If you’re going to take a trip in 2021, you’ll want coronavirus travel insurance. However, with all the different policy options, choosing the best COVID travel insurance isn’t always easy.
In this guide, you’ll learn which is the best international COVID travel insurance. I’ll share each company’s policies for trip cancellation, medical assistance, COVID testing, and more.
Note: As the WHO continues to track the pandemic, it’s clear that comprehensive medical coverage is essential. While many countries are open for tourism and we’re happy to help you choose which travel insurance to buy during COVID, we don’t recommend traveling when it goes against government advisories.
Also, before we start, I’ll be upfront and tell you that I’ve been using Heymondo for years, and we have a coronavirus travelers insurance discount for our readers. You can click the link below to see Heymondo’s coronavirus coverage for your trip.
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Best COVID-19 travel insurance in 2021
Although Heymondo was the first to add COVID-19 travel insurance during the pandemic, other insurance companies quickly included clauses in their policies to address coronavirus. In fact, having COVID travel insurance is now a mandatory entry requirement in most destinations.
However, keep in mind that many standard travel insurance companies don’t offer any COVID coverage. Moreover, international travel insurance with coronavirus coverage may vary depending on the provider so not all policies may meet the entry requirements some countries have. For example, not all policies will cover COVID testing abroad or quarantine expenses, which is essential when looking for travel insurance for Costa Rica and other destinations.
Fortunately, there are more COVID-19 travel insurance policy options than ever. To help you out, the chart below compares the best travel insurance companies covering COVID-19 for a 30-year-old American tourist traveling worldwide for one week.
Medical Expenses Paid Upfront
|BEST COVID-19 TRAVEL INSURANCE|
* You may be eligible for benefits related to COVID-19 depending on the Travel Warning Level of your destination country.
** Only if deemed medically necessary by a doctor
I’ve compared each company’s policies and found the cheapest COVID travel insurance so you can choose your best fit.
Heymondo stands out since it’s the only one that covers coronavirus medical assistance with no exclusions or deductibles, as well as COVID testing abroad, early return due to the pandemic, and trip cancellation if you or a relative gets sick before the trip. Besides, they are the only one paying all medical expenses upfront, so you won’t have any out-of-pocket expenses.
You can buy it here and enjoy a 5% discount for being a Capture the Atlas reader!
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If you want to explore other cheap travel insurance with COVID coverage, this guide includes a few more options, including IMG, SafetyWing, World Nomads, Travelex, and AIG Travel Guard. For each company, you’ll see what’s covered and what’s not, such as medical expenses, emergency evacuation, trip cancellation, flight delays, and more.
Full list of travel insurance covering COVID-19
These are the best COVID travel insurance companies in 2021:
1. Heymondo, the best COVID travel insurance
Heymondo is one of the best travel insurances for COVID, thanks to its customizable policies. Plus, all the plan options cover medical assistance for coronavirus, including COVID testing.
Besides, Heymondo’s COVID coverage doesn’t make you pay for medical expenses upfront and request reimbursement. If you need medical assistance or a COVID test, contact Heymondo via the 24/7 customer support app, and they’ll find a covered nearby hospital.
They have three different plan options for worldwide travelers: Single Trip, Annual Multi-Trip, and Cancellation Only. The trip cancellation policy also covers early return if the traveler, a partner, or a relative gets sick or dies from COVID or any other cause. Moreover, if you must cut your trip short due to border closures, you can request an early return flight.
Be aware that trip cancellation coverage is only effective if you enroll within seven days of booking your trip, and it doesn’t cover flights canceled by the airline.
An American traveling abroad for one week can get Single-Trip COVID travel insurance coverage for $36.26. This includes up to $3,500 for trip cancellation and up to $250,000 for medical expenses.
If you’re not from the US, you can calculate the cost of COVID-19 travel insurance with Heymondo here.
