Saudi Arabia Travel Insurance Requirements

Last updated: 04/01/2024

Do You Need Travel Insurance to Visit Saudi Arabia?

Travelers heading to Saudi Arabia must apply for a Tourist Visa in order to enter the country. Part of the application process involves securing mandatory health coverage that lasts for the duration of your stay.

The health insurance policy, which was approved by the Saudi Council of Health Insurance, covers medical emergencies up to SAR 100,000, roughly $27,000. The policy may cover expenses such as hospital bills, diagnostic services, and medications.

While this coverage is mandatory, we strongly recommend obtaining additional protection for your Saudi Arabia trip that includes further medical coverage, as well as protection from cancellations, delays, terrorism, baggage delays, and more.

How Does Saudi Arabian Travel Insurance?

According to Visit Saudi, the cost of a tourist eVisa, which includes the mandatory health insurance policy, will cost SAR 535. This equates to roughly $142.

For further protection, many travelers heading to Saudi Arabia opt to purchase additional coverage through a third party travel insurance provider. The cost of a comprehensive travel insurance policy is determined by a wide-range of factors, including your total insured trip costs, the length of your trip, your age, and the extent of your coverage.

On average, Squaremouth customers that travel to Saudi Arabia typically spend between $350-$400 on a comprehensive travel insurance plan, with an average trip cost of around $6.500.

What Should Your Saudi Arabia Travel Insurance Include?

When traveling to Saudi Arabia, it’s important to have comprehensive travel insurance coverage to protect yourself against unexpected events. Here are some key components your Saudi Arabia travel insurance should include:

  • Emergency Medical: For most international trips, we recommend at least $50,000 in medical coverage. Since Saudi Arabia’s required plan doesn’t meet this limit, we recommend additional protection.
  • Medical Evacuation: Your insurance should cover the cost of emergency medical evacuations to a suitable medical facility. We recommend at least $100,000 in Medical Evacuation Coverage.
  • Trip Cancellation: This coverage protects you financially if you need to cancel your trip due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness, injury, death of a family member, and natural disasters.
  • Baggage & Personal Item Loss: Make sure your insurance policy includes coverage for loss, theft, or damage to your luggage and personal belongings during your trip.
  • Delay Coverage: Reimbursement for expenses incurred due to travel delays, missed connections, or trip disruptions caused by factors such as flight cancellations, severe weather, or transportation strikes.
  • Emergency Assistance Services: All travel insurance providers on Squaremouth offer 24/7 emergency assistance services to support you before and during your trip.
  • Terrorism Coverage: Given the geopolitical situation in some regions, it’s advisable to check if your insurance includes coverage for acts of terrorism, civil unrest, or political instability.

Before purchasing a policy, carefully review the terms, conditions, and exclusions. Consider your individual needs and the nature of your trip to ensure that the selected policy provides adequate coverage for your specific circumstances. It’s advisable to compare policies from different providers to find the one that best meets your requirements.

Other Saudi Arabia Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for US citizens traveling to Saudi Arabia typically included:

  • Visa: US citizens traveling to Saudi Arabia usually need a visa. This could be obtained through the Saudi embassy or consulate before traveling or through the Saudi eVisa system. The eVisa system allows eligible travelers to apply for a visa online.
  • Passport: US citizens must have a passport valid for at least six months beyond the date of entry into Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia Travel Tips & General Information

Safety in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is generally considered safe for travelers, including tourists and expatriates. The country has a low crime rate compared to many other countries, and violent crime targeting foreigners is rare.

Saudi Arabia has faced terrorism threats and incidents in the past, although the government has taken significant measures to combat terrorism and enhance security within the country. When in Saudi Arabia, it’s important to remain vigilant and stay informed about local security situations.

Travelers concerned about terrorism should consider travel insurance that includes Trip Cancellation coverage for terrorist events. This coverage provides reimbursement if a terrorist attack forces you to cancel your plans or end your trip early.

Food & Water in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia generally maintains high food and water safety standards, particularly in urban areas and established establishments. Saudi Arabian cuisine features a variety of dishes, including grilled meats, rice, bread, and traditional Middle Eastern specialties.

Water supplies in urban areas are generally safe for drinking and cooking, but it’s generally recommended to stick to water bottles when traveling abroad. Bottled water is widely available throughout Saudi Arabia and is generally considered safe for consumption.

Saudi Arabia Weather & Natural Disaster Concerns

Saudi Arabia has a predominantly desert climate characterized by high temperatures and low humidity, with variations depending on the region. Travelers should be prepared for hot conditions and take appropriate precautions, such as staying hydrated and wearing sun protection, especially if traveling during the summer.

Saudi Arabia is relatively spared from natural disasters compared to some other regions, but it is not entirely immune. Sandstorms and flash flooding have been known to occur in the region. To protect against severe weather events, many travel insurance providers offer Hurricane & Weather benefits within their top plans.

FAQs Among U.S. Citizens Visiting Saudi Arabia

What Are the Best Things to Do In Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia offers a rich tapestry of cultural, historical, and natural attractions for visitors to explore. Here are some of the best things to do in the country:

  • Visit Mecca and Medina: For Muslims, pilgrimage to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina is a profound spiritual experience. Non-Muslims are generally not permitted to enter Mecca but can visit Medina, where they can explore significant sites such as the Prophet’s Mosque and the burial place of Prophet Muhammad.
  • Explore Riyadh: Saudi Arabia’s capital city, Riyadh, offers a blend of modernity and tradition. Visitors can explore historic sites like Al-Masmak Fortress and Diriyah, the birthplace of the Saudi state, as well as modern attractions like the Kingdom Centre Tower and the National Museum.
  • Discover Historical Sites: Saudi Arabia is home to numerous historical and archaeological sites, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Al-Hijr (Madain Saleh), an ancient Nabatean city similar to Jordan’s Petra. Other notable sites include the Al-Ula archaeological site, the ancient city of Tayma, and the rock art at Jubbah and Shuwaymis.
  • Experience the Edge of the World: Located near Riyadh, the Edge of the World (Jebel Fihrayn) offers breathtaking views of towering cliffs and vast desert landscapes. It’s a popular spot for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and photography.
  • Explore the Red Sea Coast: Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast is renowned for its stunning coral reefs, pristine beaches, and crystal-clear waters. Visitors can enjoy snorkeling, scuba diving, boat tours, and other water-based activities in destinations like Jeddah, Al-Lith, and Yanbu.
  • Experience Desert Adventures: The vast Arabian Desert offers opportunities for desert adventures such as camel trekking, dune bashing, and camping under the stars. Popular desert destinations include the Empty Quarter (Rub’ al Khali), the largest continuous sand desert in the world.

What Currency is Used in Saudi Arabia?

The official currency of Saudi Arabia is the Saudi Riyal (SAR), abbreviated as ر.س or SAR. It is divided into 100 halalas. The Riyal is widely used for everyday transactions throughout the country.

As for credit cards, major credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, and American Express, are accepted at many hotels, restaurants, shops, and other establishments, especially in urban areas like Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam. However, it’s always a good idea to carry some cash, especially when traveling to more remote areas or smaller establishments where credit card acceptance may be limited.

What Should I Wear When I Visit Saudi Arabia?

In Saudi Arabia, clothing choices are influenced by cultural norms, Islamic principles, and the country’s conservative customs. It’s important to dress modestly and respectfully,

Western-style clothing such as pants and t-shirts are generally acceptable for men, however casual clothing should be avoided if possible. Women should dress modestly, covering the body from the shoulders to the ankles. Loose-fitting, long-sleeved tops and ankle-length skirts or pants are appropriate.

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