Europe

2024 Update: Understanding Schengen Travel Insurance – A Guide to Choosing the Right Policy to Avoid Visa Denial

Starting on June 11, 2024, Schengen visa applicants will have to pay 12 per cent more when applying for a Schengen visa. New Schengen visa fees will be €90 for adults and €45 for children aged 6 to below 12 years of age.

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Alongside this fee changes taking place this June, it’s crucial for Schengen visa applicants to understand the mandatory requirement of travel insurance.

According to Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 of the European Parliament, Schengen travel insurance is a mandatory requirement that applies to all nationals of third countries who apply for a Schengen visa.

By purchasing travel insurance, Schengen visa applicants are ready to explore the Schengen Area without having to worry about the expenses in case of any unforeseen medical emergencies.

While it is very important that Schengen visa applicants prepare all the other documents along with planning their trip in the bloc, it is key that they ensure they are covered from any expenses that may arise for medical reasons.

The requirement to purchase travel insurance applies to all travellers who apply for a Schengen visa for tourism, business, study, or visit purposes, among others, regardless of their stay in the area.

In case Schengen visa applicants do not purchase travel insurance, their visa application is rejected. The wrong policy can also penalise Schengen visa applicants.

This Is What to Have in Mind When Purchasing Schengen Visa Insurance in 2024

While there are many travel insurance policies that Schengen visa applicants can choose from in 2024 it is important certain requirements are met so that the wrong policy does not penalise travellers.

In line with the current EU laws, the travel insurance policy for a Schengen visa must cover at least €30,000 of medical costs, including emergency treatment, hospitalisation, and medical evacuation.

Moreover, the travel insurance policy must be valid in all Schengen member states regardless of whether Schengen visa applicants plan on visiting only one country in the Schengen Area.

Another thing that all Schengen visa applicants must have in mind when purchasing travel insurance is that the policy must cover the entire stay in the Schengen Area.

It does not matter how long you will be staying in the territory of the Schengen Area. Your travel insurance policy must cover the entire stay, whether that is one, 30, or 60 days. You never know what could happen in a split second, and the saying “better safe than sorry” fits perfectly here.

Besart Bajrami, Founder of SchengenVisaInfo

Those who plan on reaching the Schengen Area multiple times within a short period are recommended to purchase policies with a longer validity so that they do not have to purchase policies each time they want to travel to the Schengen Area.

Which Travel Insurance Policy Is the Best for Schengen Visa Application In Summer 2024?

There are many companies in the market that offer different travel insurance policies based on travellers’ needs.

However, before deciding which one to choose, travellers need to know the maximum amount they want their policies to cover, set a budget they are willing to spend, and compare policies offered by different companies to find the one that suits their needs.

Moreover, travellers must ensure that the company they are deciding to purchase travel insurance from is licensed and approved by the Schengen embassies and consulates so they do not experience any last-minute inconveniences.

Some of the licensed companies that offer the best travel insurance policies are Europ Assistance, Mutuaide, Allianz Travel, and AXA.

Based on travellers’ needs and budgets, each of these companies offers different policies.

Europ Assistance

Europ Assistance offers Schengen and Schengen Plus travel insurance policies with a €0 deductible.

Europ Assistance Schengen covers trips in the entire territory of the Schengen Area and offers assistance in the event of illness or injury of up to €30,000, with prices starting as low as €3 per day.

On the other hand, Europ Assistance Schengen Plus covers trips in the Schengen Area and EU countries, with assistance of up to €60,000 in the event of illness or injury.

Prices for this policy start from around €5 per day, and the policy also includes the return and lodging expenses of a companion.

Mutuaide Basic

Mutuaide Basic offers worldwide coverage, and it covers medical expenses abroad up to €30,000. This policy is perfect for sports enthusiasts as it covers search and rescue costs.

The cost of a Mutuaide Basic medical insurance policy starts from €3 per day for a ten-day trip and has a €0 deductible.

However, travellers must keep in mind that this policy is valid only for a single trip.

Allianz Travel

For those who fear that their luggage might get lost Allianz Serenity is the perfect travel insurance policy as, among others, it includes luggage insurance.

Allianz Serenity has coverage for medical expenses up to €30,000, and it also covers sports-related search and rescue costs.

The price for this policy starts from €7 per day for a seven-day trip. The difference between this policy and the others mentioned above is that Allianz Serenity has a deductible from around €30 to €100.

AXA

AXA offers AXA Silver, AXA Gold, and AXA Platinum travel insurance policies with a €30-€50 deductible.