2. IMG, another travel insurance with coronavirus coverage
IMG offers a variety of policy options, but if you want COVID-19 international travel insurance, consider that the cheapest plans (like the Patriot International policy in our comparison chart), only cover COVID-19 in destinations that don’t have a Travel Warning.
The only plan that covers COVID-19 like any other illness, regardless of your destination’s Travel Warning, is the iTravelInsured plan, and only if you contracted the virus after the effective date, which means that you should be diagnosed after 14 days of being abroad.
Alternatively, Heymondo’s COVID coverage will cover medical expenses related to coronavirus no matter where you’re traveling and when you get sick with the virus if you present symptoms during your trip. Plus, you won’t have to file a claim for reimbursement once you’re back home like you would with IMG.
That said, IMG’s international COVID travel insurance plans apply to travelers in and outside the United States. For example, an American can expect to pay around $9.98 for a week-long trip abroad, with a $0 deductible and maximum coverage of $100,000 with the Patriot Travel Medical plan.
Some IMG plans are customizable, with different deductibles and coverage limits. You can also select a policy maximum of up to $1,000,000 for a higher price. That travel insurance coverage for COVID-19 includes trip interruption up to $10,000 and $1,000,000 for emergency medical evacuation.
On the downside, most plans don’t cover COVID testing, early return, or trip cancellation due to coronavirus. Plus, any COVID-related benefits will depend on the Travel Warning Level of your destination, so you could be left with expensive medical fees if you get the virus in a country with an ineligible travel advisory.
You can calculate your COVID travel insurance cost with IMG here.
3. SafetyWing, the cheapest COVID travel insurance
SafetyWing is one of the cheapest COVID travel insurance plans for worldwide travelers. Any resident outside of Cuba, Iran, and North Korea can enroll in a SafetyWing policy, and you can buy a plan even if you’re already abroad.
SafetyWing’s COVID coverage works just as it would for any other illness, but only if you didn’t contract the virus before your coverage start date. This is a huge disadvantage compared to Heymondo’s coronavirus travel insurance since Heymondo covers you no matter when you contract the virus as long as you show symptoms during your trip.
Moreover, SafetyWing’s COVID travel insurance policy provides coverage for emergency medical evacuation up to $100,000 and travel delays up to $100 per day for delays longer than 12 hours. The plan also covers unexpected illness or injury, including eligible expenses for hospital and doctor visits (up to $250,000), and prescription drugs. As of April 15, 2021, SafetyWing covers up to 10 days of quarantine ($50/day) if your policy is 28 days or longer.
However, this isn’t travel insurance that covers COVID testing, unless it’s deemed medically necessary by a physician. There is also a $250 deductible for most policies. SafetyWing doesn’t pay medical expenses upfront, so it’s a huge disadvantage compared to Heymondo.
An American traveling abroad for one week can expect to spend around $10.01 for SafetyWing COVID travel insurance, but you can calculate your exact costs here.
4. WorldNomads, a great COVID-19 travel insurance for Americans
WorldNomads offers worldwide COVID travel insurance, but only for American and Canadian tourists. Also, the policy parameters aren’t always easy to understand. Several of the plans state that “you could receive benefits” for losses caused by COVID. So, you must read the fine print to be sure.
As an example, the ‘Standard’ COVID-19 travel insurance costs about $126.26 for an American traveling worldwide for one week. You’ll also have access to World Nomads’ 24/7 multi-lingual emergency assistance team.
If you, your travel partner, or a relative get coronavirus or must quarantine, the plan covers trip cancellation up to $2,500 if the event occurred after the policy went into effect. Plus, you’ll get emergency medical assistance up to $100,000 and emergency evacuation up to $300,000 (for Americans).
Moreover, this travel insurance coverage for COVID-19 includes travel delays if your flight is delayed at least six hours due to border closures, travel bans, or mandatory quarantine restrictions. However, there is no cover for countries that have a travel ban in effect.
Again, it’s important to check the policy terms and how the claims process works. For this reason, I recommend Heymondo because they cover your emergency medical expenses upfront.
