cheapest comprehensive plan. A provider with robust coverage earns full points, including baggage delay and loss, COVID-19 coverage, emergency evacuation and medical coverage, trip delay and cancellation coverage, and more. Companies also receive points for offering a variety of policy add-ons like accidental death and dismemberment, extreme sports, valuable items, cancel for any reason coverage and more.
  • Coverage times and amounts (34%): We compare each company’s waiting periods and maximum reimbursement amounts for baggage, travel and weather delays. Companies that offer customers reimbursement after fewer than 12 hours of delays earn full points in this category. We also reward travel insurance providers that cover more than 100% of trip costs in the event of cancellations or interruptions.
  • Company service and reviews (17%): We look for indicators that a company is well-prepared to respond to customer needs. Companies with an established global resource network, 24/7 emergency hotline, mobile app, multiple ways to file a claim and concierge services score higher in this category. We assess reputation by evaluating consumer reviews, third-party financial strength and customer experience ratings, specifically from AM Best and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

For more information, read our full travel insurance methodology.

A.M. Best Disclaimer

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

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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.

travel insurance inc covid

Understanding What Travel Insurance Covers

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  • Travel insurance is intended to cover risks and financial losses associated with traveling.
  • Coverage can include trip cancellation, baggage protection, medical care, and emergency evacuation.
  • When filing a claim, be specific and comprehensive in your documentation to ease the process.

Whether it's a trip across the world or a trip across the state, having travel insurance provides major relief if things go awry. Flight delays, lost baggage, illness, injuries, and other unforeseen events can disrupt even the best-laid plans. With a major disruption comes the potential for unanticipated expenses.

Travel insurance and the coverage it offers can help keep you protected and save you money in the long run.

Overview of Travel Insurance Coverage

Travel insurance policies protect travelers from financial losses should something go wrong during their trip. You can customize which coverages you want to include, and there are several to choose from.

"Common types of coverage include trip cancellation, trip interruption, baggage protection, coverage for medical care if you get sick or hurt during your trip, and emergency medical evacuation," says Angela Borden, a travel insurance expert and product strategist for travel insurance company Seven Corners.

Travel insurance plans offer nonrefundable payments and other trip-related expenses. While monetary compensation is a primary benefit, there is another valuable perk of travel insurance. It can provide peace of mind.

What does travel insurance cover?

Your specific travel insurance plan (and its terms and conditions) will determine the minutia and specifics of what is covered. As with most other forms of insurance, a general rule of thumb is the more you spend, the better your coverage.

"Travel insurance can be confusing, so it's best to research a reputable company that specializes in travel insurance and has a long history of successfully helping travelers all over the world," says Borden.

Trip cancellation and interruptions

A travel insurance policy can reimburse you for a prepaid, nonrefundable trip if it is canceled for a covered event, such as a natural disaster or a global pandemic.

Trip interruption insurance covers you if you're already on your trip and you get sick, there's a natural disaster, or something else happens. Make sure to check with your travel insurance providers to discuss any inclusions, coverage, and more.

Travel delays and missed connections

Travel delay insurance coverage provides reimbursement for any expenses you incur when you experience a delay in transit over a minimum time. Reimbursements can include hotels, airfare, food, and other related expenses.

Medical emergencies and evacuations

Typically, US healthcare plans are not accepted in other countries. So travel insurance with medical coverage can be particularly beneficial when you are abroad. Medical coverage can also help with locating doctors and healthcare facilities.

Medical transportation coverage will also pay for emergency evacuation expenses such as airlifts and medically-equipped flights back to the US. Out of pocket, these expenses can easily amount to tens of thousands of dollars. Certain plans may even transport you to a hospital of choice for care.

Travel insurance generally does not include coverage for pre-existing conditions. That said, you can obtain a pre-existing condition waiver, which we will talk about later.  

Baggage and personal belongings

Most airlines will reimburse travelers for lost or destroyed baggage, but be prepared for limitations. Travel insurance plans will typically cover stolen items, such as those stolen out of a hotel room. This may not include expensive jewelry, antiques, or heirloom items. Typically, airlines have a few days to recover your bag.

In the meantime, you can make a claim to pay for items like certain toiletries and other items you need to pick up. If your bag is truly lost or you don't get it for an extended period, you can file a true lost baggage claim.

What does credit card travel insurance cover?

A major perk on several travel credit cards is embedded credit card travel insurance . Typically, you will need to use the specific card for the transaction (at least with partial payment) for travel coverage to kick in.

Each card has specific rules on what exactly is covered. But one of the industry leaders is the $550-per-year Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card. Here's a snapshot of what is covered with this specific card:

  • Baggage delay: up to $100 reimbursed per day for up to five days if a passenger carrier delays your baggage by more than six hours.
  • Lost and damaged baggage: up to $3,000 per passenger per trip, but only up to $500 per passenger for jewelry and watches and up to $500 per passenger for cameras and other electronic equipment.
  • Trip delay reimbursement: up to $500 per ticket if you're delayed more than six hours or require an overnight stay.
  • Trip cancellation and interruption protection: up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip for prepaid, nonrefundable travel expenses.
  • Medical evacuation benefit: up to $100,000 for necessary emergency evacuation and transportation when on a trip of five to 60 days and traveling more than 100 miles from home.
  • Travel accident insurance: accidental death or dismemberment coverage of up to $100,000 (up to $1,000,000 for common carrier travel).
  • Emergency medical and dental benefits: up to $2,500 for medical expenses (subject to a $50 deductible) when on a trip arranged by a travel agency and traveling more than 100 miles from home.
  • Rental car coverage: primary coverage for damages caused by theft or collision up to $75,000 on rentals of 31 days or fewer

More protections are included with cards with an annual fee, but there are exceptions. The no-annual-fee Chase Freedom Flex , for instance, includes up to $1,500 per person (and up to $6,000 per trip) in trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage.

However, there are some differences between credit card travel coverage and obtaining coverage from a third party.

"Credit card coverage does not typically provide travel medical benefits," Borden says. "For protection if you get sick or hurt while traveling, you'll want a travel insurance plan with medical coverage."

Whether you get your travel insurance in a standalone policy or through a credit card, it's important to review your plan details carefully. In either case, there may be exclusions and other requirements such as deadlines when filing a claim, Borden notes.

What travel insurance coverage do you need to pay more for?

Knowing what travel insurance doesn't cover is as important as knowing what it does cover.

"Travelers should understand that travel insurance benefits come into play only if a covered reason occurs," Borden says. Most standard travel insurance plans won't reimburse you for the following:

Cancel for any reason (CFAR)

Cancel-for-any-reason travel insurance covers a trip cancellation for any reason, not just a covered event. your standard benefits won't kick in unless it's a covered event. For instance, you'll be reimbursed simply for changing your mind about taking a trip.

That said, CFAR travel insurance is not without its downsides. For one, it's more expensive than traditional insurance, and most CFAR policies will only reimburse you for a percentage of your travel expenses. Additionally, CFAR policies aren't available for annual travel insurance . 

You can find our guide on the best CFAR travel insurance here.

Foreseen weather events

Sudden storms or unforeseen weather events are typically covered by standard travel insurance plans. There are exceptions to be aware of. For example, an anticipated and named hurricane will not be covered.

Medical tourism

If you're going to travel internationally for a medical procedure or doctor's visit, your travel insurance plan will not cover the procedure itself. Most medical travel plans also won't cover you if something goes wrong with your procedure.

Pre-existing conditions and pregnancy

Those with specific pre-existing conditions, such as someone with diabetes and needing more insulin, will not be covered by most plans. In addition, pregnancy-related expenses will likely not be covered under most plans.

That said, you can obtain a pre-existing condition waiver for stable conditions. In order to obtain a wavier, you will need to purchase travel insurance within a certain time frame from when you booked your trip, usually two to three weeks, depending on your policy.

Extreme sports and activities

Accidents occurring while participating in extreme sports like skydiving and paragliding will typically not be covered under most plans. However, many plans offer the ability to upgrade to a higher-priced version with extended coverage.

Navigating claims and assistance

When a trip goes awry, the first thing you should do is document everything and be as specific as possible with documentation. This will make the claims process easier, as you can substantiate and quantify your financial losses due to the delay.

For example, your flight home has been delayed long enough to be covered under your policy, you'll want to keep any receipts from purchases made while waiting. For instances where your luggage is lost, you will need to file a report with local authorities and document all the items you packed.

Cancellation protection also requires meticulous attention to detail. If you're too sick to fly, you may need to see a doctor to prove your eligibility. If an airline cancels a flight, you'll also need to document any refunds you received as travel insurance isn't going to reimburse you for money you've already gotten back. 

Part of the benefit of CFAR insurance is the reduced paperwork necessary to file a claim. You'll still need to document your nonrefundable losses, but you won't have to substantiate why you're canceling a trip.

Choosing the right travel insurance

Each plan should be personalized to meet the insured party's needs. Some travelers prefer to stick to the bare minimum (flight cancellation benefits through the airline). Others want a comprehensive plan with every coverage possible. Before you buy anything, set your destination. Are there any travel restrictions or changes pending? Does your destination country require emergency or other medical coverage?