With the price starting from €4,50 per day for 7-day trips, AXA Silver covers medical expenses up to €30,000 when abroad.

On the other hand, AXA Gold covers medical expenses abroad up to €50,000. This policy’s cost is higher – €6,35 per day – as, in addition to the Schengen Area, it also covers the French overseas territories, Cyprus, Ireland, and the UK.

In addition, AXA Gold offers air ticket cancellation and luggage insurance and covers sports-related search and rescue costs together with terrorism and COVID-19 costs.

Lastly, AXA Platinum covers the highest amount of medical expenses compared to the other policies mentioned above – up to €100,000.

This policy covers the same area as AXA Gold and covers the same expenses. However, the policy is designed mainly for those who want to purchase travel insurance for a longer period.

AXA Platinum travel insurance policy costs start from €3,75 per day for a 12-day trip.

What Are the Cheapest Travel Insurance Policies for Schengen Visa Application in 2024?

According to VisaGuide.World, the cheapest travel insurance options for a Schengen visa in 2024 are:

  • World Trips – Atlas Travel.
  • Europ Assistance – Schengen Insurance.
  • Mondialcare – Schengen Insurance Premium.
  • AXA – Silver.
  • Allianz – Schengen Insurance Single Trip.

What Other Do Schengen Medical Insurance Policies Cover?

In addition to covering medical costs, a good travel insurance policy usually also covers emergency evacuation, repatriation of remains, returns of minors, accidental deaths, and overseas funeral costs.

Even though not all travel insurance companies offer the same services, some of them cover additional costs, too. However, to benefit from a broad range of insurance, travellers, in some cases, must purchase additional insurance to cover explicit costs.

Additional insurance, in some cases, needs to be purchased for pre-existing health conditions, such as diabetes and asthma and for sports that have an element of risk, such as scuba diving and skiing, among others.

Moreover, additional insurance, in some instances, must also be purchased when travelling to high-risk countries.

On the other hand, travel insurance policies might exclude coverage for self-inflicted injuries and substance abuse, among others.

When Is the Best Time to Purchase Schengen Travel Insurance?

The best time to purchase travel medical insurance is immediately after travellers have completed their travel arrangements but have not attended the visa interview yet.

It is highly recommended that travellers planning to visit the Schengen Area know, if not exactly, at least approximately when they will enter and when they will leave the zone.

This will help them to purchase travel insurance for the entire period of their stay in the Schengen Area.

In addition, it is key that travellers who have filed a Schengen visa application purchase travel insurance before attending the visa interview. This is because proof of having purchased travel insurance needs to be submitted to the embassy/consulate along with the other documents.

While Schengen travel insurance is mandatory for nationals of third countries who need to apply for a visa for the purpose of entering the Schengen Area, the case is not the same for those who can travel under a visa-free regime.

Travellers who enjoy visa-free travel to the Schengen Area are not required to purchase travel insurance. Nonetheless, it is highly recommended they do.

Which Nationalities Are Required to Purchase Travel Insurance When Applying for a Schengen Visa in 2024?

As of June 2024, according to Annex I of Regulation (EU) 2018/1806, nationals of the following countries must be in possession of Schengen travel insurance when applying for a Schengen visa:

Africa:

Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Côte d´Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Asia:

Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma/Myanmar, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Yemen.

Europe:

Belarus, and Russia.

Americas:

Belize, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, and Suriname.

Oceania:

Fiji, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, and Vanuatu.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Even though travel insurance is a mandatory requirement, Schengen visa applicants often purchase policies without putting much thought into it.

Some of the common mistakes that must be avoided when purchasing Schengen visa insurance in summer 2024 are as follows:

Not checking coverage requirements: in line with Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 of the EU Parliament, Schengen travel insurance must have a minimum coverage of medical costs of €30,000. In addition, the same regulation requires that the travel insurance covers all Schengen Area member states as well as covers expenses arising from repatriation for medical reasons, emergency hospital treatment, or death.

Ignoring policy validity dates: travellers must make sure that the travel insurance is valid throughout their entire stay in the Schengen Area. The policy must cover the entire period of stay in the zone, whether the stay lasts only a day or a maximum of 90 days.

Choosing the cheapest policy: travellers often look for the cheapest travel insurance policy. While saving some money sounds good, cheap policies, in some cases, might not meet all the requirements. This does not necessarily mean that travellers should choose an expensive travel insurance policy.