You can get a quote from WorldNomads here.
5. Travelex International, the best customizable COVID travel insurance
Travelex International has two plans for travel insurance with COVID coverage: Basic and Select. Both policies include 24/7 travel and emergency assistance, no deductibles, and a 15-day trial period in which you can cancel your coverage for a full refund.
The Basic plan covers trips up to 30 days and 100% of the insured trip cost in case of trip cancellation or interruption (150% interruption for Select). Clients will get up to $500 for baggage delay ($2,000 for Select).
Travelex’s Covid travel insurance benefits for medical treatment and evacuation may be covered if you or your travel companion test positive for the virus. Plus, if you reschedule your trip due to COVID-19, you may be able to choose new travel dates or request a refund for the policy cost. However, Travelex won’t cover an early return flight due to border closures.
Moreover, the coverage limits for emergency medical costs are quite low compared to Heymondo and other companies. That said, Travelex offers primary coverage, and it has a solid reputation.
As an example, an American traveler will pay $87 for coronavirus travel insurance, which includes up to $15,000 for medical expenses, $100,000 for emergency medical evacuation, and 100% of the insured trip cost for trip cancellation. You can calculate your exact costs here.
6. AIG Travel Guard, another top travel insurance that covers COVID
AIG Travel Guard offers travel insurance for Covid that covers trip cancellation and delay, as well as emergency medical expenses while abroad.
If you contract COVID-19 before your trip, and you have a confirmed diagnosis or doctor’s note, trip cancellation benefits may apply. If you get sick with the virus during your trip, and you have proof of illness from a physician, you’ll receive medical expense and evacuation coverage, as well as trip interruption and delay benefits.
Also, trip delay can cover additional expenses for meals, lodging, and transportation if a doctor orders you to quarantine due to a Covid diagnosis. AIG’s newest policy option covers travelers who can’t fly back to the U.S. because of a positive RT-PCR test, but it costs $500 extra.
Keep in mind that you need a confirmed and documented illness to receive coronavirus benefits coverage. Also, AIG Travel Guard doesn’t cover fear of travel, and Cancel for Any Reason coverage is only available as an upgrade on the Preferred and Deluxe plans.
An American traveling abroad for one week can get Single-Trip COVID travel insurance coverage for $142.91 on the Essential plan. This includes trip cancellation for 100% of the insured trip, emergency medical evacuation up to $150,000, and up to $15,000 for medical expenses.
You can get an AIG Travel Guard quote for your trip here.
What does Covid travel insurance cover?
What if someone you care for gets sick with Covid? Or, what if your flight gets delayed due to a change in travel guidelines at your destination? While we know that there is travel insurance that covers coronavirus, it’s not always clear what exactly is covered. This section will look at:
- Covid testing & treatment
- Other emergency medical coverage
- Medical quarantine
- Emergency medical evacuation
- Trip cancellation
- Trip interruption & early return
Travel insurance that covers Covid testing & treatment
While researching insurance policies, a good question to ask is, ‘does travel insurance cover COVID testing?’ Without a doubt, the best COVID travel insurance must cover treatment abroad and, preferably, testing.
However, most companies only cover you if you can prove that you contracted the virus during your trip, for example, SafetyWing, WorldNomads, or Travelex. Therefore, it can be hard to get coverage if you start showing COVID symptoms within 14 days of leaving your home country.
Other companies, like IMG (except for the iTravelInsured plan) and WorldNomads have plans that may cover coronavirus-related medical expenses depending on the Travel Warning Level at your destination.
Fortunately, Heymondo covers coronavirus treatment (and COVID testing) abroad like any other disease even if there is a Travel Warning in place for your destination. So, if you need medical assistance or a swab test for medical purposes, the company will cover the costs upfront.
As with any other disease, if you start to show any symptoms, all you have to do is contact the Heymondo support team by using the 24-hour customer assistance app. If you have minor symptoms and just want advice from a doctor, you can get it through the chat. Or, if you need to go to the hospital or see a doctor in person, use the free telephone service to call Heymondo. They’ll find a doctor, hospital, or specialist in your area and will tell you where to go.