If the destination airport is known for lost or delayed luggage, travelers should keep important items in carry-ons. Lost or delayed luggage coverage protects insured parties in the event of a significant delay or total loss.

Second, check current credit card travel benefits to avoid redundancies. Savvy travelers don't need to pay for the same coverage twice.

Finally, consider your individual needs. Do you have a chronic medical condition, or do you feel safe with emergency-only medical coverage? Keep in mind, this does not include coverage for cosmetic surgery or other medical tourism. Do you have a budget limit for travel insurance? Asking and answering these important questions will help every traveler find the right product.

Most travel insurance plans are simple, and Business Insider's guide to the best travel insurance companies outlines our top picks. Remember, read your policy and its specifics closely to ensure it includes the items you need coverage for.

No one likes to dwell on how a trip might not go as planned before even leaving. However, at its core, travel insurance provides peace of mind as you go about your trip. While the upfront cost may seem significant, when you compare it to the potential expenses of a canceled flight, emergency evacuation, or a hefty medical bill, it's a small price to pay in the grand scheme of things.

Get Travel Insurance Quotes Online

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What does travel insurance cover frequently asked questions

Does travel insurance cover trip cancellations due to a pandemic like covid-19.

Coverage for pandemics vary from policy to policy. Some travel insurance companies have specific provisions for pandemic-related cancellations, while others may exclude them entirely.

Are sports injuries covered under travel insurance?

Sports injuries are often covered under travel insurance, but high-risk or adventure sports might require additional coverage or a special policy.

Can travel insurance provide coverage for travel advisories or warnings?

Travel advisories have different effects on your travel insurance depending on your policy. Traveling to a country already under travel advisory may invalidate your coverage, but if you're already traveling when a travel advisory is announced, you may be covered.

How does travel insurance handle emergency medical evacuations?

Travel insurance usually covers the cost of emergency medical evacuations to the nearest suitable medical facility, and sometimes back to your home country, if necessary.

Are lost or stolen passports covered by travel insurance?

Many travel insurance policies provide coverage for the cost of replacing lost or stolen passports during a trip.

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Understanding What Travel Insurance Covers

More From Forbes

Planning a vacation here’s your 2024 summer travel insurance guide.

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The joy of a summer vacation. But do you have protection for your trip?

Planning a vacation this summer? Yeah, you and just about everyone else.

More than 9 out of 10 Americans say they'll travel more this year, according to a recent Nationwide Travel Insurance survey . Most of those trips will happen in June, July and August.

Not just that, but 40 percent of the respondents say they'll spend more this year than last year. So how do you protect your vacation investment?

Travel insurance is the standard answer, but what kind of insurance — and how do you find it? That's the question many Americans are wrestling with as they make their travel plans.

Protecting your vacation is a serious concern this summer, experts say.

“Travelers are beefing up their trip protection with security advisory and extraction protection," notes Dan Richards, CEO of The Global Rescue Companies .

It's not just that they're spending more. It's that there's more to lose. The ongoing war in Ukraine, the Hamas attacks on Israel, and other violent conflicts have made travel insurance a key part of trip planning.

This summer may break travel records, experts say.

Samsung Issues Critical Update For Millions Of Galaxy Users

Netflix s best new show arrives with a perfect 100 critic score, ufc 300 results bonus winners after historic event, it's going to be a busy summer for travel.

Overall policy sales for the 2024 summer travel season are up this year, but there's a spike in sales for policies in August, which is typically the busiest time of the summer. "Sales are up more than 25% over last year," says Stan Sandberg, co-founder of travel insurance site TravelInsurance.com .

Western Europe continues to be the most popular summer destination for Americans, with some notable hotspots. Travel insurance sales for Greece are up over 60% this year compared with 2023, followed by Norway and Portugal, which are up 57% and 52%, respectively, according to Sandberg.

Everyone's travel insurance needs are different, according to the pros.

What should you insure when you travel this summer?

Laura Heidt, the insurance desk manager for Brownell Travel in Birmingham, Ala., says there are some things every travel insurance policy should cover this summer.

"I always recommend people insure for the unexpected, such as flight delays, missed connections and medical coverage while out of the country," she says. "If you are willing to forgo the cancellation and delay coverages, which are typically the most expensive parts of a policy, you should still, absolutely, cover yourself with at least the medical component."

Heidt says she's seen a 10% boost in travel insurance sales for this summer compared with the same time last year, and many people are opting for the pricier "cancel for any reason" policies, which allow you to cancel your trip and receive a partial refund of your prepaid, nonrefundable travel expenses.

Travel insurance companies are seeing a similar trend.

"A majority of travelers choose a comprehensive travel insurance plan which includes coverage for trip cancellation, emergency medical, lost or delayed baggage and delay," explains Tim Dodge, vice president of marketing at Arch RoamRight .

He says this year, travelers are purchasing travel insurance on average within 11 days of their trip deposit to receive the additional benefit of the waiver exclusion for pre-existing conditions.

If you're traveling with kids, you'll need extra travel insurance protection.

Get a policy that's tailored to your needs

Travel insurance comes in all shapes and sizes. So you'll want to try a few on for size before you buy. You can actually do that, since most policies have a "free look" period that makes them fully refundable for the first week or two (depending on the policy).

"It's important to consider your specific travel plans and any potential disruptions in order to protect your investment," says Robert Gallagher, president of the US Travel Insurance Association (USTIA).

He says traditional plans offer coverage for unexpected cancellations, interruptions, delays, emergency medical expenses and lost or delayed baggage. For international travel, USTIA advises opting for a plan with emergency medical and medical evacuation coverage.

It also depends on who you're traveling with. For example, if you're traveling with your children, you'll want to consider a family-friendly priced travel insurance plan. But your destination also matters, says Carol Mueller, vice president at Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection (BHTP).

"For young families, I typically recommend the ExactCare plan due to its pricing of two children at no additional cost for every one adult on the policy," she says. "However, for families venturing abroad, I’d suggest considering a plan like BHTP's LuxuryCare, which is designed to meet the distinctive needs of a high-investment vacation.”

You have choices when it comes to family coverage. For example, Allianz’s OneTrip Prime plan also includes coverage for kids 17 and younger when traveling with a parent or grandparent.

Medical evacuations can be expensive.

Look beyond travel insurance for extra protection

Mike Hallman, CEO of the air medical transport and travel security program Medjet , says MedjetHorizon memberships are selling briskly. They offer 24/7 security and crisis response, as well as transportation to a hospital at home if you're injured. Travelers are skittish even if they aren't going bungee-jumping.

"With geopolitical tensions still growing — all the riots in France, Italy, Ecuador and other tourist destinations over the last year — and crime causing the threat level to be raised for the Bahamas and Jamaica, it’s no wonder," he adds.

He makes a good point. Travel insurance can cover many of the events you're likely to encounter, such as a missed connection, lost luggage or a medical emergency. But it's also important to know what isn't covered — and to make plans accordingly.

Beware of travel insurance "overconfidence"

The summer travel season is still a few months away, but insurance experts are worried. Yes, they've seen a general uptick in insurance sales, but some travelers remain unprotected.

"We've started to see early signs that travelers are exercising less caution and are slightly less likely to sign up for travel insurance," says Joe Cronin, CEO of International Citizens Insurance .

By comparison, travelers purchased plenty of medical insurance in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic. Cronin believes travelers were terrified of getting stuck with COVID-19 in a foreign country without insurance.

"To those who are thinking about traveling internationally without travel insurance, my recommendation is to spend a few minutes looking deeper before deciding," he adds.

Some types of insurance, such as a standalone medical policy, cost just a few dollars a day. A medical evacuation membership is also affordable. And even full-featured travel insurance policies can be cost-effective when you consider the benefits.

"Don’t put your summer travel memories, or your investment, at risk by forgoing the right vacation coverage," says Daniel Durazo, director of communications at Allianz Partners USA . "With international travel peaking during the summer season, an unprotected trip can leave travelers on the hook for costs resulting from an unexpected trip delay or medical emergency abroad."

Bottom line: Seriously consider travel insurance to protect your trip — and don't be overconfident. You never know what might happen this summer.

Christopher Elliott

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Travel Insurance

Cheapest travel insurance of April 2024

Mandy Sleight

Heidi Gollub

Heidi Gollub

“Verified by an expert” means that this article has been thoroughly reviewed and evaluated for accuracy.

Updated 9:52 a.m. UTC April 11, 2024

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WorldTrips is the best cheap travel insurance company of 2024 based on our in-depth analysis of the cheapest travel insurance plans. Its Atlas Journey Preferred and Atlas Journey Premier plans offer affordable travel insurance with high limits for emergency medical and evacuation benefits bundled with good coverage for trip delays, travel inconvenience and missed connections.

Cheapest travel insurance of 2024

Why trust our travel insurance experts

Our team of travel insurance experts analyzes hundreds of insurance products and thousands of data points to help you find the best travel insurance for your next trip. We use a data-driven methodology to determine each rating. Advertisers do not influence our editorial content . You can read more about our methodology below.

