Should I Get Life Insurance Before Traveling?

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If you don’t already have life insurance, it’s a good idea to buy a policy before traveling. However, it’s even better to shop for life insurance long before traveling since your recent trips and upcoming travel plans can impact the cost of a new policy. You should also note that your insurance carrier may choose to limit coverage while you are visiting certain high-risk countries.

See below for a rundown of everything you need to know about life insurance for travel including how your travel plans can affect your coverage and which countries your life insurance company may want you to avoid.

Key Takeaways

  • Life insurance is recommended for most people with dependents relying on their income, making it a wise investment regardless of your travel plans.
  • Your life insurance policy should generally cover you while you travel domestically or internationally, although coverage could be limited for countries where issues like war, terrorism and poor health care infrastructure pose a significant risk.
  • When you apply for a new life insurance policy, you may have to disclose your recent trips and upcoming travel plans as part of the underwriting process.
  • If you already have life insurance, new travel plans generally won’t change your premiums and you should be covered anywhere in the world unless your policy includes specific travel restrictions.

Does Life Insurance Cover Traveling?

You can generally expect your life insurance policy to cover you while you travel anywhere within the United States since life insurance companies don’t take domestic travel into account during the application process. Many policies will also fully cover you and provide financial protection for your loved ones while you take a trip to Canada.[1]

Does Life Insurance Cover Foreign Travel?

A domestic life insurance plan typically continues to cover you whenever you travel abroad but this can vary from policy to policy and may depend on what country you are traveling to and how long you plan on staying there. Keep in mind that your beneficiaries will generally need a death certificate to file a claim on your life insurance policy, which could be an obstacle if you die in a country where death certificates are not automatically issued such as Kenya.[1][2]

Your insurance company could also reject a life insurance claim if you die in a foreign country for various other reasons including the following:[3]

  • You die by suicide or another suspicious cause
  • The country you die in is considered dangerous for international travelers
  • You die while participating in a high-risk activity like bungee jumping that you didn’t tell your insurance company you would be doing
  • You are killed in a country that is at war and your policy excludes coverage for acts of war

Do Life Insurance Companies Ask Questions About Foreign Travel?

When you apply to get a new life insurance policy, the insurer may ask about where you have traveled in recent years and whether you have any out-of-country trips planned for the near future in order to assess the likelihood that your dependents will need to file a claim. For example, someone who travels overseas for work multiple times per year will likely have a different risk profile from someone who rarely leaves their hometown.

If you have recently spent or expect to spend more than three months outside of the United States, then insurance companies may consider you a foreign national in the underwriting process, which could alter your quotes and available coverage limits or potentially make you ineligible for a domestic life insurance plan, leaving you to rely on a specialized international life insurance policy instead.[1]

Furthermore, if you frequently travel to a country that an insurance provider deems too risky, you could face higher premiums and could even be denied coverage altogether. Nevertheless, it’s important not to lie to your insurance company about your travel habits since it could lead to your beneficiaries’ claims being denied in the event that you die overseas.

Does Traveling Affect Life Insurance?

While your travel plans and habits will likely affect the process of applying for a new life insurance policy, they may not affect an existing policy. Some policies come with travel restrictions, meaning your beneficiaries may not be eligible for a death benefit if you die in a restricted country.

However, if you already have a policy in effect that doesn’t include any explicit travel restrictions, then your coverage should remain in force if you visit or even permanently move to a different country as long as you continue to pay your premiums.[4]

Which Countries Void Your Life Insurance Coverage?

It’s possible that your life insurance coverage could be voided if you die in a country that faces one or more serious geopolitical risks, according to Jenoa Matthes, a travel expert and founder of The Travel Folk.

“Countries with active war zones, outbreaks of violence or serious health crises tend to concern insurance companies the most,” Matthes said in a message to SmartFinancial. “Unfortunately, places experiencing humanitarian crises may also be avoided due to challenges processing claims from sanctioned nations.”

Life insurance companies may assign high-risk status to countries based on travel advisories issued by the U.S. Department of State.[1] For example, as of May 2024, the federal government advises Americans not to travel to Gaza, parts of Mexico or any of the 19 countries listed below, so your policy could be voided or your beneficiaries’ insurance claims could be denied if you die in one of these regions.[5]


North Korea



Burkina Faso


Central African Republic

South Sudan













In addition, life insurers could decline coverage in certain countries based on recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO). For example, in the event of another mass outbreak of COVID-19, your coverage could potentially be rescinded if you die in a foreign country that is considered a COVID hotspot.

How To Get Life Insurance Coverage for Traveling

To find the best life insurance for traveling, you should collect quotes from at least three to five different insurance carriers. You’ll need to share basic information like your age and location along with lifestyle information like your hobbies and whether you smoke. This can make for a laborious process if you attempt to contact multiple insurance companies one by one.

Fortunately, you can obtain multiple quotes quickly and easily by using an insurance marketplace like SmartFinancial. Simply answer a few questions about your life insurance needs and budget and we’ll connect you with agents who can help you find the best policy for your circumstances. If you’d like to compare life insurance quotes for free, click here now.

Get a Free Life Insurance Quote Today!


Is life insurance necessary when traveling?

Life insurance is generally recommended for anyone who has dependents relying on their income and it’s best to buy coverage as early in your life as possible rather than waiting until you are about to travel overseas.

If I plan to travel internationally, will I be denied life insurance?

You won’t necessarily be denied life insurance coverage if you plan on traveling internationally soon, although you could be denied coverage if you plan on traveling to a particularly risky country such as one that is currently at war.

Does travel insurance have life insurance bundled with it?

Some travel insurance policies include limited life insurance for travelers or accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) coverage. However, life and accidental death coverage are not necessarily included in all travel insurance policies and travel life insurance may not cover as many causes of death as a standard life insurance policy.[6]


  1. Fidelity Life. “Does Traveling Abroad Affect Your Life Insurance?” Accessed May 29, 2024.
  2. UNICEF DATA. “CRVS - Birth, Marriage and Death Registration in Kenya.” Accessed May 29, 2024.
  3. Experian. “Does Life Insurance Pay Out if You Die Abroad?” Accessed May 29, 2024.
  4. Guardian Life. “International Life Insurance for Expatriates and Global Citizens.” Accessed May 29, 2024.
  5. United States Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs. “Travel Advisories.” Accessed May 29, 2024.
  6. The Hartford. “Types of Business Travel Insurance & Coverage.” Accessed May 29, 2024.

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