The best part is that, while you’re getting treatment, Heymondo will arrange the medical payments directly with the hospital/clinic, so you don’t have to face any out-of-pocket expenses. This is why I consider Heymondo the best COVID-19 travel insurance of 2021.
Other emergency medical coverage
Even the most careful traveler can run into disaster, which is why having coverage is so important. There is always the possibility that you could slip and fall, get injured during an activity, or fall ill with some sickness, like the coronavirus.
Having COVID travel insurance is essential because it will cover treatment for the virus as well as other emergency medical expenses if you need to go to the hospital or visit a doctor.
In this case, having a Heymondo policy is advantageous because they handle your medical expenses upfront and you can contact them 24/7 for help finding a hospital or doctor.
Travel insurance that covers quarantine expenses
What if you get the virus and have to quarantine at your destination?
Again, Heymondo stands out because it will cover your extra lodging expenses upfront. SafetyWing covers up to 10 days of quarantine, but only if your policy is over 28 days long. Quarantine coverage with WorldNomads depends on your plan and where you travel because they make exceptions in destinations with a travel advisory.
With AIG Travel Guard and Travelex, quarantine could fall under the trip interruption benefits, but it depends on your policy. IMG doesn’t offer quarantine benefits.
We have another article where we compare the best quarantine travel insurance!
Emergency medical evacuation
If you get injured during your trip and need transportation to the hospital or even your home country, you’ll want coverage for those expenses. Ambulances and other transportation can get pricey, so look into international Covid travel insurance that covers emergency medical evacuation. Also, be sure that your policy also includes repatriation, so it covers transportation back home after you’ve received emergency medical care.
Trip cancellation insurance for coronavirus
For all the possible scenarios that could arise during the pandemic, you must have international COVID travel insurance for trip cancellation. The tricky part is figuring out which specific instances are covered by COVID trip cancellation insurance, as well as any exceptions.
Remember, if you get the virus before your trip and you haven’t traveled yet, you should quarantine for 14 days. After the two weeks, take a PCR test and, if it’s negative, you can travel.
If you must self-isolate during your planned travel days, you’re in a tough spot. Depending on your coronavirus travel insurance, you may be able to receive reimbursement if you can show documented proof that your doctor ordered you to quarantine.
This is why I recommend Heymondo’s trip cancellation insurance for COVID. If you, a travel companion, or a relative contract COVID, the company will cover the cancellation costs.
AIG Travel Guard and Travelex’s trip cancellation benefits apply if you can prove you have a doctor-confirmed diagnosis. With SafetyWing, you would only be covered under the travel delay, which covers trip cancellations made by the airline. IMG doesn’t even have this benefit, and WorldNomads only includes it on specific plans.
No insurance company will cover the expenses related to trip cancellation due to the pandemic or coronavirus-related issues like border closures. Moreover, if the airline refuses to board your flight home because of COVID, you won’t be covered.
However, depending on your COVID travel insurance cancellation policy, you may be covered in certain cases.
For example, Heymondo’s travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage will reimburse you if you cancel your trip because your home country advises against traveling to your destination after you booked your flight (it will also cover you if you still want to travel). To be effective, you must purchase this coverage within seven days of booking your flight.
Trip interruption & early return coverage
Once you’re abroad, what if you need to return home early because a relative gets sick, or your trip gets interrupted because of national border closures? Here are how the different insurance companies stack up.
Heymondo’s international travel insurance for COVID covers the cost of early return to your home country. For example, if a relative dies or is hospitalized because of coronavirus or another illness, or you must return to your home country because of border closures, you’ll be reimbursed.
Comparing all the companies, Heymondo has the most straightforward reimbursement process. Simply contact them via the customer support app and have their team take care of your early return flight.