  • 1,855 coverage details evaluated.
  • 567 rates reviewed.
  • 5 levels of fact-checking.

Best cheap travel insurance

WorldTrips

Top-scoring plans

Average cost, medical limit per person, medical evacuation limit per person, why it’s the best.

WorldTrips tops our rating of the cheapest travel insurance with two plans:

  • Atlas Journey Preferred is the cheaper travel insurance plan of the two, with $100,000 per person in emergency medical benefits as secondary coverage and an optional upgrade to primary coverage. It’s also our pick for the best travel insurance for cruises .
  • Atlas Journey Premier costs a little more but gives you $150,000 in travel medical insurance with primary coverage . This is a good option if health insurance for international travel is a priority.

Pros and cons

  • Atlas Journey Preferred is the cheapest of our 5-star travel insurance plans.
  • Atlas Journey Premier offers $150,000 in primary medical coverage.
  • Both plans have top-notch $1 million per person in medical evacuation coverage.
  • Each plan offers travel inconvenience coverage of $750 per person.
  • 12 optional upgrades, including destination wedding and rental car damage and theft.
  • No non-medical evacuation coverage.

Cheap travel insurance for cruises

Travel insured.

Travel Insured

Top-scoring plan

Travel Insured offers cheap travel insurance for cruises and its Worldwide Trip Protector plan gets 4 stars in our rating of the best cruise travel insurance .

  • Worldwide Trip Protector offers $1 million in emergency evacuation coverage per person and a rare $150,000 in non-medical evacuation per person. It also has primary coverage for travel medical insurance benefits, which means you won’t have to file medical claims with your health insurance first.
  • Cheap trip insurance for cruises.
  • Offers a rare $150,000 for non-medical evacuation.
  • $500 per person baggage delay benefit only requires a 3-hour delay.
  • Optional rental car damage benefit up to $50,000.
  • Missed connection benefit of $500 per person only available for cruises and tours.

Best cheap travel insurance for families

Travelex

Travelex has the best cheap travel insurance for families because kids age 17 are covered by your policy for free when they’re traveling with you.

  • Free coverage for children 17 and under on the same policy.
  • $2,000 travel delay coverage per person ($250 per day) after 5 hours.
  • Hurricane and weather coverage after a common carrier delay of any amount of time.
  • Only $50,000 per person emergency medical coverage.
  • Baggage delay coverage is only $200 and requires a 12-hour delay.

Best cheap travel insurance for seniors

Nationwide

Evacuation limit per person

Nationwide has the best cheap travel insurance for seniors — its Prime plan gets 4 stars in our best senior travel insurance rating. However, Nationwide’s Cruise Choice plan ranks higher in our best cheap travel insurance rating.

  • Cruise Choice has a $500 per person benefit if a cruise itinerary change causes you to miss a prepaid excursion. It also has a missed connections benefit of $1,500 per person after only a 3-hour delay, for cruises or tours. But note that this coverage is secondary coverage to any compensation provided by a common carrier.
  • Coverage for cruise itinerary changes, ship-based mechanical breakdowns and covered shipboard service disruptions.
  • Non-medical evacuation benefit of $25,000 per person.
  • Baggage loss benefits of $2,500 per person.
  • Travel medical coverage is secondary.
  • Trip cancellation benefit for losing your job requires three years of continuous employment.
  • No “cancel for any reason” (CFAR) upgrade available.
  • Missed connection coverage of $1,500 per person is only for tours and cruises, after a 3-hour delay.

Best cheap travel insurance for add-on options

AIG

AIG offers the best cheap travel insurance for add-on options because the Travel Guard Preferred plan allows you to customize your policy with a host of optional upgrades.

  • Travel Guard Preferred upgrades include “cancel for any reason” (CFAR) coverage , rental vehicle damage coverage and bundles that offer additional benefits for adventure sports, travel inconvenience, quarantine, pets, security and weddings. There’s also a medical bundle that increases the travel medical benefit to $100,000 and emergency evacuation to $1 million.
  • Bundle upgrades allow you to customize your affordable travel insurance policy.
  • Emergency medical and evacuation limits can be doubled with optional upgrade.
  • Base travel insurance policy has relatively low medical limits.
  • $300 baggage delay benefit requires a 12-hour delay.
  • Optional CFAR upgrade only reimburses up to 50% of trip cost.

Best cheap travel insurance for missed connections

TravelSafe

TravelSafe has the best cheap travel insurance for missed connections because coverage is not limited to cruises and tours, as it is with many policies.

  • Best-in-class $2,500 per person in missed connection coverage.
  • $1 million per person in medical evacuation and $25,000 in non-medical evacuation coverage.
  • Generous $2,500 per person baggage and personal items loss benefit.
  • Most expensive of the best cheap travel insurance plans.
  • No “interruption for any reason” coverage available.
  • Weak baggage delay coverage of $250 per person after 12 hours.

Cheapest travel insurance comparison

Travel Insured

How much does the cheapest travel insurance cost?

The cheapest travel insurance in our rating is $334. This is for a WorldTrips Atlas Journey Preferred travel insurance plan, based on the average of seven quotes for travelers of various ages to international destinations with a range of trip values.  

Factors that determine travel insurance cost

There are several factors that determine the cost of travel insurance, including:

  • Age and number of travelers being insured.
  • Trip length.
  • Total trip cost.
  • The travel insurance plan you choose.
  • The travel insurance company.
  • Any add-ons, features or upgraded benefits you include in the travel insurance plan.
Expert tip: “In general, travelers can expect to pay anywhere from 4% to 10% of their total prepaid, non-refundable trip costs,” said Suzanne Morrow, CEO of InsureMyTrip.

Is buying the cheapest travel insurance a good idea?

Choosing cheaper travel insurance without paying attention to what a plan covers and excludes could leave you underinsured for your trip. Comparing travel insurance plans side-by-side can help ensure you get enough coverage to protect yourself financially in an emergency for the best price. 

For example, compare these two Travelex travel insurance plans:

  • Travel Basic is cheaper but it only provides up to $15,000 for emergency medical expense coverage. You’ll also have to pay extra for coverage for children.
  • Travel Select will cost you a bit more but it covers up to $50,000 in medical expenses and includes coverage for kids aged 17 and younger traveling with you. It also offers upgrades such additional medical coverage, “cancel for any reason” (CFAR) coverage and an adventure sports rider that may be a good fit for your trip.

Reasons to consider paying more for travel insurance 

Make sure you understand what you’re giving up if you buy the cheapest travel insurance. Here are a few reasons you may consider paying a little extra for better coverage. 

  • Emergency medical. The best travel medical insurance offers primary coverage for emergency medical benefits. Travel insurance with primary coverage can cost more than secondary coverage but will save you from having to file a claim with your health insurance company before filing a travel insurance claim.
  • Emergency evacuation. If you’re traveling to a remote location or planning a boat excursion on your trip, look at travel insurance with a high medical evacuation insurance limit. If you are injured while traveling, transportation to the nearest adequate medical facility could cost in the tens to hundreds of thousands. It may make sense to pay more for travel insurance with robust emergency evacuation coverage. 
  • Flexibility. To maximize your trip flexibility, you might consider upgrading your travel insurance to “ cancel for any reason” (CFAR) coverage . This will increase the cost of your travel insurance but allow you to cancel your trip for any reason — not just those listed in your policy. The catch is that you’ll need to cancel at least 48 hours before your trip and will only be reimbursed 50% or 75% of your trip expenses, depending on the plan. 
  • Upgrades. Many travel insurance plans have optional extras like car rental collision and adventure sports (which may otherwise be excluded from coverage). These will cost you extra but may give you the coverage you need. 

How to find the cheapest travel insurance

The best way to find the cheapest travel insurance is to determine what you’re looking for in a travel insurance policy and compare plans that meet your needs.

 “Travel insurance isn’t one-size-fits-all. Every trip is different, and every traveler has different needs, wants and concerns. This is why comparison is key,” said Morrow.

Consider the following factors when comparing cheap travel insurance plans.

  • How often you’re traveling. A single-trip policy may be the most cost-effective if you’re only going on a single trip this year. But a multi-trip travel insurance plan may be cheaper if you’re going on multiple international trips throughout the year. Annual travel insurance policies cover you for a whole year as long as each trip doesn’t exceed a certain number of days, usually 30 to 90 days. 
  • Credit card has travel insurance benefits. The best credit cards offer perks and benefits, and many offer travel insurance-specific benefits. The coverage types and benefit limits can vary, and you must put the entire trip cost on the credit card to use the coverage. If your trip costs more than the coverage limit on your card, you can supplement the rest with a cheaper travel insurance plan.
  • The coverage you need. When looking for the best travel insurance option at the most affordable price, only buy extras and upgrades you really need. A basic plan may only provide up to $500 in baggage insurance, but if you only plan to take $300 worth of clothes and accessories, you don’t need to pay more for higher coverage limits.

Is cheap travel insurance worth it?

