One of the key requirements of Schengen visa is the travel medical insurance. The travel insurance for Schengen visa must meet certain coverage and must be valid throughout the Schengen region for the entire duration of your stay.
With a myriad of travel insurance options in the market, picking out the right policy for your Schengen visa is difficult. In this article, you will everything about Schengen visa travel insurance and how to choose a policy for your visa.
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What is Schengen Travel Medical Insurance?
Schengen travel insurance is a type of insurance policy for travelers visiting the Schengen area. This type of travel insurance plan is designed specifically to comply with Schengen visa criteria of minimum coverage and validity requirements. Schengen travel insurance is also a mandatory requirement for obtaining a Schengen visa.
Who Requires Schengen Travel Health Insurance?
Visitors from visa-required countries planning to visit any Schengen country must require Schengen travel insurance.
If you are a traveler from a country that requires a visa to enter the Schengen zone, you must have a valid travel insurance policy. You must buy travel insurance not only for your Schengen visa application but also for any or all trips that you take to the Schengen area.
Is Travel Insurance Mandatory for Schengen Visa?
Yes, obtaining travel insurance is mandatory for Schengen visa. The European Commission’s 810/2009 Regulation mandates submitting valid travel medical insurance for Schengen visa applications.
Proof of travel medical insurance is not only mandatory for the first trip, but also for all subsequent trips for multiple-entry Schengen visas.
At the time of application, you would only need to provide proof of insurance for the first entry.
What are the Schengen Visa Insurance Requirements?
As per the Article 15 of REGULATION (EC) No 810/2009, your Schengen visa travel insurance must meet the following three criteria:
- Must cover medical expenses up to a minimum of €30,000
- Must be valid for the entire duration of your stay
- Must be valid in all 27 Schengen countries
The policy must cover all medical expenses arising from emergency medical attention, treatment, hospitalization, emergency medical evacuation, repatriation due to medical reasons and death.
Let’s look at each of those requirements in detail.
1. Minimum Coverage
Your Schengen visa travel insurance must meet the minimum coverage requirement of €30,000. When purchasing Schengen visa travel insurance in USD, make sure the policy covers at least $50,000.
This minimum coverage is applicable for any medical expenses, emergency evacuation, and repatriation of remains.
This coverage is necessary to financially protect you in case of accidents, unforeseen illnesses, or other emergency situations that may arise during your travels in the Schengen area.
2. Validity Duration
Your travel insurance for the Schengen visa must remain valid for the entire duration of your stay in the Schengen area.
This travel insurance policy should cover you from the day you arrive in the Schengen area until the day you leave.
In terms of a multiple-entry visa, the Schengen visa insurance must be valid for the entire duration of your first entry only.
Here is an example:
You are applying for a multiple-entry visa and your trip is from Jan 01 to Jan 14. Your Schengen visa insurance must be valid from Jan 01 to Jan 14.
If you take another trip on the same visa, say from May 01 to May 14, then you must purchase another Schengen travel insurance at the time of your second trip.
For your visa application, you would only need to provide insurance for Jan 01 to Jan 14.
3. Validity in the Schengen Zone
Lastly, your Schengen visa travel insurance must be valid in all 27 Schengen countries. This is to make sure that you have coverage regardless of which Schengen country you visit during your trip.
Most Schengen travel insurance aggregators such as VisitorsCoverage provide insurances that are valid in the entire Schengen zone.
In fact, any insurance valid globally is acceptable for the Schengen visa. Provided, the the insurance covers at least €30,000 in all medical costs and emergencies.
What Does Schengen Visa Insurance Plan Cover?
In general, any Schengen visa insurance plan covers medical expenses, COVID-19 protection, and trip coverage.
These coverage options are designed not only to provide comprehensive protection but also to meet the Schengen visa insurance requirements.
1. Medical Coverage
Medical coverage is the most important aspect of Schengen travel insurance. It provides coverage for emergency medical expenses, accidents, and unexpected illnesses.
The coverage also includes hospitalization, emergency hospital treatment, doctor visits, prescription drugs, and other necessary medical treatments that are considered emergency and necessary.
