Insurance for Visitors: Why You Need It and How to Get It

Are you planning a trip abroad? Whether you’re going on vacation, visiting friends or family, or attending a business conference, it’s important to protect yourself with travel insurance. While many people assume that their regular health insurance will cover them when they’re out of the country, this is often not the case. In this article, we’ll explain why you need insurance for visitors and how to get it.

What is insurance for visitors?

Insurance for visitors, also known as travel insurance or international health insurance, is a type of coverage that provides financial protection for medical emergencies, trip cancellations, lost luggage, and other unexpected events that can occur when traveling outside your home country. Depending on the policy, it may also cover emergency medical evacuation, repatriation of remains, and other services.

Without insurance for visitors, you could be responsible for paying for unexpected medical expenses out-of-pocket, which can be extremely expensive. In some countries, medical bills can reach tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. In addition, you may not have access to the same quality of healthcare as you do at home. Travel insurance provides peace of mind and financial security, so you can enjoy your trip without worrying about what might happen.

Types of insurance for visitors

There are several types of insurance for visitors to choose from, depending on your needs and budget:

Type of insurance
Medical travel insurance
Covers medical emergencies and related expenses
Varies depending on age, health, and length of trip
Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
Covers non-refundable trip expenses if you have to cancel or interrupt your trip due to unforeseen circumstances
Typically 4-10% of total trip cost
Baggage insurance
Covers lost, stolen, or damaged luggage and personal belongings
Varies depending on amount of coverage and length of trip

How to get insurance for visitors

There are several ways to get insurance for visitors:

1. Through your travel agency or airline

Many travel agencies and airlines offer travel insurance as an add-on when you book your trip. While this can be convenient, it’s important to read the policy carefully to make sure it provides adequate coverage, as some policies have exclusions or limitations. In addition, you may be paying more for the same coverage compared to buying it separately.

2. Through an insurance broker

An insurance broker can help you compare policies from different insurers and find the one that best meets your needs and budget. They can also answer any questions you have and provide guidance on what type of coverage you need.

3. Directly from an insurance company

You can also buy insurance for visitors directly from an insurance company. This can be a good option if you’ve done your research and know what type of coverage you need. Some popular insurers for international travel include AIG, World Nomads, and Allianz.


1. Is insurance for visitors mandatory?

Insurance for visitors is not mandatory in most countries, but it’s highly recommended. In some countries, such as Cuba and Schengen countries, it’s a requirement for obtaining a visa.

2. Does insurance for visitors cover COVID-19?

Most insurance for visitors policies do not cover COVID-19, as it’s considered a known risk. However, some insurers offer COVID-19 coverage as an add-on or as part of a more comprehensive policy. It’s important to read the policy carefully to understand what is and isn’t covered related to COVID-19.

3. How much does insurance for visitors cost?

The cost of insurance for visitors depends on several factors, such as your age, health, destination, and length of trip. On average, you can expect to pay $4-$8 per day for medical travel insurance, and 4-10% of your total trip cost for trip cancellation/interruption insurance.

4. What should I look for in a good insurance for visitors policy?

When choosing an insurance for visitors policy, consider the following factors:

  • Amount of coverage for medical emergencies and related expenses
  • Exclusions and limitations
  • Deductibles and co-pays
  • Emergency medical evacuation and repatriation of remains
  • Coverage for trip cancellations/interruptions, lost luggage, and other unexpected events
  • Customer service and claims process

5. Can I buy insurance for visitors after I’ve already left my home country?

It’s possible to buy insurance for visitors after you’ve left your home country, but it may be more difficult and expensive. Many insurers require that you purchase coverage before you leave your home country, or within a certain number of days after you’ve begun your trip.

Insurance for visitors is an essential part of any international travel plan. By taking the time to understand your options and choosing the right policy, you can enjoy your trip with peace of mind and financial security.