Cheap travel insurance can be worth it, as long as you understand the plan limitations and exclusions. Taking the time to read your policy, especially the fine print, well before your trip can ensure there won’t be any surprises about what’s covered once your journey begins.

“If a traveler is looking for coverage for travel delays, cancellations, interruptions, medical and baggage — a comprehensive travel insurance policy will provide the most bang for their buck,” said Morrow. But if you’re on a tight budget and are only worried about emergency medical care and evacuation coverage while traveling abroad, stand-alone options are cheaper.

Before buying travel insurance, you should also consider what your health insurance will cover. 

“Most domestic health insurance plans, including Medicare, will not cover medical bills abroad,” said Morrow. Even if you’re staying stateside, you may find value in an affordable travel insurance plan with medical coverage if you have a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). 

A cheap travel insurance plan is better than none at all if you end up in a situation that would have covered some or all of your prepaid, nonrefundable trip expenses.

Methodology

Our insurance experts reviewed 1,855 coverage details and 567 rates to determine the best travel insurance . From those top-scoring travel insurance plans, we chose the most affordable for our rating of the cheapest travel insurance.

Insurers could score up to 100 points based on the following factors:

  • Cost: 40 points. We scored the average cost of each travel insurance policy for a variety of trips and traveler profiles.
  • Medical expenses: 10 points. We scored travel medical insurance by the coverage amount available. Travel insurance policies with emergency medical expense benefits of $250,000 or more per person were given the highest score of 10 points.
  • Medical evacuation: 10 points. We scored each plan’s emergency medical evacuation coverage by coverage amount. Travel insurance policies with medical evacuation expense benefits of $500,000 or more per person were given the highest score of 10 points.
  • Pre-existing medical condition exclusion waiver: 10 points. We gave full points to travel insurance policies that cover pre-existing medical conditions if certain conditions are met.
  • Missed connection: 10 points. Travel insurance plans with missed connection benefits of $1,000 per person or more received full points.
  • “Cancel for any reason” upgrade: 5 points. We gave points to travel insurance plans with optional “cancel for any reason” coverage that reimburses up to 75%.
  • Travel delay required waiting time: 5 points. We gave 5 points to travel insurance policies with travel delay benefits that kick in after a delay of 6 hours or less.
  • Cancel for work reasons: 5 points. If a travel insurance plan allows you to cancel your trip for work reasons, such as your boss requiring you to stay and work, we gave it 5 points.
  • Hurricane and severe weather: 5 points. Travel insurance plans that have a required waiting period for hurricane and weather coverage of 12 hours or less received 5 points.

Some travel insurance companies may offer plans with additional benefits or lower prices than the plans that scored the highest, so make sure to compare travel insurance quotes to see your full range of options.

Cheapest travel insurance FAQs

When buying travel insurance, cheapest is not always the best. The most affordable travel insurance plans typically offer fewer coverages with lower policy limits and few or no optional upgrades. Add up your total nonrefundable trip costs and compare travel insurance plans and available features that cover your travel expenses. This strategy can help you find the cheapest travel insurance policy that best protects you from financial loss if an unforeseen circumstance arises.

Get the coverage you need: Best travel insurance of 2024

According to our analysis, WorldTrips , Travel Insured International and Travelex offer the best cheap travel insurance. Policy coverage types and limits can vary by each travel insurance provider, so the best way to get the cheapest travel insurance plan is to compare several policies and companies to find the right fit for your budget.

A good rate for travel insurance depends on your budget and coverage needs. The most comprehensive travel insurance plan is usually not the cheapest. But cheap trip insurance may not have enough coverage or the types of coverage you want. Comparing different levels of coverage and how much they cost can help you find the best cheap insurance for travel. 

The average cost of travel insurance is between 5% to 6% of your total travel expenses for one trip, according to our analysis of rates. However, you may find cheaper travel insurance if you opt for a plan with fewer benefits or lower coverage limits. How much you pay for travel insurance will also depend on the number of travelers covered, their ages, the length of the trip and any upgrades you add to your plan.

Travel insurance covers nonrefundable, prepaid trip costs — up to the policy coverage limits — when your trip is interrupted or canceled for a covered reason outlined in your plan documents. Even the cheapest travel insurance policies usually provide coverage for:

  • Medical emergencies.
  • Trip delays.
  • Trip interruption.
  • Trip cancellation.
  • Lost, stolen or damaged luggage.

However, if you’re looking to save on travel insurance, you can shop for a policy that only has travel medical insurance and does not include benefits for trip cancellation .

Even when you buy cheap travel insurance, you can often use upgrade options to customize your policy to meet your specific needs. 

Some common travel insurance add-ons you may want to consider include:

  • Rental car damage coverage. 
  • Medical bundle.
  • Security bundle.
  • Accidental death and dismemberment coverage.
  • Adventure sports bundle.
  • Pet bundle.
  • Wedding bundle.
  • “Cancel for work reasons” coverage.
  • “Interruption for any reason” (IFAR) coverage.
  • “Cancel for any reason” (CFAR) coverage .

Blueprint is an independent publisher and comparison service, not an investment advisor. The information provided is for educational purposes only and we encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding specific financial decisions. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Blueprint has an advertiser disclosure policy . The opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Blueprint editorial staff alone. Blueprint adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. The information is accurate as of the publish date, but always check the provider’s website for the most current information.

Mandy Sleight

Mandy is an insurance writer who has been creating online content since 2018. Before becoming a full-time freelance writer, Mandy spent 15 years working as an insurance agent. Her work has been published in Bankrate, MoneyGeek, The Insurance Bulletin, U.S. News and more.

Heidi Gollub is the USA TODAY Blueprint managing editor of insurance. She was previously lead editor of insurance at Forbes Advisor and led the insurance team at U.S. News & World Report as assistant managing editor of 360 Reviews. Heidi has an MBA from Emporia State University and is a licensed property and casualty insurance expert.

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Do not travel to Russia. 

Do not travel to Russia due to the dangerous security situation and the impacts of the military conflict with Ukraine. 

Do not travel to North Caucasus.

Do not travel to North Caucasus due to the high threat of terrorism and political unrest.

See Safety .

  • There's an ongoing threat of terrorism. Terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda and Daesh-aligned groups, continue to call for attacks in Russia. Attacks can be indiscriminate and may occur on or around seasonal, festive, or religious events in public places and could include popular tourist sites. Attacks may occur with little or no warning. Always be alert to possible threats and have a clear exit plan. On 23 March, there was a terrorist attack at Crocus City Hall in Moscow, resulting in significant loss of life.
  • Security incidents, such as drone attacks and explosions, often occur in southern and western areas of Russia, including regions bordering Ukraine, Moscow, and St Petersburg. This can cause significant flight delays and travel disruption. You shouldn't attempt to travel to the Russia-Ukraine border or cross into Ukraine from Russia.
  • The security situation could deteriorate further with little warning. If you're in Russia, leave immediately using the limited commercial options available or private means if it's safe to do so. Departure routes from Russia may become disrupted at short notice, so have an alternate exit plan. 
  • If you decide to stay in Russia, review your personal security plans. You're responsible for your own safety and that of your family. Our ability to provide consular assistance in Russia is limited. The Australian Government will not be able to evacuate you from Russia.
  • There are limited transportation options, restrictions on financial transactions and possible shortages of essential products and services. 
  • The Russian Government has introduced a 'medium response level' in several regions of Russia, including Krasnodar, Belgorod, Bryansk, Voronezh, Kursk, and Rostov and a 'heightened preparedness level' in the remainder of the Central and Southern Federal districts. A basic readiness level covers the rest of Russia. There may be an increase in security personnel and installations. Security measures or restrictions may be introduced with little to no notice. Monitor the media for developments. 
  • Russian authorities have made strong, negative comments in relation to Western countries. Local authorities may adopt a more negative attitude towards foreigners in Russia in reaction to perceived support for Ukraine and sanctions on Russia. Non-participating bystanders can draw scrutiny from security forces and have been detained. Remain vigilant, avoid protests or demonstrations and avoid commenting publicly on political developments.
  • Continue to follow the advice on Smartraveller. If you have significant concerns for your welfare or that of another Australian, contact the Consular Emergency Centre on 1300 555 135 in Australia or +61 2 6261 3305 outside Australia.

Full travel advice:  Safety

  • Laws about the import and use of medicines are strict. You need a doctor's letter and a notarised translation confirming your need for each medication that contains restricted substances. Contact the  Embassy of Russia  for details.
  • Rabies and tick-borne encephalitis are on the rise. Ticks are common from April to October. Take care when travelling through forests.
  • Infectious diseases such as typhoid, hepatitis, diphtheria, measles and tuberculosis are a risk. Boil drinking water or drink bottled water.
  • Public medical facilities in Russian cities are below Australian standards and basic in rural areas.

