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Is travel insurance compulsory?

Travel insurance isn't compulsory in most countries but the Australian government says it's as important as a passport.

Travel insurance is recommended regardless of which country you travel to yet some travellers still take the risk of travelling without it. Some countries strictly mandate travel insurance with medical as an entry requirement. You should check the Australian government's travel website, smartraveller, to find out exactly which ones require insurance.

The Schengen Zone and compulsory travel insurance

The Schengen Zone is a region encompassing 27 European countries and states.

Travel insurance is required for stays over 90 days

If you want to visit the Schengen Zone for 90 days or more, you need a visa. To receive the visa, Australian travellers must meet the minimum requirements for most member states. These requirements include compulsory travel insurance with the minimum medical cover of €30,000 and cover for repatriation back to Australia.

Compare travel insurance policies to meet entry requirements

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Why get travel insurance even when it's not compulsory?

A night in hospital in a country such as Singapore or the United States of America (USA) could end up costing you almost $900 and $750 a night respectively. Travelling to these countries without travel insurance is like playing with fire.

Top 6 most expensive destinations to have an emergency

DestinationHospital stay per night
United States of America$751
Hong Kong$722
The Netherlands$671

Other medical expenses you must be aware of

Other medical emergency expenses that you should be aware of include:

  • Ambulance fees
  • Medication
  • Inpatient and outpatient treatment
  • Doctor consultation fees
  • Food and incidentals
  • Accommodation for travelling companions

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