When we leave for a trip outside of Canada, most of us will take out travel insurance before we leave. Almost 80% of travel insurance policies sold in Canada cover primarily hospital medical care in the event of an emergency.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still active and more or less under control in several parts of the world, some countries have decided to take great steps to ensure that they do not have to deal with a congested hospital network by setting up new conditions for visitors entering their country. Do not forget to verify if your destination country imposes new standards because it could present you with a very bad surprise.

This is the case for some Canadian tourists who have had to cancel their vacation plans to Costa Rica due to new measures taken by local authorities that require them to take out expensive travel insurance issued by the Costa Rican government. It was announced last month that its borders will be open for flights from Canada, England, and European Union countries. Indeed, the Costa Rican Ministry of Health now requires travellers to be tested for COVID-19 within 48 hours of their departure to Costa Rica. The ministry also requires that tourists entering the country take out insurance issued by the Costa Rican National Insurance Institute. This insurance covers hospital medical care for long stays within the country.

The cost of travel insurance for a 2-week stay in Costa Rica is US$275 for children and US$964 for adults. With its excessive costs imposed on tourists, it is not surprising to see many cancellations for this destination. To date, Canadians who have been travelling to Costa Rica for several years to avoid our harsh winter, have chosen to change their destination, opting mainly for Mexico. It is expected that many adepts of Costa Rica would follow suit if the new measures imposed do not change. Compared to the staggering costs that Costa Rica charges inbound travelers, your regular 2-week stay for a family of 2 children and 2 adults would cost about $100 with a Canadian insurer. An annual multi-trip plan would cost only about $200 for the same family while allowing them to travel for a year. You must agree there is a huge difference from what the Costa Rican government is currently imposing.

So, if you are planning a trip outside of Canada, it is wise to find out what health measures to take before you leave and the admission requirements at your destination. It is also important to note that several countries have now opened their doors to Canadian travellers without wanting to take advantage of tourist’s money, as Costa Rica currently seems to be doing. The South American country could simply have opted to request proof of valid travel insurance including Covid-19 coverage for incoming travellers.

Do not forget to take out travel insurance before you leave to cover emergency hospital medical care including Covid-19 coverage to ensure you travel with peace of mind. Sonomad, a travel insurance broker, offers you proper protection as well as several other options. Sonomad will help you compare the different coverage options available. You can reach them at 1-855-221-4555 or by visiting