If you are eagerly planning an unforgettable journey to the enchanting Schengen region in Europe, you might have already decided what to pack for the trip. With its rich history, vibrant cultures, and breathtaking landscapes, the Schengen area offers an array of experiences that will leave you awe-inspired.
However, there’s one crucial aspect that deserves your attention amidst the excitement of packing your bags and mapping out your itinerary– travel insurance. While this might not be the most captivating topic for a traveler, it holds paramount importance in ensuring a smooth and worry-free adventure.
In this blog post, we will delve into the reasons why having Schengen travel insurance is not just a prudent decision but an absolute necessity. Before we take you to the insurance-related part, let us familiarize you with what the Schengen region of Europe is all about.
What is the Schengen Area in Europe?
The Schengen region is named after the Schengen Agreement signed in 1985 and it encompasses a group of 26 European countries that have agreed to abolish internal border controls and allow for free movement of people within the area. These countries have harmonized their visa policies, creating a unified approach to travel within the Schengen Area and enhancing cultural exchange and tourism opportunities throughout Europe.
Here is the Schengen Area countries list:
- Czech Republic
You should also know that while these countries are part of the Schengen Agreement, not all European Union (EU) member states are part of the Schengen Area. For example, the United Kingdom and Ireland are both EU members but are not part of the Schengen region and maintain their own border controls.
What is Travel Insurance for Schengen Visa?
Travel insurance for Schengen Visa is also known as Schengen Travel Insurance or simply Schengen Visa Insurance. It is a specific type of travel insurance that is required for individuals planning to visit any of the countries in the Schengen Area. It is a mandatory requirement for obtaining a Schengen Visa, which allows travelers to enter and travel within the Schengen region.
The main purpose of Schengen travel insurance is to provide financial protection and assistance to travelers in case of unforeseen events, emergencies, or medical issues that may occur during their trip. It is designed to cover a range of potential risks and expenses that travelers may face while visiting the Schengen countries.
Unlike many other types of travel insurance plans, the specific coverage requirements for Schengen Visa insurance are defined by the Schengen Agreement and the consulates or embassies of the Schengen countries. Generally, the insurance must meet certain criteria, including:
Minimum coverage amount
The insurance policy must have a minimum coverage of at least 30,000 euros or its equivalent in other currencies. This coverage is intended to cover potential medical expenses, emergency medical evacuation, and repatriation of remains.
The insurance policy should cover the entire duration of the traveler’s stay in the Schengen Area. It should start from the date of entry and end on the date of departure.
Coverage for all Schengen countries
The insurance policy must provide coverage for all the countries within the Schengen region.
Medical expenses and repatriation
The policy should also include repatriation of the insured person in case of serious illness, injury, or death.
24/7 emergency assistance
The insurance provider should offer a 24/7 helpline or assistance service for travelers to access emergency assistance, such as medical advice, hospital referrals, or help in case of lost documents.
Travel insurance for Schengen Visa is a vital requirement to ensure your well-being and financial protection during the visit to the Schengen region. It serves as a safety net and provides peace of mind and assistance in times of need. It is important to carefully read and understand the policy terms and conditions to ensure that it meets the specific requirements of the Schengen Visa and provides adequate coverage for your travel needs.
Why Buy Travel Insurance for Schengen Visa from India?
When planning a trip to the Schengen region from India, purchasing travel insurance for Schengen Visa is highly recommended for the following reasons:
Buying travel insurance is mandatory to obtain a Schengen Visa. The consulates or embassies of the Schengen countries require proof of adequate travel insurance coverage as part of the visa application process. By purchasing Schengen travel insurance from India, you can ensure that you fulfill this mandatory requirement and increase the chances of visa approval.
Compliance with Schengen regulations
Travel medical insurance for Schengen Visa must meet specific coverage criteria, such as a minimum coverage amount of 30,000 euros, coverage for all Schengen countries, and comprehensive medical coverage. With this insurance policy by your side, you can be confident that your policy complies with the Schengen regulations and meets the required coverage criteria.
Ease of purchase
Buying travel insurance for Schengen Visa from India offers convenience Many insurance providers in India offer specialized Schengen Visa travel insurance policies that are tailored to meet these specific requirements. These policies can be easily purchased online or offline, saving you time and effort.
Familiarity with Indian travelers’ needs
Most travel insurance providers in India understand the needs and preferences of Indian travelers. They offer comprehensive coverage options that cater to the specific requirements of Indian tourists, including coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, loss of passport, trip cancellations, and emergency medical assistance.
Even the best travel insurance for Schengen Visa from India often is available at a competitive price. With a range of insurance providers available, you can compare different policies and choose one that offers the best coverage and value for your budget. This allows you to protect yourself financially in case of any unforeseen events during your trip without breaking the bank.
What are the Entry Essentials to Schengen Countries?
