Everything We Know About Belize’s New Mandatory Travel Insurance for Visitors

by Carolee Chanona

Editor’s note: This blog was originally published on January 17, and updated on February 7. 

Things can change at a moment’s notice, which is why Belize is making travel insurance mandatory for visitors. As of February 15, 2022, Belize is requiring travelers to purchase comprehensive Belize Travel Health Insurance for US$18 per person. Coverage lasts for 21 days at a time and can be purchased through a new app, your travel agent, tour operator, or on arrival to the airport and land borders. This travel insurance can go beyond protecting your hotel and quarantine stay, like medical expenses up to US$50,000, though the option to add coverage is currently only available to foreign visitors. While you hopefully never have to use the benefits of a travel insurance plan, they can come in handy when emergencies happen. Below, we’re addressing some of the most commonly asked questions about Belize’s new entry requirement: the Belize Travel Health Insurance.

What travel insurance is Belize offering?

Incoming foreign travelers must buy the Belize Travel Health Insurance for US$18. This mandatory insurance helps protect travelers against both medical and non-medical expenses if they test positive for COVID-19 during their stay in Belize.

When does my coverage need to start? 

Coverage won’t be necessary until February 15, 2022, and starts on the first day that you’re legally in Belize. It is recommended that travelers purchase the Belize Travel Health Insurance prior to their travel to Belize.

What is included in the coverage of the Belize Travel Health Insurance?

  • Medical emergencies up to USD $50,000.00, the maximum policy limit.
  • The cost of emergency treatment, diagnostic services, outpatient care, medical equipment, hospital stay, in-hospital miscellaneous charges, emergency room, emergency surgery, emergency transportation by local ambulance, prescription drugs all at 100% of eligible expenses, up to the policy limit.
  • The lodging expenses due to Sanitary Isolation because of the Pandemic (Covid 19) up to US$2,000.00 (Max US $300.00 per day).
  • Reimbursement of Hotel Expenses due to inability to travel. It covers some pre-paid lodging expenses if the insured is unable to travel to Belize due to sickness, injury, or death of the insured or a family member once the legitimate proof is provided.

*To be eligible for this benefit, the insured must have purchased this policy before the date of trip/arrival to Belize. Coverage will only reimburse hotel fees that are not refunded by the hotel. It does not cover fees paid to private rental properties (for example Airbnb).

The maximum amount reimbursable under this benefit is USD $3,000 per person. This policy will also provide cover for Emergency Assistance Services which include Emergency air evacuation and transportation of a close relative up to a combined maximum of US $20,000.00, and repatriation of mortal remains up to US$5,000.00 and also covers emergency expenses related to pre-existing conditions up to a combined maximum limit of US$25,000.00.

How can I purchase the Belize Travel Health Insurance?

Online in advance, on arrival at the Philip Goldson International Airport, on entry at Belize’s land borders, or in advance via tour agents, tour operators, and hotels. The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is currently in the process of developing an app, which will be available on BTB’s website to allow visitors to purchase the plan online.

The app will be developed and hosted by the insurance company/companies, with a link shared on BTB’s website and portal.

Is there a deductible?

No, there’s no deductible. This coverage also does not extend outside of Belize.

I already have health insurance with foreign coverage. Will I still need to buy the Belize Travel Health Insurance?

Yes, the US$18 insurance plan will need to be purchased regardless of whether you have another insurance plan or not.

Will children need to purchase?

Yes. Since mandatory for all tourist visitors, infants and children are required to purchase too.

Who is exempt from needing to purchase insurance for entry?

Belizean nationals, permanent residents, travelers with QRP or Long Stay status, flight crews, military personnel, Peace Corps, and visitors who are in Belize for less than 24 hours are all exempt from this entry requirement.

All foreign travelers must purchase the Belize Travel Health Insurance.

What if I’m visiting Belize for more than 21 days?

Because the Belize Travel Health insurance covers 21 days at a time, regardless of your length of stay, then travelers will need to extend coverage if exceeding the 21 day period.

Will I still need to present a negative test on entry?

All travelers, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, entering Belize through the Philip Goldson International Airport from other countries, will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test. If no test is presented, a COVID-19 test will be administered at the airport for USD $50 per passenger. Children under the age of 5 years will not be required to present a negative test.

Even if I’m a Belizean living abroad?

Belizeans living abroad will not be required to purchase this policy. However, they will not be excluded from purchasing if they choose to do so.

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