Full travel advice:  Health

  • Russia may subject males it regards as Russian to mobilisation, regardless of any other citizenship held. Laws introducing heavy penalties for 'crimes against military service' have been passed. The Australian Government won't be able to intervene if you're subjected to mobilisation.
  • Conscription occurs regularly in Russia. The Government may subject males it regards as Russian to mandatory conscription, regardless of any other citizenship held. From 1 January 2024, the maximum age of conscription will change from 27 to 30 years old. Russian authorities have also passed laws allowing for the draft notice to be serviced to the conscripts online, preventing conscripts from leaving the country once the notice is registered and sent.
  • Russia has passed laws that severely inhibit free speech related to the current situation, imposing severe restrictions on the publishing and distribution of information related to the Russian armed forces and any military operations. Foreign journalists and other media workers in Russia may face considerable risks, including arrest and imprisonment. Don't share or publish information related to the current events in Ukraine and Russia.
  • Russian authorities may enforce local laws in an arbitrary manner. You may be interrogated without cause by Russian officials and may become a victim of harassment, mistreatment, and extortion.
  • Don't use or carry any illegal drugs. Penalties are severe. Carry your passport, visa and migration card at all times. Authorities won't accept copies.
  • Don't take photos of military places or sensitive areas, such as passport control. It's also illegal to use commercial film, television, camera equipment or drones in public without permission. Hand-held video cameras are legal.
  • Russia doesn't recognise dual nationals. We can only provide limited consular assistance to dual nationals who are arrested or detained. You'll need a valid Russian passport to leave.
  • Same-sex relationships are technically legal but are not widely accepted. Violence against members of the LGBTI community occurs. Russia's parliament passed a law banning "LGBT propaganda", criminalising any act regarded as an attempt to promote what Russia calls "non-traditional sexual relations". The promotion of LGBTI issues may be considered illegal by local authorities, and activists may face consequences under Russian law. In July 2023, the Russian President signed a decree banning gender changes without medical requirements. The law also annuls marriages in which one person "changed gender" and prevents transgender couples from adopting children.
  • Law enforcement agencies in Russia cooperate closely with agencies in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries. If you commit an offence in one of these countries, you may be detained in another (including at the border) and extradited for prosecution.

Full travel advice:  Local laws

  • If you're in Russia, leave immediately using the limited commercial options available or private means if it's safe to do so. The security situation could deteriorate further with little warning. If you decide to stay in Russia, review your personal security plans. You're responsible for your own safety and that of your family. Have an alternate exit plan.
  • Confirm with your transport operator that services are still operating if you plan to depart Russia. Commercial travel routes between Russia and Europe are often disrupted due to measures taken in response to military action in Ukraine. Several Russian airports are now closed to the public, disrupting internal flights to and from Moscow and other cities. The train and bus service between St Petersburg and Helsinki is suspended. 
  • If you're travelling through an overland border crossing into  Estonia  or  Latvia , confirm the entry requirements for your destination before arrival. Finland has closed border crossings with Russia indefinitely and maritime borders will close on 15 April. Latvia introduced an entry ban on vehicles registered in Russia in September 2023. There's a ban on vehicles crossing into/from Estonia at the Ivangorod- Narva crossing. Train service is also suspended. Entry and exit on foot will still be allowed. Additional restrictions or entry requirements could be imposed or changed suddenly. Be aware that some borders may close without notice. Australia and other countries have placed sanctions on Russia. Russia's response to these sanctions may disrupt travel and affect travellers.
  • Russian airlines and railways may be affected by shortages of parts and essential technical components for their fleets, affecting maintenance and safety standards. Research your railway and aviation provider before choosing their services. The International Civil Aviation Organisation has issued a Significant Safety Concern (or 'red flag') notice regarding the capacity of Russian airlines to oversee safety. 
  • If, despite our advice, you decide to enter Russia, expect thorough security checks at the border, including questioning and inspections of electronic devices. Entry requirements can change at short notice. Contact your airline or the nearest embassy or consulate of Russia to confirm entry requirements.
  • Bank cards issued outside of Russia don't work in Russia. You won't be able to access funds from these cards once you enter Russia. You may not be able to exchange Australian dollars as well as old, worn, or damaged US dollar and euro banknotes into Russian rubles in Russia. Ensure you have enough money to cover your stay.
  • Dual nationals can't leave Russia without a valid Russian passport. If your Russian passport expires while you're in Russia or if you enter Russia using a repatriation certificate, you'll need to get a new Russian passport before you leave. This can take up to 3 months. The Australian Government won't be able to intervene or fast-track this process.  

Full travel advice:  Travel

Local contacts

  • The  Consular Services Charter  details what we can and can't do to help you overseas.
  • For consular help, contact the  Australian Embassy  in Moscow. Our ability to provide consular assistance in Russia is limited due to the evolving security situation. The Australian Government will not be able to evacuate you from Russia.
  • The Australian Consulate in St Petersburg can provide limited help.
  • If you have significant concerns for your welfare or that of another Australian, contact the Consular Emergency Centre on 1300 555 135 in Australia or +61 2 6261 3305 outside Australia.

Full travel advice:  Local contacts

Full advice

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Russia. Terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda and Daesh-aligned groups, continue to call for attacks in Russia. Attacks can be indiscriminate and may occur on or around seasonal, festive, or religious events in public places and could include popular tourist sites. Attacks may occur with little or no warning. Always be alert to possible threats and have a clear exit plan. Russia has seen a number of terrorist attacks which have caused large casualty numbers. On 23 March, there was a terrorist attack at Crocus City Hall in Moscow, resulting in significant loss of life. Russia's aviation has also been targeted. 

Russian authorities continue to announce arrests and the disruption of planned attacks.

Terrorists have attacked other European cities. Targets have included:

  • places of worship
  • government buildings
  • shopping areas
  • tourist sites
  • restaurants
  • entertainment venues
  • transportation hubs
  • major events which attract large crowds

To protect yourself from terrorism:

  • be alert to possible threats, especially in public places
  • be extra cautious around possible terrorist targets
  • always have a clear exit plan
  • report anything suspicious to the police
  • monitor the media for any new threats
  • take official warnings seriously and follow the instructions of local authorities

If there's an attack, leave the area as soon as it's safe. Avoid the affected area in case of secondary attacks.

Terrorism is a threat worldwide.

More information:

North Caucasus

There's a high threat of terrorism in parts of the North Caucasus, including:

  • North Ossetia
  • the south-eastern part of Stavropol bordering Chechnya
  • Karbardino-Balkaria
  • Karachay-Cherkessia

Terrorist attacks continue to occur in Chechnya. Several people have been killed and injured.

Our ability to provide consular assistance to Australians  in those parts of the North Caucasus  is limited.

If, despite our advice, you travel to these parts of the North Caucasus:

  • monitor local conditions via media and travel operators
  • arrange personal security measures

Georgia-Russia border

The Georgia-Russia border area is volatile because of tensions in Georgia.

If, despite our advice, you travel in the border region, read our  Georgia travel advice .

Security situation

Security incidents, such as drone attacks and explosions, often occur in southern and western areas of Russia, including regions bordering Ukraine, Moscow, and St Petersburg. This can cause significant flight delays and flight cancellations. You shouldn't attempt to travel to the Russia-Ukraine border or cross into Ukraine from Russia.

The security situation could deteriorate further with little warning. If you're in Russia, leave immediately using the limited commercial options available or private means if it's safe to do so. Departure routes from Russia may become disrupted at short notice. If you decide to stay in Russia, review your personal security plans. You're responsible for your own safety and that of your family.

The Russian Government has introduced a 'medium response level' in several regions of Russia, including Krasnodar, Belgorod, Bryansk, Voronezh, Kursk, and Rostov and a 'heightened preparedness level' in the remainder of the Central and Southern Federal districts. A basic readiness level has been introduced in the rest of Russia. There may be an increase in security personnel and installations. Security measures or restrictions may be introduced with little to no notice. Monitor the media for developments.

Ukraine border areas and Crimea

The Russia-Ukraine border is volatile due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Security incidents regularly occur in Belgorod, Bryansk, Kursk and other regions of Russia bordering Ukraine, including explosions and large fires. The security situation in the region could deteriorate at short notice. You shouldn't travel to the Russia-Ukraine border or cross into Ukraine from Russia.

We currently advise you do not travel to Ukraine due to the volatile security environment and military conflict. Read the  Ukraine travel advice   for more information.

The Australian Government doesn't recognise Russia's claimed annexation of the Ukrainian region of Crimea or its other territorial claims in occupied Ukraine.

Leaving Russia

Where it's safe to do so, you should leave Russia immediately. Use your judgment to decide the best time and safest means of exit. 

Transport routes may be disrupted. Plan for delays at land border crossings. Expect disruption to travel and changes at short notice. Make sure you have an adequate supply of food, water, medication and fuel. Make sure you have payment options that will work during your journey and at your destination. 

Read your destination's travel advice to ensure you meet the entry requirements. These may differ when entering by road, rail or air. Be aware that some borders may close without notice. Commercial travel routes between Russia and Europe have been impacted by measures taken in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Check with your airline or travel agent for current flight availability. Any travel options you pursue are at your own risk. See ' Travel '

For more information on entry requirements for countries bordering Russia, read the travel advice:

The European Union also has a website with  information on travel restrictions for people seeking to enter member states .

