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 travel insurance for COVID-19. Here, you’ll find options for tourists in the US, Canada, UK, and worldwide. So, you can check out each company’s policies for trip cancellation, illness, COVID testing, and more.
- Best COVID-19 Travel Insurance in 2021
- Travel insurance companies covering COVID-19
- Testing and treatment
- Trip cancellation
- Coverage for early return due to COVID-19
- What to do if you get COVID-19 during your trip
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.
That said, international travel insurance with coronavirus coverage may vary depending on the provider and plans. For example, not all policies will cover COVID testing abroad. Fortunately, there are more COVID-19 travel insurance policy options than ever.
To compare the best travel insurance companies covering COVID-19, we have checked quotes and policies for a 30-year-old American, Canadian, British, and European tourist traveling worldwide for one week. From all the plans each company has, we have selected the cheapest one that includes some kind of coronavirus coverage, but pay attention to the notes below since the coverage may vary depending on the chosen plan, destination, and nationality.
Medical Expenses Paid Upfront
BEST COVID-19 TRAVEL INSURANCE FOR AMERICANS
* You may be eligible for benefits related to COVID-19 depending on the Travel Warning Level of your destination country.
** Only if contracted at your destination
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 Tokio Marine, IMG Global, SafetyWing, and World Nomads. 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.
Travel insurance companies covering COVID-19
These are the best COVID travel insurance companies in 2021:
1. Heymondo, the best COVID travel insurance in 2021
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. 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 $35.53. This includes up to $3,500 for trip cancellation and up to $100,000 for medical expenses.
If you’re not from the US, you can calculate the cost of COVID-19 travel insurance with Heymondo here.
2. SafetyWing, one of the cheapest COVID travel insurance
SafetyWing is one of the best cheap COVID travel insurance plans for worldwide travelers. Any resident outside of Cuba, Iran, and North Korea can enroll in a SafetyWing policy.
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 if 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.
However, this isn’t travel insurance that covers COVID testing, unless it’s deemed medically necessary by a physician. There is also a deductible of $250 for most policies. They also don’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.
3. Tokio Marine, another travel insurance with COVID coverage
Tokio Marine‘s coronavirus travel insurance is available on two primary plans: Atlas International (their most popular) and Atlas International Premium (the most coverage).
An American traveling worldwide for a week can get Tokio Marine’s international COVID travel insurance for $7.84. It includes COVID-19 coverage after the $100 deductible, emergency medical coverage up to $100,000, and emergency medical evacuation up to $1,000,000.
The policy also includes trip interruption up to $10,000, and coverage for trip delays up to $100 per day for delays longer than 12 hours.
However, you must purchase coverage for at least five days, even if you aren’t traveling all five days. Alternatively, Heymondo lets you buy insurance only for the days you’re traveling, and there are no deductibles. And the most important difference: Tokio Marine doesn’t pay medical expenses upfront, so you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket if you run into an emergency.
Moreover, the policy states that you may be eligible for benefits related to COVID-19 depending on the Travel Warning Level of your destination country. This could be a huge disadvantage if you get the virus in a country with an ineligible Travel Warning Level.
Find your insurance plan here.
4. IMG Global, an international COVID-19 travel insurance
IMG Global 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.
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 Global.
That said, IMG Global’s international COVID travel insurance plans apply to travelers in and outside the United States. For example, an American can expect to pay around $7.70 for a week-long trip abroad, with a $250 deductible and maximum coverage of $100,000 with the Patriot International plan.
Some IMG Global’s plans are customizable, with $0 deductible plans available. You can also select a policy maximum of up to $1,000,000. The travel insurance coverage for COVID-19 includes trip interruption up to $10,000 and $1,000,000 for emergency medical evacuation.
On the downside, it doesn’t cover COVID testing, early return, or trip cancellation due to coronavirus. It also provides benefits related to COVID-19 depending 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 Global here.
5. World Nomads
World Nomads 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 $67.58 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.
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 World Nomads here.
Travel insurance covering COVID testing and treatment
When it comes to looking for an insurance policy, one of the first questions to ask is, ‘does travel insurance cover COVID testing?’ Without a doubt, the best COVID travel insurance must cover treatment abroad and, preferably, testing.
Be sure to check the fine print and policy terms, as several companies only cover you if you can prove that you contracted the virus during your trip, for example, SafetyWing, IMG Global or World Nomads. 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 Tokio Marine, IMG Global (except for the iTravelInsured plan) and World Nomads again, will cover coronavirus-related medical expenses depending on the Travel Warning Level at your destination.
However, Heymondo covers coronavirus (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.
Keep in mind that some countries open to tourists require a pre-flight PCR test. However, these tests aren’t covered by any insurance company, so check the links below to find where to get a quick PCR test for travel.
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 next section will look at the specific instances covered by COVID trip cancellation insurance, as well as the exceptions.
Again, Heymondo is the best choice here because it’s the only company that covers trip cancellation for several COVID-related reasons, such as if you must cancel your trip before you leave because you or your travel partner test positive, or a relative is hospitalized or dies from COVID-19.
Trip cancellation for testing positive for COVID before the trip
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.
With SafetyWing, you would only be covered under the travel delay, which covers trip cancellations made by the airline. Tokio Marine and World Nomads only offer this benefit on specific plans.
COVID travel insurance coverage for flight cancellations
Another highly possible scenario is the airline canceling your flight due to coronavirus. This is a tricky situation because all travel insurance companies that cover COVID, including Heymondo, don’t cover this circumstance.
While airlines should refund your ticket (or change your travel dates), they aren’t obligated to provide any compensation since a pandemic isn’t covered in their clauses.
Trip cancellation due to COVID travel restrictions
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 if you still want to travel). To be effective, you must purchase this coverage within seven days of booking your flight.
Insurance coverage for early return due to COVID-19
Once you’re abroad, what if you need to return home early because a relative gets sick, or there are 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 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.
While Tokio Marine and IMG Global offer similar benefits, it’s a limited reimbursement and dependent on which plan you purchase.
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.
First, if you need to take the PCR swab test as an entry requirement for your destination, you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket. You can check the next articles to see which destinations are requesting pre-trip PCR tests for your nationality.
If you test positive for the virus before your trip and you must cancel your flight, most COVID-19 travel insurance plans don’t cover trip cancellation. However, that’s another reason why I prefer Heymondo. 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, among several other reasons.
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.
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.
Finally, COVID medical travel insurance is not the same as primary health insurance. In other words, you won’t be covered for ongoing medical care at your destination for most pre-existing conditions.
What to do if you get COVID-19 during your trip
If you get the virus during your trip and you have a Heymondo policy, the process is very straightforward. With Heymondo’s international coronavirus travel insurance, you’re covered for all COVID-related medical expenses, including a doctor-prescribed PCR test.
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.
Keep in mind that this is simply a consultation service, so if you need to go to the hospital or see a doctor in person, you should 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.
Common questions related to travel insurance and COVID-19
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.
Many 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.
Does travel insurance cover cancellation due to mandatory quarantine restrictions at my destination?
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.
Most international coronavirus travel insurance won’t cover COVID testing abroad. One of the companies that cover 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. Also, the test must be ordered 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?
Typically, 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.
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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 government advises against (USA, UK, Europe & Canada). 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!