10 Countries That May Require You to BYOI (Bring Your Own Insurance)

Customs and car rental signs at an airport

Canadian tourists who risk travelling without travel insurance also risk complications with customs officials upon arrival at these 10 countries where health insurance for visitors is required.

Your government health insurance is a homebody. It simply doesn’t like to travel. Should you fall ill or be injured while travelling outside of the country, your provincial medical plan will likely pay less than 10 percent of the costs you incur, if any at all, for emergency medical services you require. It’s for this reason, insufficient coverage, that the federal government warns travellers that the health care benefits enjoyed at home don’t travel well beyond the country’s borders and encourages holidaymakers to buy travel insurance.

Your passport and travel insurance, please

If you’re travelling to some countries however, travel insurance isn’t an option. It’s an entry requirement to the country, much like your passport (and visa, if needed). According to the Travel Advice and Advisories listing maintained by the Government of Canada, the following countries expect you to be able to show, if asked, that you have health insurance coverage for your stay.

  1. Aruba
  2. Belarus
  3. Bonaire
  4. Bulgaria
  5. Cuba
  6. Czech Republic
  7. Falkland Islands
  8. Latvia
  9. Lithuania
  10. Slovakia

This list may soon be growing too. Officials in Thailand are toying with the idea of making travel insurance mandatory for visitors upon arrival. The coverage, however, appears to be more like a life insurance policy than a travel insurance policy. As reported by the Lonely Planet recently, the head of AXA Insurance, Nel Mooy, says “the terms [of the coverage] are too narrow”.

“It looks like the policy will only pay out if someone should die in the country and it doesn’t appear to include medical expenses and costs linked to cancellations, delays, lost luggage and other mishaps,” Mooy explains.

Ready to fly the friendly skies?

Whether it’s required by the country you’re visiting or not, if you’re going on holiday, travel insurance is a must. Whether it’s a day trip to the U.S. or a getaway for a couple of weeks overseas, travelling with emergency medical travel insurance is essential. It’s also very affordable.

InsuranceHotline.com compared quotes for travellers with no pre-existing health conditions going on vacation for a 10-day trip, and the following were some of the best travel insurance rates provided. It didn’t matter if the destination was the U.S., Mexico, Cuba, the U.K., or the Dominican Republic (the top five destinations for Canadian travellers), the rates were all the same for $2 million in coverage with no deductible.

For a 20-year-old traveller quotes came in as low as $22.20; for a 35-year-old couple, $41.16; and, for a family of four $42.24. (Quotes are for illustrative purposes only and are subject to change. Your quotes may vary depending on your personal details.)

Let’s be honest, chances are you won’t need to rely on your travel insurance coverage. But for a couple of dollars each day you’re away, why would you risk travelling without it? Before you head out on holiday, get the travel insurance coverage you need at the best available price. Compare travel insurance quotes and policies at InsuranceHotline.com.