However, they should make sure that more affordable travel insurance policies meet all the criteria set by the EU and should consider the quality and adequacy of the coverage so that they do not encounter potential issues later on.

Last-minute purchases: travellers are recommended not to wait until the last minute to purchase travel medical insurance. It is highly advised that they start researching ahead of time to be able to make comparisons between different policies and choose the one that fits their needs best.

Providing false personal details: it is advised that all travellers do not provide any false information when purchasing travel insurance. False information may lead to claim rejection.

Hiding medical history: travellers should declare all their medical conditions as they may not be covered if they fall ill during their stay in the Schengen Area and the illness is linked to a pre-existing medical condition. By disclosing all pre-existing medical conditions, travellers ensure that they are covered and are able to choose the right policy for them.

Neglecting limitations and exclusions of policies: the policies should be carefully reviewed to be well-informed of the limitations and exclusions. This helps to understand what is covered and what is not covered. Special attention should be paid to exclusions related to pre-existing medical conditions, sports with an element of risk, and other circumstances that may affect the coverage.

Overlooking the insurance provider’s reputation: it is very important that travellers check the provider’s reputation and do their own research before deciding to purchase a travel insurance policy from a certain provider. Travellers can look for ratings, reviews, as well as feedback from others who have already purchased travel insurance policies from the provider they are considering.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do UK Citizens Need Schengen Travel Insurance?

Citizens of the UK are permitted visa-free entry to the Schengen Area for short stays of up to 90 days within any 190-day period. This means that it is not mandatory for Britons to purchase Schengen travel insurance.

Still, it is advised that they purchase Europe travel insurance so they are covered for all treatment and mishaps.

Which EU/Schengen Area Countries Should the Insurance Cover?

Schengen visa insurance should cover and be valid in all Schengen area member states: Austria, Bulgaria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

I am Applying for a Multiple-Entry Schengen Visa. What Insurance Coverage Do I Need?

Under Regulation (EU) 2019/1155, which amends the earlier Regulation (EC) No 810/2009, it’s mandatory to provide proof of adequate travel medical insurance for your first intended trip to the Schengen Area.

Travellers applying for a multiple-entry Schengen visa are advised to obtain year-round coverage. With a multiple-entry visa, you can enter the Schengen Area several times within a year and year-round coverage plans are better value and more practical.

Besart Bajrami, Founder of SchengenVisaInfo

Can I Modify My Insurance if My Travel Plans Change?

Even though each travel insurance provider has its own policies, it is possible to modify the travel insurance plan dates if your travel plans change. As long as you do not file a claim or do not depart on their trip, you are able to change the coverage dates for your trip. Still, you are advised to check with your insurance company regarding their rules.

Can I Get a Travel Insurance Refund if My Visa Application is Denied?

In cases when your Schengen visa is denied and the insurance contract has not started yet, you are eligible to get a travel insurance refund. However, you still need to check with your provider about their rules. Some providers require you to provide proof of the visa denial.

Does Schengen Health Insurance Cover COVID-19 Related Expenses?

Yes, some Schengen insurance policies cover COVID-19-related expenses as long as you respect the medical advice and travel recommendations of the World Health Organization or any other organisation from the country you are travelling from and from the country you are travelling to.

Travel insurance covers health emergencies related to COVID-19, including hospitalisation and medical treatment. On the other hand, the cost of PCR tests, in most cases, is not covered.

What Should I Do if I Need Medical Assistance While in the Schengen Area?

If you need medical assistance while in the Schengen Area, you should contact your insurance company as soon as possible. They all have a 24/7 emergency number. After calling your insurance company, you need to check if your policy covers you for what you need. Do not forget to keep any receipts or notes from the doctor, as your insurance company needs them.

Does Travel Insurance Cover Adventure Acticities & Extreme Sports?

The majority of standard travel insurance policies do not cover adventure activities and extreme sports. If you plan on participating in such activities, you might want to consider travel medical insurance for sports, winter sports, and adventure activities and contact a speciality insurance company.

Can I Purchase Travel Insurance for Family Members?

Yes, you are permitted to purchase Schengen visa insurance for family members. You just need to make sure to provide the correct required information during subscription – name, birthday, passport number, nationality, and the country of residence of the insured.

Is It Too Late to Purchase Travel Insurance if I Am Leaving for My Trip Today?

As long as you have not departed, it is not too late for you to purchase travel insurance. However, your plan may be limited as just a few plans can be available for last-minute travel. Ideally, you should purchase travel insurance no later than 15 days before leaving for your trip.

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