The policy must cover at least €30,000 for the visa. But depending on your needs and activities in the Schengen area, you can opt for policies with higher coverage.
2. COVID-19 Protection
COVID protection is not mandatory for Schengen visa. But most Schengen visa travel insurance policies offer coverage for medical treatment and quarantine expenses related to COVID. COVID tests and quarantine must be prescribed by a doctor to be eligible for the coverage.
That being said, you must review the policy details to make sure that COVID protection is included. Even though it’s not mandatory, it can provide peace of mind during your trip.
3. Trip Coverage
Trip coverage is also not mandatory for Schengen visa. But most travel insurance plans provide protection against flight cancellations, delays, and lost luggage during your travels. Trip coverage will help lessen any expenses arising from trip interruptions and baggage delays.
Review the policy details to make sure comprehensive trip coverage is included. This way, you can ensure that your trip goes smoothly, even when faced with unexpected setbacks.
What Does Schengen Visa Insurance Plan Not Cover?
Though Schengen travel insurance plans provide coverage for a wide range of scenarios, there will usually be some exclusions. One common exclusion is the coverage for pre-existing medical conditions.
It’s crucial to understand the limitations and exclusions of your Schengen visa insurance policy. Let’s look into the exclusion of pre-existing medical conditions in detail.
Pre-existing Medical Conditions
Pre-existing medical conditions are generally not covered by Schengen visa insurance plans. If you have a medical condition that was present prior to the purchase of your Schengen insurance policy, any medical expenses related to that condition during the trip will not be covered.
Review the terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to determine if any exclusions apply to pre-existing medical conditions.
Is COVID-19 Coverage Mandatory for Schengen Visa Travel Insurance?
No, COVID-19 coverage is not mandatory for Schengen visa travel insurance. But most Schengen travel insurance companies include COVID coverage in their policy.
Even though it’s not required, having COVID protection in your travel insurance can provide financial security during your Schengen trip.
It is always better to be prepared and have coverage than face challenges during the trip.
How Much Does Schengen Visa Medical Insurance Cost?
The cost of Schengen visa medical insurance varies depending on several factors, such as age, duration of your trip, total coverage amount, and the insurance company.
Schengen travel insurance from IMG Global, through VisitorsCoverage for up to 39 years of age will cost about a dollar a day. For a one-week trip, it would be about $7 USD. The cost goes up with age.
IMG Global is a US-based insurance company offering Schengen visa insurance. If you opt for a Europe-based insurance company such as Europ Assistance, the prices are even higher. A one-week insurance policy can cost about €18.
To find the most affordable insurance policy for the Schengen visa, compare different insurance providers and policies using an insurance aggregator such as VisitorsCoverage.
How to Choose the Right Travel Insurance for Schengen Visa?
With a myriad of options available in the market, choosing travel insurance for your Schengen visa can be a daunting task. To make this process easier, consider factors such as the reputation of the insurance company, coverage limits, and customer reviews.
Let’s look at each of these factors in detail.
1. Reputation of the Company
When selecting a travel insurance provider, it’s important to evaluate their reputation in the market. A reputable insurance company will have a track record of providing reliable and quality coverage, as well as excellent customer service.
You can assess the reputation of an insurance company by looking at its reviews and ratings on sites such as Trustpilot. VisitorsCoverage, for example, has a 4.7 rating on Trustpilot.
If you choose an insurance company with a strong reputation, you will have confidence in the coverage and support they provide throughout your trip.
2. Coverage Limits and Exclusions
Another important aspect to consider is the coverage limit. The policy must be Schengen visa compliant, meaning the policy must meet the minimum coverage requirement of €30,000.
Additionally, it’s important to review if there are any exclusions such as pre-existing medical conditions or other limitations.
By reviewing the coverage limits and exclusions, you can pick out a policy that is Schengen visa compliant and provide enough protection during your trip.
3. Customer Reviews and Ratings
Reviews and ratings can be invaluable resources when evaluating any product or service in the market. Travel insurance is no different. The reviews and ratings provide insight into the insurance provider’s customer service, claims process, and embassy acceptability.
