There is nothing quite like visiting a country for the first time. What do we mostly think about when we make travel plans for the summer? Adventure! Excitement! New experiences!

What about insurance? We probably don’t think about that too much.

[Compare travel insurance in the UAE]

We have all been inclined to hit the “No Thanks” button every time a pop-up window asks if we would like to insure our flight, our baggage or our tickets. However, taking out a good travel insurance policy during your travels can potentially save you thousands of dirhams in unexpected costs later on.

Travel insurance exists to protect you from unexpected turn of events, which means that there are many different policies out there to protect you from a large array of incidents and risks.

Below we take a look at the most common type of travel insurance – medical insurance – and how they differ based on the destination you are travelling to.

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Travel Health Insurance

In the event of a medical emergency during your travels, this insurance will typically cover emergency care, medical repatriation expenses, hospitalization, delivery of medicines etc. Here’s a look at which countries require mandatory insurance and what they will cover.

Region/Country Mandatory?  Type of coverage Cost
Schengen countries Yes The travel health insurance should have a minimum coverage of EUR 30,000 and must be valid for the entire duration of your stay. Policies available for as low as EUR 1 a day.
UAE Yes A minimum coverage of AED 150,000 per person per visit. The health insurance coverage must be purchased by the company or tourism provider sponsoring the visit visa.
  • AED 40 for 30 day visa
  • AED 90 for 90 day visa
  • AED 185 for visas 180 day visa or multiple entry visa
UK/USA/Australia No Although medical coverage is not a mandatory requirement for entry, visitors are highly encouraged to get insurance before entering the country. Australia also requires proof of overseas health insurance for visitors over 75 years of age. Costs vary based on your age, duration of stay, type of policy etc.
Russia* No There are no specific requirements for the insurance except that it is valid in Russia. A typical policy ranges from EUR 30 – EUR 50 per week.
Cuba Yes The travel medical insurance plans must cover medical emergencies, repatriation and evacuation by air. Medical Insurance can be purchased upon entry to Cuba at the airport. The average cost of a basic policy is USD 3.00 per day.

A growing number of countries are considering making travel medical insurance mandatory. Thailand recently proposed making medical insurance mandatory for all visitors to the country. It has not been implemented yet, however, the rules are likely to change fast. So, ensure that you read the fine print before you make your travel arrangements to any country.

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Other types of travel insurance

In addition to medical insurance, comprehensive travel insurance can be purchased that covers loss of baggage, cancellation of flights, delayed departure, loss of passport or other documents, legal defense and theft among others. All major private insurers and banks in the UAE provide this coverage for individuals as well as families.

For a relatively small fee, travel insurance provides a reliable safety net that can allow you to enjoy your holiday and all the numerous adventures that come with it.