PRACTICE – Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, the list of countries requiring special coverage has only grown longer. With, sometimes, the obligation to cover health costs or even accommodation in quarantine.
This is a direct consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic: in principle optional, travel insurance covering any costs related to illness on site is now compulsory to visit certain countries, while international borders are opening up from more and more. And month after month, the list just keeps getting longer. If, before the health crisis, only six states asked tourists to provide a health insurance certificate (China, Russia, Cuba, Algeria, Mongolia and Saudi Arabia), this figure now reaches 41 destinations, many of which are very touristy (Thailand, Kenya, Cuba, Costa Rica…).
In concrete terms, the authorities of the states concerned impose an insurance certificate with the mention “Covid” guaranteeing coverage of any on-site costs linked to the disease: quarantine in a hotel, medical repatriation… The document will be checked on more often when boarding the plane, more rarely when getting off, and sometimes determines obtaining a visa.
Obligations differ by country
If a few of those 41 countries simply impose a “health insurance” without further details, most claim that health, hospitalization or repatriation costs be covered if you contract the coronavirus on the spot. The insurance certificate must mention this coverage in black and white. You must therefore expressly ask your insurer or the insurer of your bank card (Visa, MasterCard, etc.).
Small problem: many elderly people, vaccinated and want to travel again, have trouble getting insurance. “Many contracts end at 65, 72 or 75. Beyond that, it is sometimes difficult to find an insurance contract, which is why we indicate on our comparator the appropriate contracts according to age » warns David Dumont, president of Insurly, a travel insurance comparator.
Another constraint to know, now, a minimum amount of support is often required. Thailand, for example, requires that health costs be covered up to… more than $100,000, while Cambodia is content with $50,000. For its part, Costa Rica requests that, for non-vaccinated persons over 18 years of age, accommodation costs in the event of fortnight be covered up to $2,000 and medical costs up to $50,000. Argentina, for its part, is also asking for accommodation costs to be covered up to $2,000, including if you are vaccinated.
From France, currently only Assur-Travel, Chapka and AVA cover this expense, and it is necessary to request a specific certificate with these guarantees, at no additional cost. It is also possible to take out local insurance, unfortunately often expensive, when you arrive on site.
Finally, following the multiplication of cases and the contagiousness of certain variants such as Omicron, several insurers have provided in their contract for the event that you fall ill with Covid-19 during your stay. This is specified in the “extension of stay” and “return impossible” sections of the general conditions. “These guarantees can be payment for additional accommodation (from 10 to 14 nights, between €80 and €100 per night), payment for the return flight (from €800 to €1,000), payment for a local telephone plan (about €100), an emergency first aid bag (€100 per person) or even psychological support”, says David Dumont. Useful reminder: it is often possible to take out Covid travel insurance up to the day before departure.
The list of 41 countries requiring a travel insurance certificate with the mention “Covid”
- Aruba (Caribbean Islands)
- Costa Rica (if your vaccination schedule is not considered complete)
- Saint Martin (Dutch)
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- Saudi Arabia
SEE ALSO – Covid-19: the Twenty-Seven agree to avoid imposing tests on vaccinated people during their trips within the EU.