In the event of an accident, injury, or other unexpected occurrences, foreign travelers and visitors to Europe should be ready to handle and pay for their medical expenses. Schengen visa insurance plays a critical role here.
Travel insurance provides travelers with financial support through insurance coverage, giving them peace of mind necessary to visit Europe without a worry in the event of unforeseen expenses due to medical treatment while traveling.
In this article, we will address information about the Visa, Insurance, Travel, and other details for Schengen countries.
What is Schengen?
Schengen is the Passport Free zone covering most European countries. Schengen is the world’s largest free travel area, you can travel to any of Schengen countries.
The Schengen Countries:
There are no border restrictions between the 26 Schengen countries, also known as the Schengen States: Austria, Belgium, 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 are among these nations.
The Schengen zone is a region without border controls within the zone in Europe.
What is a Schengen Visa?
A Schengen visa is a short-term visa that allows a Schengen visa holder to travel freely throughout the Schengen area.
A Schengen visa is issued by a Schengen State that allows you to a planned stay in the Schengen States for no further than 90 days in any 180-day period (“short-stay visa”), and a conveyance through the Schengen States’ transnational conveyance zones(“field conveyance visa”).
If you plan to stay longer to study, work, or even live in one of the Schengen countries for a period of more than 90 days, then you need to apply for a visa from that European country instead of a Schengen visa.
Who Needs a Schengen Visa?
In countries that have not yet reached a visa-liberalization agreement with the Schengen member states in Europe, their citizens need to obtain a visa before arriving in Europe.
List of countries:
Note: Citizens/Nationals of these countries will also need Travel insurance/Schengen visa insurance along with their Schengen visa application.
Schengen Visa Insurance Requirements
For a Schengen visa, medical insurance must meet the following criteria:
- Minimum medical insurance coverage of 30,000 EUR is required
- This is equivalent to 32,000 USD as of May 2022
- Cover all costs associated with medical repatriation, urgent health care, emergency hospital treatment, or death
- Travel Insurance coverage should apply to all Schengen Area member states
Some travel insurance companies offer Schengen insurance plans; these travel insurance products address specific requirements of obtaining a Schengen visa and related coverage. Ask the insurance company if they offer such a product before purchasing travel insurance for Europe.
Do all visitors to Europe need Travel insurance / Schengen visa insurance?
Although a travel health insurance policy is recommended for visitors to Europe, it isn’t mandatory for all.
Only travelers to Europe who need to apply for a Schengen visa must have Schengen visa travel insurance.
The Schengen health insurance must always have acceptable coverage for the duration of their stay in Europe. The reason for visiting Europe does not matter, be it for business, tourism, exploration, holiday, or other reasons.
Coronavirus & Travel Insurance Restrictions
On the 11th of March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 (coronavirus) a pandemic.
While the world is now slowly opening up to foreign visitors, always check for pandemic-related restrictions or requirements of the region/country of visit.
Do Schengen Visa Insurance Plans Offer COVID-19 Coverage?
The short answer is Yes.
Many travel insurance companies offer coverage for COVID-19-related illnesses as part of the Schengen travel insurance policy offering.
These Schengen visa insurance coverages come with conditions to extend the pandemic coverage, primarily with respect to compliance with local and international laws, i.e., regulations of your country’s government and the World Health Organization (WHO).
COVID-19 insurance generally covers the following:
- Health emergencies related to COVID-19, including medical treatment, medication, and hospitalization.
- RTPCR or PCR test (if applicable).
Expenses related to quarantine requirements, such as expenses for accommodation, are usually not covered.
On the other hand, some insurance companies do not offer any coverage for any expenses as part of their travel insurance for Schengen coverage related to the pandemic.
To know if a travel insurance policy on offer covers you for COVID-19, read the policy document/insurance certificate. Ideally, ask the insurance company to provide you with the details before purchasing travel insurance.
Always read the fine print in your travel medical insurance policy to ensure you understand the inclusions (what is covered) in the policy and, more importantly, the exclusions (what is not covered).
Which is the best insurance for Europe?
We highly recommend you consider the ‘EuropeTravelPlus’ comprehensive coverage insurance plan.
This insurance plan offers Europe visitors coverage of not just the obligatory Schengen visa insurance needed as per the Schengen visa requirements but also extended coverage wherever you travel in the Schengen area.
Key features of this Schengen insurance plan are:
Please Note: EuropeTravelPlus travel insurance is:
- Not Available for the following Destination Countries: Belarus, Russia, Ukraine
- Not available if the Home/Residence Country is: Botswana, Cuba, Gambia, Ghana, Iran, Kosovo, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Sierra Leone, Syria & Venezuela
- Not available for Citizens of Botswana, Gambia, Ghana, Kosovo, Niger, Nigeria & Sierra Leone
- Not Available for Addresses of the Following U.S. States: MD & NY (Maryland & New York)
You need to submit proof of your travel insurance along with the Schengen visa application that you submit at the visa application center. Europe Travel Plus travel insurance provides you with the visa letter for the Schengen visa application. This plan is managed by IMG Global, the travel insurance company.
Always buy travel insurance for any international travel, whether Schengen or otherwise. Seek medical attention if there is a medical emergency. Travel insurance takes away the worry of medical expenses.