Circumstances not covered by COVID-19 travel insurance
We’ve looked at what you can expect to be covered in a coronavirus travel insurance plan. Yet, it’s also important to understand which circumstances aren’t covered by these policies.
A worst-case scenario would be running into a problem while abroad, only to discover that your international COVID insurance doesn’t cover it. Below are some of the exceptions to be aware of.
Pre-trip COVID test
Keep in mind that most countries open to tourists require a pre-flight PCR test. However, these tests aren’t covered by any insurance company, so you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket, regardless of your policy.
Check the links below to find where to get a quick PCR test for travel.
Mandatory quarantine for entry travelers
We talked about coverage benefits if you get Covid while abroad and have to quarantine. However, this differs from the mandatory quarantine requirements that some countries have in place for visitors.
International COVID travel insurance doesn’t cover your accommodation expenses if you’re visiting a country that requires you to quarantine upon arrival. In this case, the quarantine would be a foreseen, or expected event, so coverage isn’t available.
Getting Covid before the trip
If you test positive for the virus before your trip and you must cancel your flight, be aware that some COVID-19 travel insurance plans don’t cover trip cancellation.
IMG may cover you if your plan includes trip cancellation benefits. SafetyWing and WorldNomads will not cover COVID if you contract the virus before your trip. Travelex and AIG Travel Guard plans can cover you under the trip cancellation policy, but it depends on your specific plan.
That said, I prefer Heymondo’s international coronavirus travel insurance because if you purchase your plan within seven days of booking your flight, you’ll be covered for cancellations caused by COVID-related illness and death automatically (you can also purchase the trip cancellation coverage later).
Flight cancellation by the airline
Another unfortunate scenario you might experience is a flight cancellation by the airline. In that case, your COVID travel insurance policy isn’t likely to cover the costs. Of course, it’s a good idea to double-check your plan and maybe even consider a Cancel for Any Reason policy.
Luckily, most airlines will refund the travel expenses or help you change your travel dates if they have to cancel the flight, although some airlines require you to have purchased cancellation insurance.
Moreover, no insurance company will cover the expenses related to trip cancellation before you leave your home country due to the pandemic or coronavirus-related issues like border closures.
Also, you can’t get coverage for trips to areas with a COVID-19 travel ban (except for Heymondo), or if you decide to cancel your trip after your destination imposes quarantine restrictions for tourists.
Fear of getting sick
Fear of getting sick is not an eligible reason for trip cancellation on any plan. However, Heymondo will cover your canceled trip if your destination implements a travel ban or a Level 4 Travel Advisory and you decide you don’t want to travel anymore.
Another option is to get Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) insurance, which is available through IMG and AIG Travel Guard at an additional cost. SafetyWing, WorldNomads, and Travelex don’t offer CFAR policies.
Level 4 Travel Advisories
Many insurance companies won’t apply your benefits if you visit a country with a Level 4 Travel Advisory. In some cases, entering a Level 4 country will limit some of your benefits, but not all. However, it depends on the provider, so it’s always a good idea to check first.
Heymondo covers you even if you decide to travel to a country with a Level 4 Travel Advisory. Also, if the government issues a travel warning affecting your destination and you ultimately don’t want to travel, Heymondo’s Trip Cancellation insurance includes travel advisories as a valid reason for cancellation. IMG and SafetyWing only cover Level 1 and 2 countries, and Travelex and AIG Travel Guard don’t cover government travel warnings. WorldNomads isn’t likely to cover Level 3 and 4 advisories either, especially if you travel after the warning is issued, so check your policy terms.
Covid events not directly related to you
Finally, what about trip cancellations and early return flights due to COVID-associated events that aren’t directly related to you? For example, if you need to go home early because a relative gets sick, are you covered?
Heymondo’s international travel insurance for COVID covers the cost of early return to your home country. For example, if a relative dies or is hospitalized because of coronavirus or any other illness while you’re abroad, you’ll be reimbursed. Plus, the process is simple: contact customer support via the app and have the team take care of your early return flight.
