Although planning a trip can make the whole travel experience a lot smoother, it’s simply not possible to predict everything that may happen during a trip to Europe or the Schengen Area. Unexpected expenses can always arise and bring travel costs up considerably, which is why having the right travel insurance policy is a must.

What Exactly Is Travel Health Insurance?

Travel insurance is a type of insurance cover whose purpose is to provide coverage for expenses incurred when travelling. These expenses can include anything from treatment of injuries to the cost of treating unexpected illness.

Travel insurance does not only cover medical expenses, but also other unexpected situations that you may face during a trip abroad or in your home country. For example, a good travel insurance policy will offer cover for lost or damaged luggage and for flight cancellations, which are more common than you may think.

Which Countries Are Covered Under Schengen Travel Insurance?

As of 2018, the following 26 European countries are Schengen member states: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

Who Should Have Travel Insurance When Travelling To The Schengen Area?

While not compulsory, it is strongly recommended that all travellers have valid travel medical insurance when visiting a Schengen country. This applies irrespective of the purpose of travel. In addition, anyone who needs a visa to enter the Schengen Area must have adequate medical cover under a Schengen visa insurance provider.

Elderly travellers are strongly recommend to purchase comprehensive travel insurance when travelling to the Schengen Area. The same applies to travellers who have pre-existing medical conditions, or those with chronic illnesses that require ongoing therapy.

Generally speaking, anyone who is not able to cover overseas healthcare related expenses using personal funds should consider having travel insurance.

How Much Does Schengen Travel Insurance Cost?

Travel insurance costs are calculated taking into the account a variety of factors, such as age, medical history, the destination country, and the total number of days that you will spend in the Schengen area. Prices vary from insurer to insurer and from policy holder to policy holder, so it is always recommended to get a personalised quotation that fits your specific circumstances.

Where Can I Buy Schengen Travel Insurance?

Some Schengen insurance providers operate online and offer discounted policies at very affordable costs. Alternatively, you can always ask a major insurance provider about which of their policies offer Schengen coverage. Before you purchase insurance, the most important thing is to make sure that the provider is licensed to operate in the country you will be visiting.

If you have come the Schengen Area for employment purposes, you may already be covered by your employer’s insurance package. However, it is important to note that in some cases, medical emergencies may not be covered by your employer’s insurance, so always double-check the details to see if you need additional cover.

Top Tips To Find The Best Europe Visa Insurance

  • Find out what you have and what you need. Check the details of any existing insurance cover you may have, and make sure you’re covered for medical emergencies too.
  • Read the fine print. Make sure you understand the exclusions and limitations of your insurance policy, so you don’t find yourself without cover when you need it the most.
  • Consider combined travel insurance. You can often get optimal coverage for both personal possessions and medical treatment via combined insurance policies. This may be particularly useful if you are planning to drive in the Schengen Area, as you’ll be covered should you be involved in an accident.
  • Be prepared and be informed. This is especially important if you have pre-existing medical conditions or any health issues that may get worse in a new environment (e.g. allergies, chronic diseases, etc.). It’s always a good idea to have your personal medical files with you, as well as any prescription drugs you may need.

What Is Usually Included Under European Visa Travel Insurance Cover?

  • Medical emergencies, whether due to accident or illness
  • Emergency evacuation
  • Repatriation of remains to your home country
  • Return of minors to their home country
  • Trip cancellation or interruption
  • Accidental death and injuries that cause disability
  • Funeral expenses overseas
  • Lost, stolen, or damaged luggage, personal possessions, or travel documents
  • Delayed luggage
  • Emergency items needed in the event of delayed or lost luggage
  • Missed flight connections (if the airline is responsible)
  • Weather-related travel delays
  • Hijacking
  • Pregnancy-related expenses if the insurance holder is in her first trimester.

What is usually excluded from Schengen travel insurance policies?

Exclusions and limitations vary from provider to providers, but usually, the following situations are not covered:

  • Requiring medical treatment due to pre-existing conditions, like diabetes or asthma. If you experience an acute episode of any pre-existing condition, your insurance cover may not be valid and you will need to purchase additional insurance
  • On the other hand, you may be covered if you suffer the acute onset of a health condition or disease and have been declared fit to travel by a medical practitioner
  • Taking part in extreme or risky sports and activities, such as skiing, bungee jumping, rafting, or scuba diving
  • Travel to high-risk countries or war zones. Issues related or caused by political unrest and natural disasters are often in the list of insurance limitations and exclusions
  • Long-term travel may be excluded from European travel insurance cover. The majority of Schengen insurance policies are valid for a specific time frame, usually applicable to short-term travel
  • Suicide and self-inflicted injuries
  • Any injuries or conditions caused by substance abuse, whether it involves drugs or alcohol.