By considering the experiences of other travelers you can assess the quality and reliability of the travel insurance.
4. Schengen Insurance Certificate
Lastly, the insurance company must be able to issue a Schengen insurance certificate, also called a visa letter. Submitting a visa letter along with the policy is a mandatory requirement for the Schengen visa.
This certificate confirms that your insurance policy meets the Schengen visa criteria. The certificate should include:
- Your name (as the policyholder)
- Policy number
- Total coverage amount, which should be no less than €30,000 (or $50,000)
- Dates of validity (must cover the entire duration of your stay in the Schengen area)
- Contact details for the insurance company, in case of emergencies
Where to Purchase Travel Insurance for Schengen Visa?
Travel insurance for Schengen visas can be purchased from online insurance providers, local insurance companies and travel agencies.
Local insurance companies and travel agencies can offer personalized advice. With online platforms, you can compare prices and coverage options from multiple insurers.
Regardless of where you purchase your insurance, it’s important to make sure the insurance policy meets Schengen visa insurance requirements and provides the necessary coverage for your trip.
My recommendation is to buy Schengen visa insurance from VisitorsCoverage. Their Europe Travel Plus policy is specifically designed for the Schengen visa, meeting the minimum coverage requirements and downloadable visa letter. Here is a comparison for a 33-year-old, 7 days trip to the Schengen area.
|IMG Global (though VisitorsCoverage)
|Europe Travel Plus
|AXA Travel Insurance
|Schengen Low Cost
How to Purchase Travel Insurance for Schengen Visa
To purchase your travel insurance for Schengen visa, go to the VisitorsCoverage’s Europe Travel Plus plan. Enter the following details.
- Destination Country
- Residence/Home country
- Coverage Start Date
- Coverage End Date
- Arrival Date
- Date of Birth
- Email Address
Click on Continue. In the deductible and policy maximum, select $0 for the deductible and $50K for the policy maximum. Then click on Continue.
In the next steps, enter your details as per your passport. Complete the payment and purchase the policy. Once your purchase is complete, you can download your visa letter.
How To Find Cheap Schengen Travel Insurance?
Finding cheap Schengen travel insurance requires research and comparison of policies and companies. I have done this already for you. VisitorsCoverage was the cheapest in my research. If you are older than 50, then you might want to check other insurance companies to see if you can find a cheaper option.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Do US citizens need Schengen insurance?
No. US citizens do not require Schengen insurance when traveling to the Schengen area. This is because Schengen insurance is mandatory for those that require a visa for the Schengen area. And, US citizens do not require a visa for the Schengen area.
Is Schengen travel insurance refundable?
Yes. Most Schengen visa insurance companies offer reimbursement or free cancellation in the event of visa refusal. That being said, review the terms and conditions of the insurance policy before purchasing to make sure the policy is cancellable in case of visa refusal.
Can I purchase travel insurance after obtaining a Schengen visa?
No. You must purchase travel insurance before obtaining the visa. This is because travel insurance is one of the mandatory requirements for obtaining the Schengen visa. Without purchasing travel insurance, you won’t even be able to apply for the Schengen visa.
Are pre-existing medical conditions covered by travel insurance?
Pre-existing medical conditions are usually not covered by Schengen visa insurance plans. This means that any medical expenses arising due to pre-existing conditions will not be covered during your trip. Before purchasing, review the terms and conditions of the policy to determine the exclusions.
Can I extend my travel insurance coverage if my stay in the Schengen area is prolonged?
It may be possible to extend travel insurance coverage if your stay in the Schengen area is prolonged. But it depends on the insurance company and the policy type. Review the terms and conditions and also contact the insurance provider to inquire about extensions.
Obtaining the right travel insurance is a crucial step in your Schengen visa application process. The travel insurance for Schengen visa must provide at least €30,000 coverage and must be valid throughout the Schengen region for the entire duration of your trip.
While purchasing your Schengen visa insurance, consider factors such as the provider’s reputation, coverage limits and customer reviews. Compare different travel insurance providers and policies to pick out the right insurance for your Schengen visa.