SafetyWing and WorldNomads don’t cover trip interruption for these circumstances. IMG, Travelex, and AIG Travel Guard offer similar benefits, although it’s a limited reimbursement and depends on which plan you purchase.
FAQs about Covid travel insurance
There are so many what-ifs when thinking about travel insurance for COVID-19, and we’ve tried to address the most important ones in this guide. Below are the most common questions we’ve received about travel insurance covering COVID.
If you have a specific question that’s not answered here, feel free to leave a comment, and we’ll get back to you!
International COVID travel insurance provides medical coverage while traveling abroad and includes coronavirus-related expenses, as outlined in the policy terms.
Basic COVID-19 travel insurance should cover medical assistance abroad, coronavirus testing, accommodation expenses related to doctor-prescribed self-quarantine, early return flights, and trip cancellation due to COVID.
Some travel insurance companies covering COVID-19, including Heymondo, will take care of trip cancellation if you contract the virus before traveling. However, you must purchase the policy within a specified time of booking your flight.
There aren’t any travel insurance policies that cover trip cancellation due to imposed quarantine restrictions for tourists. Remember, preventative quarantine is not included in any insurance coverage. However, if a doctor orders you to quarantine at a hotel due to a COVID diagnosis, you may be covered.
No, there aren’t any travel insurance policies that cover trip cancellations caused by border closures. Instead, you’ll have to contact the airline, transportation company, and/or hotel to request a refund or change your travel dates.
If the airline cancels your flight, even if you have travel insurance that covers COVID-19, you won’t be covered for the cost. If you find yourself in this situation, you must contact the airline to see if you can get refunded or change the return date.
Some international coronavirus travel insurance won’t cover COVID testing abroad. One of the companies that covers COVID testing is Heymondo. You must be showing COVID symptoms or have been in direct contact with someone who has tested positive during your trip, and the test must be ordered by a doctor. IMG, SafetyWing, WorldNomads, Travelex, and AIG Travel Guard may cover a PCR test at your destination if deemed medically necessary by a doctor.
Your coverage limits will depend on which COVID-19 travel insurance policy you purchase. Many companies will cover the treatment costs only if you contract the coronavirus while abroad.
If you contract coronavirus while traveling abroad and don’t have COVID travel insurance, you won’t have coverage for your medical expenses. You can pay out-of-pocket or contact the national Embassy for assistance.
If you get coronavirus while traveling abroad and miss your flight, your COVID-19 travel insurance should cover your missed flight and related medical expenses. Remember to check your policy, as the eligible benefits will vary depending on your coverage.
Does the travel insurance coverage apply in destinations where the government advises against traveling due to COVID-19?
With some companies, you can enjoy your COVID-19 travel insurance benefits anywhere, even in a country where travel isn’t advised. However, there may be a rule that you must have booked your trip before the official advisory statement was issued.
COVID-19 travel insurance plans don’t cover PCR tests required for entry at your destination. Most also won’t cover trip cancellation if the airline cancels your flight or you test positive for the virus before your trip, but Heymondo will if you purchase coverage within seven days of booking your flight.
After reading this guide and considering all the possible scenarios involving the pandemic and travel, I highly recommend purchasing coronavirus travel insurance.
With the right plan, you can rest assured knowing you’re covered in an emergency. After comparing the best COVID travel insurance options, Heymondo is still my top pick. I’ve personally been using it for the past three years with no problems, even after running into medical expenses on several occasions. Also, you can enjoy a 5% discount for being our reader.
5% OFF your travel insurance
You’re probably wondering when it will be safe to travel during the pandemic. If you purchase travel insurance and take the necessary precautions, you should be able to thoroughly enjoy your trip.
That said, you shouldn’t travel to countries that the U.S. government advises against. Also, if you have COVID symptoms or you’ve recently been in contact with someone who has symptoms, don’t travel.
Finally, don’t leave the country without travel insurance that covers COVID-19, no exceptions!