If you’re planning to travel or immigrate to any of the 27 European countries in the Schengen area, it’s essential to have appropriate travel insurance coverage. This guide will provide information and advice on securing travel insurance for your journey.
Why You Need Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is a crucial aspect of planning your trip. It provides coverage for unforeseen situations such as trip cancellations, lost luggage, and medical emergencies. For the Schengen area, it’s not just recommended, but mandatory for securing a Schengen Visa.
Insurance requirements for Schengen Visas
For a Schengen visa, medical insurance must meet the following requirements:
- A minimum of 30,000 EUR in coverage is required (equivalent to 35,200 USD as of March 2021).
- It should apply to all Schengen Area member states.
- Cover all costs associated with medical repatriation, emergency medical attention, and/or emergency hospital treatment, as well as death.
The necessary insurance certificate required when applying for a Schengen visa can be provided by reputable travel insurance providers such as AXA, MondialCare, and Europ Assistance.
Despite the fact that travel health insurance is recommended for all visitors to Europe, it is not necessary. Only travellers who need to apply for a Schengen visa are required to purchase travel insurance. This category of travellers must always have adequate coverage for the duration of their stay in Europe, regardless of whether they are there for business, tourism, research, vacation, or other reasons.
Understanding Your Coverage
Different insurance providers offer a variety of plans. Therefore, it’s important to understand what your travel insurance covers. Some key components to look for include:
- Medical expenses: This covers the cost of medical emergencies, hospital stays, and sometimes even medical evacuation to your home country.
- Trip cancellation or interruption: If you have to cancel your trip due to unforeseen circumstances or cut it short due to emergencies, your insurance should cover the expenses.
- Lost, stolen, or damaged baggage: This coverage compensates you for your personal belongings that might be lost, stolen, or damaged during your trip.
- Travel delays: If your trip is delayed due to circumstances beyond your control, this coverage will take care of the extra costs incurred.
Choosing the Right Provider
When choosing your travel insurance provider, it’s important to consider factors like:
- Reputation and Reliability: Choose a provider with a good track record of easy claims and reliable service.
- Coverage Limits: Make sure the coverage limits are high enough, especially for medical expenses.
- Cost: Compare costs between different providers to get the best value for your money, but remember the cheapest policy might not offer comprehensive coverage.
- Customer Service: Opt for a provider that offers round-the-clock customer service.
Tips for Buying Travel Insurance
- Buy Early: It’s best to buy travel insurance as soon as you’ve booked your trip. This way, you’re covered if you have to cancel your trip.
- Check for Exclusions: All insurance policies have exclusions. Make sure to read your policy carefully so you know what’s not covered.
- Consider Special Coverage: If you’re planning activities like skiing or other adventure sports, you might need additional coverage.
Filing a Claim
In the event that you need to file a claim, it’s important to keep all relevant documents such as receipts, medical reports, and police reports. Contact your insurance provider as soon as possible, and they’ll guide you through the process.
Travel insurance is an essential part of travelling or immigrating to Schengen countries. Make sure you choose a plan that suits your needs, understand the terms and conditions, and know how to file a claim if necessary. Your journey to the Schengen area should be an exciting adventure. Having proper travel insurance coverage can give you peace of mind and allow you to enjoy your trip to the fullest.
Frequently Asked Questions..
Does my insurance policy need to cover all Schengen countries or just the one I am visiting?
Yes, all EU member states should be covered by your travel health insurance policy: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Can I extend my Europe travel health insurance if I need to extend my vacation due to an airport closure or official travel restrictions?
Each travel insurance company has its own set of guidelines. For further information, contact their customer service/support team. You should be able to request a refund for your current insurance or have your current travel coverage extended.
In a standard Schengen insurance policy, what is most often excluded or optional?
Every travel insurance company is different, although some do offer to cover additional expenses if needed. If this is not the case, supplementary insurance must be acquired to cover specific costs such as:
- Pre-existing ailments (e.g. Asthma, diabetes)
- Sports with a high level of danger (e.g. skiing, scuba diving)
- Travel to high-risk countries (due to war, natural catastrophes, or terrorism) is not recommended
- Acute onset of pre-existing conditions – This is when pre-existing medical issues appear suddenly and without notice from a health care expert. If you have pre-existing ailments, make sure you have this coverage to protect yourself from any emergency situations that happen as a result of such conditions, even if youre taking care of them.