The short answer is yes, you need travel insurance for a trip to Jerusalem and other regions in Israel. The fact is, the Middle East is a volatile part of the world, and unexpected events occur more often there than in other overseas locations.
If you buy insurance for a trip to Jerusalem, you must include COVID-19 in your medical expenses coverage. This is required by Israeli law. Many insurance companies now treat COVID-19 like any other illness. You can find details in the terms and conditions of your insurance policy.
Having travel insurance can benefit your vacation beyond just COVID-19 coverage. Your insurance will also pay for any medical expenses should you need urgent treatment for an accident or injury.
A good travel insurance plan will allow you to reclaim your trip costs should you need to cancel your vacation. Likewise, travel insurance can reimburse you for any interruptions such as travel delays or lost baggage.
The sections below will provide an overview of the different coverage options that could be helpful for your vacation.
Cancel for Any Reason Coverage
A great add-on for your travel insurance policy is cancel coverage for any reason (CFAR). This protection goes beyond standard cancellation insurance and lets you cancel your trip no matter the reason. You can get your prepaid deposits back even if you cancel for personal reasons or have a change of heart.
Though canceling for any reason coverage provides greater flexibility for travelers, it has limitations. These can include:
- A reduced reimbursement percentage, which can be as low as 50%
- You must have purchased the protection in a specific time frame to claim on it, usually two to three weeks
- Your country or state of residence makes you ineligible for CFAR
Gear Theft Protection
When packing for your vacation to Jerusalem, you’ll probably want to take cameras, video equipment, hiking equipment or other tech gadgets besides your phone. If you’re worried about your belongings being stolen or getting lost, make sure your insurance plan has gear theft protection. This enables you to recover the cost of any stolen items on your travel insurance, which can help you fund a replacement.
However, gear theft protection may not cover your losses completely. Some plans will only cover up to $500, which may not be enough if you lose multiple items.
If you’re taking gear that needs more robust financial protection, you can take out an individual policy specifically for it. If you bought any gear on a credit card, it may already have insurance protection through your bank.
Medical Emergency Insurance and Emergency Medical Evacuation
One of the most important aspects of a travel insurance plan is medical emergency insurance. This is often called travel medical insurance, or travel health insurance, which pays for healthcare costs if you need treatment on your trip.
Medical care can be expensive in Jerusalem, but having comprehensive medical coverage can protect you from paying comprehensive out of pocket. Your travel insurance will cover the cost of some medical treatments, such as:
- Emergency medical transport
- Emergency surgeries
- Medical repatriation
Medical repatriation, also known as emergency medical evacuation, is specific coverage within your travel insurance policy. Unlike travel medical insurance, medical repatriation pays for transporting you to your home country or a medical facility. This is helpful if you need treatment that’s not available in Jerusalem. This kind of coverage will have a higher maximum than your emergency medical insurance because it includes transportation costs.
However, emergency medical insurance is subject to certain exclusions. For example, most insurance companies won’t cover existing medical conditions. If you have a condition that you are likely to need to seek treatment for on your vacation, declare it to your provider, which may offer coverage for it.
Rental Car Protection
Renting a car on your vacation gives you more freedom to see different sites and cultural landmarks. Renting a car in Jerusalem is easy. You need only to have held your US driver’s license for one year and be at least 21 years old.
If you’re renting a vehicle for your trip, having rental car protection included in your insurance policy is a key benefit. Purchasing protection through your travel insurance provider is usually much cheaper than buying it from a rental car company.
Your policy should include a collision liability waiver. That protects you from paying for any damages in case of an accident. You may also want to have personal effects coverage, which will pay for any belongings that get stolen or damaged while in the vehicle.
Trip Cancellation Insurance
Trip cancellation insurance is the standard cancellation protection insurance companies provide. It enables travelers to claim reimbursement for prepaid trip deposits in the event that they need to cancel their vacation. Most plans will provide up to 100% of your trip cost in their coverage, but premium plans may even offer more.
Unlike canceling for any reason coverage, there are more limitations and exclusions in trip cancellation insurance, meaning your reason for canceling may not always be valid. Common covered reasons include:
- Unnamed storms and unforeseen natural disasters
- Illness or injury that prevents you from traveling
- Legal obligations that will impact your trip
- Death of a family member or traveling companion
- Cancellations from your travel provider
Check your travel insurance policy to make sure your reasons for canceling will be covered. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the claim procedure you need to seek reimbursement.