If you decide to stay in Russia:

  • follow the instructions of authorities
  • ensure your travel documents are up-to-date, and keep your passport and other travel documentation safe
  • contact your family and friends in Australia so they're aware of your location and situation
  • keep up to date with developments on the security situation, monitor reputable media, and regularly check our travel advice and  social media
  • review your personal security plans and make contingency plans to leave as soon as you judge it safe to do so
  • always be alert and aware of your surroundings
  • avoid large gatherings and areas with groups of fighters and military equipment.

Civil unrest and political tension

Russia's parliament has passed laws that severely restrict free speech related to the current situation. Foreign journalists and other media workers in Russia may face considerable risks, including arrest and imprisonment.

While the effects of this law are still unclear, you may be detained or fined for:

  • sharing or publishing information that local authorities deem false
  • sharing or publishing information that may be detrimental to the armed forces
  • calling for, sharing or publishing speech in support of sanctions against Russia

You should not:

  • share or publish information related to the current events in Ukraine and Russia
  • participate in demonstrations and large gatherings

Russian authorities may adopt a more negative attitude towards foreigners in Russia due to perceived support for Ukraine and sanctions on Russia. Russian authorities may enforce local laws in an arbitrary manner. You may be interrogated without cause by Russian officials and may become a victim of harassment, mistreatment, and extortion.

Avoid commenting publicly on political developments.

Anti-war and anti-mobilisation protests have taken place in cities across Russia over the invasion of Ukraine. Many protesters have been arrested.

Unsanctioned protests are illegal, and you can be arrested if you participate. Remain vigilant and avoid rallies, protests, demonstrations and other large public gatherings, as they can turn violent, and you may be arrested.

  • Demonstrations and civil unrest

Theft and assault

Petty crime, pickpocketing and mugging is common. Groups of children sometimes commit crimes, too.

Hot spots for crime include:

  • the Izmailovsky Market
  • other tourist attractions
  • the Moscow and St Petersburg metros

Thieves often steal passports. They target travellers in  robberies  and  assaults , particularly in large cities.

To protect yourself from theft and assault:

  • keep your personal belongings close, particularly in tourist areas
  • be aware of your security in public places, particularly at night
  • monitor local media on crime
  • racially or religiously motivated assaults may occur throughout Russia.

Drink spiking

Criminals may drug and rob travellers at nightclubs and bars. Sometimes this happens after people accept offers of food, drink or transportation from strangers.

To protect yourself from spiking-related crime:

  • never accept food or drinks from strangers
  • don't leave drinks unattended
  • leave your drink if you're not sure it's safe
  • stick with people you trust in bars, nightclubs and taxis
  • don't accept offers of transport from strangers
  • Partying safely

Using taxis

People have reported extortion and robbery while taking unauthorised taxis.

To protect yourself from robbery while travelling in taxis:

  • only use official taxi companies
  • always book your taxi in advance
  • don't flag down taxis on the street
  • don't share taxis with strangers
  • always negotiate and confirm the fare before you get in a taxi

Credit card and ATM fraud

Credit card and ATM fraud is common.

To protect yourself from fraud:

  • only exchange currency at banks
  • keep your credit card in sight during transactions
  • only use ATMs inside banks and during business hours
  • always hide your PIN

Other scams

Criminals may try to cheat you by changing money in the street or a bank queue.

Some Australians have been victims of fraud by bogus internet friendship, dating and marriage schemes operating from Russia.

These are large-scale, well-organised  scams .

Criminals arrange to meet people through internet dating schemes or chat rooms. After getting to know each other, the criminal asks the Australian to send money so they can travel to Australia. However, the relationship ends after the money has been received, and the funds can't be recovered.

Be wary of people you meet through internet dating schemes or chat rooms.

People have also reported harassment, mistreatment and extortion by police and other local officials.

If you suspect you're being extorted by a police officer or other local official, offer to walk with them to the nearest police station. Once there, you can check their identity and their demands.

Cyber security 

You may be at risk of cyber-based threats during overseas travel to any country. Digital identity theft is a growing concern. Your devices and personal data can be compromised, especially if you're connecting to Wi-Fi, using or connecting to shared or public computers, or to Bluetooth. 

Social media can also be risky in destinations where there are social or political tensions or laws that may seem unreasonable by Australian standards. Travellers have been arrested for things they have said on social media. Don't comment on local or political events on your social media. 

More information:   

  • Cyber security when travelling overseas  

Kidnapping  is common in parts of the Northern Caucasus.

It can be for:

  • political purposes
  • retribution

Foreigners have been targeted in the past.

If, despite the risks, you travel to an area where there is a particular threat of kidnapping:

  • get professional security advice

The Australian Government's longstanding policy is that it doesn't make payments or concessions to kidnappers.

Climate and natural disasters

Severe weather  during winter can disrupt travel in Russia.

To protect yourself from accidents caused by severe weather:

  • take care when walking in snowy, icy or windy conditions
  • take care when driving
  • use appropriate driving equipment, such as winter tyres or chains
  • monitor the media and other sources for updates

If you're delayed, contact local authorities about a visa extension if required.

In April, severe flooding affected multiple settlements across Russia in the South Urals region east of Moscow, in Western Siberia and near the Volga River. 

Snow and ice

People are injured or killed yearly in wind, snow and ice-related accidents. These include:

  • traffic accidents
  • collapsed roofs and snow falling from roofs 
  • falling debris 
  • prolonged exposure to extreme cold

Slipping on ice can result in serious injuries, such as broken bones, back injuries or paralysis.

During summer, forest and peat  fires  can occur in Russia, including in the Moscow region.

Earthquakes and tsunamis

The North Caucasus and the far eastern region of Russia can experience  earthquakes .

Tsunamis  are common in all oceanic regions of the world.

To protect yourself from natural disasters, take official warnings seriously.

If a  natural disaster  occurs, follow the advice of local authorities.

Get updates on major disasters from the  Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System .

Travel insurance

Most Australian travel insurance policies won't cover you for travel to Russia. Do not travel to Russia. See ' Safety '

If you're not insured, you may have to pay thousands of dollars up-front for medical care.

Physical and mental health

Do not travel to Russia. If, despite our advice, you travel to Russia, consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition. 

See your doctor or travel clinic to:

  • have a basic health check-up
  • ask if your travel plans may affect your health
  • plan any vaccinations you need

Do this at least eight weeks before you leave.

If you have immediate concerns for your welfare or the welfare of another Australian, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your  nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate  to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location.

  • General health advice  (World Health Organization)
  • Healthy holiday tips  (Healthdirect Australia)

Medications

Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor. 

Russia has imposed temporary restrictions on exporting certain categories of goods, including foreign-made medical products. 

If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Russia. Take enough legal medication for your trip.

Russia has strict laws about the import and use of medications. This includes medications that are available over the counter in Australia, such as cold and flu tablets.

When you arrive in Russia, you must present a doctor's letter to authorities confirming your need for each medication. This is the case if your medications contain the following:

  • barbiturate
  • sibutramine
  • anabolic steroids
  • androgens and other sex hormones
  • analgesic, such as tramadol
  • psychostimulants
  • other restricted substances

The letter must:

  • contain a description of the medication, including the chemical composition
  • describe the required dosage
  • explain the underlying medical condition
  • confirm the medicine is for personal use only
  • be signed by your treating doctor

You must also have a notarised translation of the letter into Russian.

Before you leave Australia, contact the Embassy of Russia for the latest rules for bringing medicines into Russia.

  • Russian Government website

Health risks

Tick-borne diseases.

Tick-borne encephalitis  (World Health Organization) and other tick-borne diseases are a risk, especially if you travel through forested areas.

Ticks are common in rural areas from spring to autumn: April to October.

People have reported increased incidents of tick-borne encephalitis.

Measles cases can routinely occur in Russia, with the country currently experiencing increased measles activity. Make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date before you travel.

  • Measles immunisation service  (Department of Health and Aged Care)

Bird flu (avian influenza)

Avian influenza  is a risk in Russia.

HIV/AIDS  is a risk.

Take steps to reduce your risk of exposure to the virus.

There has been a reported increase in  rabies  across Russia.

Rabies is deadly. Humans can get rabies from mammals, such as:

  • other animals

If you're bitten or scratched by a dog, monkey or other animal, get treatment as soon as possible.

Other health risks

Waterborne, foodborne, parasitic and other  infectious diseases  are common, including these listed by the World Health Organization:

  • tuberculosis

Serious outbreaks sometimes occur.

To protect yourself from illness:

  • drink boiled water or bottled water with sealed lids
  • avoid ice cubes
  • avoid uncooked and undercooked food, such as salads
  • avoid unpasteurised dairy products

Get urgent medical attention if you have a fever or diarrhoea or suspect food poisoning.

Medical facilities

Public medical facilities in Russian cities are below Australian standards.

Standards are extremely basic in rural areas.

There are a few international-standard private facilities in major cities – these clinics can be very expensive to access.

