Schengen states have made it mandatory for all the applicants to avail visa travel insurance as it helps in coping with mammoth expenses in case of any unforeseen medical complication. Besides, visa travel insurance provides financial security to backpackers so that they can fully enjoy their journey without any anxiety.
Travel Medical Insurance Criteria
- The availed medical insurance must cover minimum expenses equivalent to 30000 EUR or 50000 USD.
- Travel medical insurance should be valid in all member states of the Schengen Area.
- It should cover all expenses pertaining to repatriation for medical reasons, medical emergency, treatment in hospital and death.
It is pertinent here to mention that not all travelers are obliged to avail the insurance. Rather, it is compulsory only for visa nationalities.
The aforesaid group is bound to avail medical insurance regardless if they are traveling to the Schengen Area on the visit, tourism, business, study or any other visa.
The citizens of those countries who enjoy visa-free procedures with EU are not bound to avail the policy. Medical insurance is optional for them and embassies or consulates do not demand it from them.
Travel Visa Insurance is a must when applying for a Schengen Visa
Extract from “Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009”, which entered into force on April 5 of 2010:
“… Applicants for a uniform visa for one or two entries shall prove that they are in possession of adequate and valid travel medical insurance to cover any expenses which might arise in connection with repatriation for medical reasons, urgent medical attention and/or emergency hospital treatment or death, during their stay(s) on the territory of the Member States.
The insurance shall be valid throughout the territory of the Schengen Area Member States and cover the entire period of the person’s intended stay or transit. The minimum coverage shall be EUR 30,000” (…)
States Covered by Schengen Travel Insurance
The Schengen medical insurance covers the following 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.
Schengen Area is a borderless, passport-free zone comprising 26 countries of Europe. Till date, the Schengen Area remains the world’s largest visa-free zone in the world.
Schengen Visa is a short-stay visa that enables its holder to travel 26 European countries which are part of Schengen Area. Authorities concerned will not subject holder of a Schengen Visa to border checks at internal borders of the Schengen countries.
Who Must Avail Visa Travel Insurance for Schengen Area?
The applicants of those nations who are subjected to visa requirements. It does not matter whether an individual or a group is traveling to Europe for visit or business purposes, travel health insurance is a must document.
The Schengen VISA Insurance policy can be purchased either online for a very low cost or via conventional means.
Coverage Provided by Schengen Medical Insurance
Usually, the Schengen Travel Medical cover following arrays of expenses:
Medical emergency (accident or sickness)
Repatriation of remains
Return of a minor
Accidental death, injury or disablement benefit
Overseas funeral expenses
Lost, stolen or damaged baggage, personal effects or travel documents
Delayed baggage (and emergency replacement of essential items)
Flight connection missed due to airline schedule crash
Travel delays due to weather
The insurance covers pregnancy expenses if it happens in the first trimester. After this, the coverage differs from company to company.
What is Excluded or Optional in Visa Travel Insurance Policy?
- As mentioned earlier, each insurance company offers a different set of packages. There are some companies which cover additional costs. If your availed insurance does not cover additional expenses, then it must be bought to cover additional expenses.
- Preexisting conditions (e.g. Asthma, diabetes)
- Sports with an element of risk (e.g. Skiing, scuba diving)
- Travel to high-risk countries (e.g. Due to war, natural disasters or acts of terrorism)
- Acute onset of pre-existing conditions: It means the sudden return of a pre-existing disease without any prior warning from the doctor. If the applicant is suffering from pre-existing conditions, then he/she must cover it to protect himself from the expected cost of medical treatment in the Schengen Area.
Nationals Required to Avail Schengen Visa Travel Insurance
Nationals of the following countries are required to purchase Schengen Travel Insurance:
Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Myanmar, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Comoros, Congo, Cote D’ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Dominion Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eretria, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Northern Mariana’s, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Sao Tome And Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Besides mammoth medical expenses, travel insurance is destined to cover wide arrays of losses including lost luggage, cancellation of flight at the last moment or bankruptcy of travel agency.
Common Restrictions and Limitations
- As mentioned earlier, not all the companies provide insurance for preexisting conditions. If the applicant—with a preexisting condition—is on treatment and he opts to travel to the Schengen Area, then there will be no medical cost alleviations via the applicant’s insurer.
- In case the applicant with the preexisting condition is declared fit by the doctor, then the insurance company is ought to cover any unforeseen medical complication in the Schengen Area, acute onset of the preexisting condition.
- Sports: Insurance companies might exclude participation in extreme sports’ activities from the coverage.
- War: Insurance companies might exclude coverage for injuries of war.
- Duration – Many policies specify a time limit for coverage (e.g., 60 days) and the costs differ accordingly.
- Drugs/Alcohol: The medical insurance will not cover the expenses of substance abuse including drugs and alcohol.
Travel Insurance Samples