Before you're treated, private facilities need either:

  • up-front payment
  • evidence of adequate insurance
  • a written guarantee of payment

If you become seriously ill or injured, you'll need to be evacuated to get proper care. Medical evacuation can be very expensive.

You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.

In July, the Russian President signed a decree banning gender changes, including gender transition surgery, hormone therapy and changing gender on official documents without medical requirements. The law also annuls marriages in which one person "changed gender" and prevents transgender couples from adopting children.

In November 2022, Russia's parliament passed a law banning "LGBT propaganda", criminalising any act regarded as an attempt to promote what Russia calls "non-traditional sexual relations". Sharing information or public display of any material promoting "non-traditional relationships" is now a serious criminal offence.

In November 2022, Russia announced that the partial mobilisation of military reservists for the conflict in Ukraine was complete. However, a decree formalising the completion has not been issued. The Russian Government may subject males it regards as Russian to mobilisation, regardless of any other citizenship held. Laws introducing heavy penalties for 'crimes against military service' have been passed. The Australian Government will not be able to intervene if you are subjected to mobilisation.

The US Government issued travel advice in March 2022 advising that Russian security services have arrested US citizens on spurious charges, singled out US citizens in Russia for detention and/or harassment, denied them fair and transparent treatment, and have convicted them in secret trials and/or without presenting credible evidence. The US Government warns that Russian officials may unreasonably delay consular assistance to detained US citizens.

Russian authorities have introduced criminal liability for publishing and distributing 'deliberately misleading' information about the Russian armed forces and any military operations. These laws have been interpreted and applied very broadly to many forms of dissent.

Law enforcement agencies in Russia cooperate closely with agencies in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries. If you commit an offence in one of these countries, you may be detained in another (including at the border) and extradited for prosecution. 

If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our  Consular Services Charter . But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.

Russian authorities imposed restrictions on real estate and foreign currency transactions for foreign residents. These restrictions can be revised at short notice. Seek advice from local authorities.

Possessing, selling, consuming, or carrying any illegal drugs is illegal.

Penalties are severe and include long prison terms.

Russia has strict rules around medication carried into the country for personal use, including some medications that you can get over the counter in Australia.

If you don't declare restricted medications, authorities could detain you. See  Health .

  • Carrying or using drugs

Routine police checks are common in public places.

Carry your passport, visa and migration card with you at all times. Authorities won't accept copies.

If you can't provide travel documentation on request, authorities can detain and fine you.

In Russia, it's illegal to:

  • take photos of military places, strategic sites and other sensitive areas, such as passport control and guarded railway sites
  • use commercial film, television or camera equipment in public areas without permission, but hand-held home video cameras are allowed
  • use drones without permission from the Russian aviation authority.

Penalties for breaching the law include fines, jail and deportation.

Russia regulates religious activity. Authorities restrict activities such as preaching and distributing religious materials.

If you plan to engage in religious activity, ensure you're not breaking local laws.

Contact the Embassy or Consulate of Russia for more information.

Cybersecurity laws

Russia has blocked or restricted some social media platforms and websites, including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Russia has banned certain Virtual Private Networks (VPN) and has indicated it will implement a nationwide ban on VPNs in March 2025.

  • Cyber security when travelling overseas
  • Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor)

Official documents

Some Australian documents, such as birth or marriage certificates, need to be  legalised  before Russian authorities will accept them.

If you have an Australian document that you need to use while in Russia, contact the Embassy or Consulate of Russia for information.

Apostilles  and some legal certificates can be issued by:

  • DFAT  in Australia
  • Australian embassies and high commissions  overseas

Surrogacy laws

Russia has laws governing child surrogacy and has passed legislation banning surrogacy for all foreigners except those married to Russian citizens. Recent court cases have resulted in long custodial sentences for some providers of surrogacy services. All children born through surrogacy in Russia are granted Russian citizenship, regardless of their parent's citizenship.

Get independent legal advice before making surrogacy arrangements in Russia or with residents of Russia.

  • Going overseas for international surrogacy
  • Going overseas to adopt a child

Australian laws

Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.

  • Staying within the law and respecting customs

Dual nationality

Russia doesn't recognise dual nationality.

In November 2022, Russia announced that the partial mobilisation of military reservists for the conflict in Ukraine was complete. However, a decree formalising the completion hasn't been issued. Russia may subject males it regards as Russian to mobilisation, regardless of any other citizenship held. Laws introducing heavy penalties for 'crimes against military service' have been passed. The Australian Government won't be able to intervene if you are subjected to mobilisation.

Conscription occurs regularly, and Russia may subject males it regards as Russian to mandatory conscription, regardless of any other citizenship held. Conscription in Russia occurs semi-annually, and conscripts typically serve one year. From 1 January 2024, the maximum conscription age will change from 27 to 30 years old. Russian authorities have also passed laws allowing for the draft notice to be serviced to the conscripts online and preventing conscripts from leaving the country once the notice is registered and sent.

Russian authorities won't recognise your Australian nationality if you're a dual national. They will treat you like any other national of Russia.

If you're a dual national:

  • you must enter and leave Russia on a Russian passport
  • you can enter Russia using a repatriation certificate (svidetelstvo na vozvrashcheniye) if you don't have a Russian passport, but you must still leave Russia on a Russian passport
  • you must declare any other nationalities or foreign residency permits to the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs
  • you could be conscripted into the Russian military if you're a male between the ages of 18 and 30 

If you're a dual national, this limits the  consular services  we can give if you're arrested or detained.

Contact the  Embassy or Consulate of Russia  well before any planned travel to Russia.

Dual nationals can't leave Russia without a valid Russian passport.

You'll need to get a new Russian passport before you leave if:

  • your Russian passport expires while you're in Russia
  • you enter Russia using a repatriation certificate

Getting a new Russian passport for non-residents is complex and can take up to 3 months. The Australian Government is unable to intervene or fast-track this process.

Children born outside Russia and added to their parents' Russian passports need their own passport to leave Russia.

If you're travelling alone with a child, Russian border authorities may require the following:

  • documentary evidence of your relationship to the child
  • written permission for the child to travel from the non-travelling parent
  • Dual nationals

Local customs

Same-sex relationships are legal in Russia but not widely accepted.

Intolerance towards the LGBTI community is common, particularly outside Moscow and St Petersburg.

People have reported violence against members of the LGBTI community, including by local security forces.

In April 2017, there were reports of arrests and violence against LGBTI people in Chechnya.

In November 2022, Russia passed a law banning "LGBT propaganda", criminalising any act regarded as an attempt to promote what Russia calls "non-traditional sexual relations". Sharing or displaying material promoting "non-traditional relationships" is now a serious criminal offence. The bill broadens the existing law banning the promotion of 'non-traditional sexual relationships' to minors.

  • Advice for LGBTI travellers

Visas and border measures

Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering. 

Australia and other countries have placed sanctions on Russia. Russia's response to these sanctions may disrupt travel and affect travellers.

You need a visa to enter Russia unless you're travelling on certain commercial cruise ships.

You can't get a visa on arrival.

If you arrive in Russia without a valid visa, authorities will fine, detain and deport you at your own expense. They may bar you from re-entering.

Make sure you apply for the correct visa type, such as 'tourist' and 'visitor' visas.

If your visa type doesn't match the purpose of your visit, authorities may:

  • not let you enter 

You may need to provide biometric fingerprints for the visa application process.

After you get your Russian visa, check your passport details are correct, including the following:

  • passport number
  • date of birth
  • intention of stay
  • validity dates

If there are errors, return your passport to the  Russian Embassy or Consulate  for correction.

It's impossible to amend visa details once you're in Russia.

Australians sanctioned by Russia

The Russian Foreign Ministry issued statements on its website advising that, in response to Australian sanctions, the Russian Government had added several Australians to a 'stop list', denying them entry into Russia on an indefinite basis.  

These statements can be viewed here (copy and paste the URL into a new browser if you can't open the link):

  • 21 June 2023 statement -   https://mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/1890258/
  • 16 September 2022 statement  -  https://mid.ru/ru/foreign_policy/news/1830085/  (in Russian)
  • 21 July 2022 statement  -  https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/1823204/
  • 16 June 2022 statement  -  https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/1818118/
  • 7 April 2022 statement  -  https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/1808465/

DFAT can't provide advice on the implications of another country's sanctions. If you're listed, you should obtain legal advice if you have concerns about the potential impacts of the Russian sanctions. Do not travel to Russia if you're on Russia's 'stop list'. 

Discuss your travel plans with your cruise operator before you travel to check if you need a visa.

Check transit visa requirements if you transit through Russia to a third country.

  • Russian Embassy
  • Going on a cruise

Border measures

If, despite our advice, you decide to enter Russia, expect thorough security checks at the border, including questioning and inspections of electronic devices.

Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the nearest  embassy or consulate  for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.

Other formalities

Migration card.

All foreign visitors receive a migration card on arrival in Russia.

If you receive a paper migration card, keep the stamped exit portion of the card with your passport.

The migration card covers both Russia and Belarus. You must show the stamped card to passport control when leaving either country.

If you lose your migration card:

  • your departure could be delayed
  • you could be stopped from staying at a hotel in Russia

You can get a replacement from the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, which is complex and could delay your departure.

Biometric fingerprinting

Foreign citizens entering Russia for work or intending to stay over 90 calendar days may be subject to biometric fingerprinting and regular medical check-ups. The procedure of biometric fingerprinting will need to be done only once. Medical check-ups will need to be re-taken upon the certificate's expiry (valid for 1 year).

Travel with children

If you're  travelling with a child , you may need to show evidence of parental, custodial or permission rights. This is particularly the case for dual nationals. See  Local laws

  • Advice for people travelling with children

Electronics

The government strictly controls the import of electrical and some high-technology equipment.

The rules are complex.

You may import terminal global positioning systems (GPS) devices if you declare them on arrival. However, you'll need a special permit to import a GPS device connected to a computer or an antenna.

Authorities can detain you if you don't have a permit.

You must show proof of advanced approval to import a satellite phone. Request approval from the  Federal Service for the Supervision of Communications .

Russian border officials can demand to inspect any electronic device, including installed software when you leave.

Travel between Russia and Belarus

Do not travel to Russia and Belarus due to the security environment and impacts of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. If you’re in Russia or Belarus, leave immediately using the limited commercial options available or private means if it's safe to do so.

If, despite our advice, you decide to enter Belarus from Russia, note that the government doesn't allow foreigners to cross the land border between Russia and Belarus.

If you travel between Russia and Belarus, it must be by air.

If you're travelling between Russia and Belarus, you must have visas for both countries.

Visa-free entry into Belarus doesn't apply to travellers arriving from or travelling to Russia.

Contact the  Embassy of Russia  and the  Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus  for details.

Registering your stay in Russia

If you stay more than 7 working days, including your arrival and departure day, you must register with the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs.

You have to pay a registration fee.

Most hotels do this for their guests, but you're legally responsible. Confirm with check-in staff on arrival that they've registered you.

The registration process can be complex if you're not staying at a hotel.

Register at the nearest post office if you're travelling on a visitor visa.

Register through your employer if you're travelling on a visa that lets you work. Confirm with your employer that they've registered you.

If you don't register, authorities can fine you or delay your departure.

  • The Russian Embassy

Visa overstays

Make sure you leave Russia before your visa expires. Some visas, including tourist visas, can't be extended.

If you overstay your visa, you won't be allowed to leave Russia until the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs determines your legal status or deports you.

Authorities can detain you until they've processed your case.

Penalties for overstaying include fines and deportation.

You may be banned from re-entering.

Exporting goods

Russia has imposed temporary restrictions on exporting certain categories of goods, including foreign-made medical products. Seek advice from local authorities.

Russia has strict regulations on the export of antiques, artworks and items of historical significance. This is for items purchased in Russia or imported to Russia from overseas. It includes modern art and posters if they are particularly rare or valuable.

Authorities may not allow the export of items more than 100 years old.

If you want to export any antiques, artworks or items of historical significance:

  • keep receipts of your purchases
  • obtain an export permit from the Ministry of Culture in advance of travel — export permits aren't issued at the airport
  • declare each item to border authorities when you leave Russia
  • be ready to show each item to border authorities
  • be ready to show receipts for each item to border authorities

Don't try to export items requiring permits without the relevant paperwork. This is a serious offence.

Legislation about the export of artwork and antiques from Russia may change without warning.

Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for six months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.

Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.

You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than six months.

The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting  a new passport .

Lost or stolen passport

Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.

Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.

If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:

  • In Australia, contact the  Australian Passport Information Service .
  • If you're overseas, contact the nearest  Australian embassy or consulate .

If your passport is lost or stolen while ashore, you will need to obtain an emergency passport and an exit visa to leave Russia within the 72-hour visa-free period. If it’s not done within 72 hours, you will face a court hearing and possible fine, deportation and entry ban.

To arrange a new visa:

  • obtain an official police report
  • apply for a replacement passport through the  Australian Embassy in Moscow
  • apply to Russian authorities for an exit visa
  • include the police report with your application

If you replace your passport while in Russia, make sure authorities transfer your visa to the new passport.

Passport with 'X' gender identifier

Although Australian passports comply with international standards for sex and gender, we can't guarantee that a passport showing 'X' in the sex field will be accepted for entry or transit by another country. Contact the nearest  embassy, high commission or consulate of your destination  before you arrive at the border to confirm if authorities will accept passports with 'X' gender markers. 

More information:  

  •       LGBTI travellers  

The currency of Russia is the Rouble (RUB).

Russian authorities have imposed temporary restrictions on the export of foreign currency in cash out of Russia. Travellers exiting Russia can't take more than the equivalent of $US10,000 in cash.

Make sure a customs official stamps your declaration. Only stamped declarations are valid.

You must carry proof that your funds were imported and declared or legally obtained in Russia.

Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Mastercard, Visa, and American Express have suspended operations in Russia. Cards issued outside of Russia will not work at Russian merchants or ATMs. Cards issued inside Russia may continue to work, but they won't work outside Russia. It may not be possible for you to access your funds through Russian banks or to make payments to Russian businesses with non-Russian credit/debit cards. Be prepared with alternate means of payment should your cards be declined.

You may not be able to exchange Australian dollars as well as old, worn or damaged US dollar and euro banknotes into Russian rubles in Russia. Ensure you have enough money to cover your stay in Russia. 

Traveller's cheques aren't widely accepted, even in Moscow and St Petersburg.

Local travel

Postal services between Russia and Australia are temporarily suspended. 

More information 

  • Australia Post website

Confirm with your transport operator that services are still operating if you plan to depart Russia. Commercial travel routes between Russia and Europe are disrupted. Expect thorough security checks at the border, including questioning and inspections of electronic devices.

Flights between Russia and Europe have been affected by measures taken in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Several Russian airports are now closed to the public, disrupting internal flights to and from Moscow and other cities. The train and bus service between St Petersburg and Helsinki is suspended.

Finland  has closed border crossings with Russia indefinitely and maritime borders will close on 15 April. 

Latvia introduced an entry ban on vehicles registered in Russia in September 2023. More information can be found on the  State Revenue Service website . There's a ban on vehicles crossing into/from Estonia at the Ivangorod-Narva crossing. Train service is also suspended. Entry and exit on foot will still be allowed. Additional restrictions or entry requirements could be imposed or changed suddenly. Be aware that some borders may close without notice. 

If you're travelling through an overland border crossing into  Estonia  or  Latvia , confirm the entry requirements for your destination before arrival.

Australia and other countries have placed sanctions on Russia. Russia's response to these sanctions may disrupt travel and affect travellers. Confirm entry requirements for your  destination  before arrival, as additional restrictions or entry requirements could be imposed or changed suddenly.

If, despite our advice, you decide to go to Chechnya or the North Caucasus, you must first get permission from the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Several other areas of Russia, especially in Siberia and the Russian Far East, are also 'closed' areas.

Foreigners need government permission to enter 'closed' areas.

If you need government permission or are unsure if you need it, contact the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Driving permit

You should carry an International Driving Permit (IDP).

You may drive with an Australian driver's license if you carry it with a notarised Russian translation.

Road travel

Driving in Russia can be hazardous due to:

  • poor driving standards
  • ice and snow in winter
  • poor road conditions in rural areas

The blood alcohol limit for drivers is 0%.

  • Driving or riding
  • the Russian Embassy

Some taxis appear official but aren't licensed by local authorities.

People have reported extortion and  robbery  while taking unauthorised taxis. See  Safety

Book an official taxi by phone, at major hotels and from inside airports.

Flights from Russia to other countries are limited. These may change or be suspended at short notice. You should contact airlines or travel agents directly for the most current information.

The  EU announced  that 21 Russian-owned airlines were banned from flying in EU airspace due to safety concerns.

Russian airlines and railways may be affected by shortages of parts and essential technical components for their fleets, affecting maintenance and safety standards. If you're flying domestically or internationally, research your aviation provider before choosing their services.

DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.

Check Russia's air safety profile with the  Aviation Safety Network

Emergencies

Depending on what you need, contact your:

  • family and friends
  • travel agent
  • insurance provider

Always get a police report when you report a crime.

Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.

Consular contacts

Read the  Consular Services Charter  for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.

For consular help, contact the Australian Embassy in Moscow.  Our ability to provide consular assistance in Russia is limited. The Australian Government will not be able to evacuate you from Russia.

Australian Embassy, Moscow

13 Kropotkinsky Pereulok Moscow 119034 Russia Phone: (+7 495) 956-6070  Fax: (+7 495) 956-6170  Website:  russia.embassy.gov.au Twitter:  @PosolAustralia

If you're in St Petersburg, you can also contact the Australian Consulate for limited consular help.

Australian Consulate, St Petersburg

Moika 11 St Petersburg 191186 Russia Tel: (+7 964) 333 7572 (NOT for visas) Email:  [email protected]  (NOT for visas)

Check the Embassy website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.

24-hour Consular Emergency Centre

Australians in need of consular assistance should contact the Australian Government 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre:

  • +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas
  • 1300 555 135 in Australia

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