When planning to visit the Schengen countries, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the entry requirements to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey. Here are some of the key entry essentials you need to keep in mind:
- Valid passport
You must ensure that your passport is valid for at least three months beyond your planned departure date from the Schengen Area. Some countries may require a longer validity period, which is why it’s advisable to check the specific requirements of the country you intend to visit.
- Valid travel insurance
It is mandatory to have travel insurance that meets the Schengen requirements. The insurance policy should have a minimum coverage amount of 30,000 euros and cover medical emergencies, repatriation, and emergency medical evacuation. Also, make sure the policy covers all the Schengen countries you plan to visit.
- Proof of accommodation
You may be asked to provide proof of accommodation during your stay in the Schengen countries. This can include hotel reservations, bookings through accommodation-sharing platforms, or an invitation letter if you’re staying with friends or relatives.
- Sufficient financial means
You need to demonstrate that you have sufficient financial means to cover your stay in the Schengen Area. This can be proven through bank statements, credit card statements, or a sponsor’s letter if someone else is supporting your trip financially.
- Return/Onward ticket
It is advisable to have a return or onward ticket to demonstrate your intention to leave the Schengen Area before your visa or permitted stay expires. This can be in the form of a confirmed flight reservation.
- Travel itinerary
You also need to prepare a detailed travel itinerary that outlines your plans, including the dates and destinations you intend to visit within the Schengen Area. This can help immigration officials understand the purpose and duration of your trip.
- Proof of travel purpose
Depending on the nature of your visit, you may be required to provide specific documentation to support your travel purpose. For example, if you’re traveling for business, you may need an invitation letter from a company in the Schengen country you’re visiting.
- Vaccination Certificates (if applicable)
Also, check if any specific vaccinations are required for entry into the Schengen countries. For example, certain countries may require a valid COVID-19 vaccination certificate or a negative test result.
- Customs and immigration regulations
Familiarize yourself with the customs and immigration regulations of the Schengen countries you plan to visit. It is important to be aware of any prohibited items, duty-free allowances, or specific entry requirements that may apply.
What are the Schengen Insurance Requirements?
The Schengen Insurance Requirements refer to the specific criteria that your travel insurance policy must meet when obtaining a Schengen Visa or traveling to the Schengen Area. It is important to understand and fulfill these requirements to ensure compliance and a smooth visa application process.
These include the following:
- The insurance policy must have a minimum coverage amount of 30,000 euros (or its equivalent in another currency). This coverage is intended to cover potential medical expenses, emergency medical evacuation, and repatriation of remains.
- The policy must provide coverage for all the countries within the Schengen region. This means that the policy should be valid for the entire duration of your stay in any of the Schengen countries and offer the same level of coverage in each of these countries. It is important to check that the insurance policy explicitly states coverage for all Schengen countries to meet this requirement.
Procedure to Obtain Schengen Visa
The procedure to obtain a Schengen Visa may vary slightly depending on the specific embassy or consulate you are applying through. However, the general process and required documents remain relatively consistent and is as follows:
Step 1: Determine the Embassy/Consulate
First, you need to Identify the embassy or consulate of the Schengen country that you plan to visit as your main destination or the country where you will spend the most time during your trip. This will be the embassy or consulate through which you should apply for your Schengen Visa.
Step 2: Obtain application form
Now, you need to obtain the Schengen Visa application form from the website of the relevant embassy or consulate. Fill out the form accurately and completely and provide your personal information, travel details, purpose of visit, and other required information.
Step 3: Check passport validity
You also need to ensure that your passport is valid for at least three months beyond your intended departure date from the Schengen Area and have two blank pages for visa stamps at least. Make a copy of the passport’s main page and any previous visas.
Step 4: Submit photographs
Submit recent passport-sized photographs that meet the specifications provided by the embassy or consulate. The photographs should have a plain white background and clearly depict your face.
Step 5: Create a travel itinerary
Prepare a detailed travel itinerary that outlines your plans, including the dates and destinations you intend to visit within the Schengen Area. Include flight reservations, hotel bookings, and any other relevant travel arrangements.
Step 6: Keep proof of accommodation handy
You may need to provide proof of accommodation for your stay in the Schengen Area. This can be hotel reservations, bookings through accommodation-sharing platforms, or an invitation letter to stay with friends or relatives.
Step 7: Buy Schengen travel insurance
Next, you need to buy travel insurance for Schengen visa requirements as defined by the visa requirements.
Step 8: Keep your proof of employment or income handy
You need to provide documents that confirm your employment status or source of income, such as employment letters, pay stubs, or income tax returns.
Step 9: Pay the Visa fee
Pay the applicable visa fee, which varies depending on the embassy or consulate. Also, you should keep the payment receipt as proof of payment.
Step 10: Schedule Visa interview
Lastly, you need to schedule an appointment for a visa interview, if required by the embassy or consulate. Attend the interview at the designated time and place, bringing all the required documents with you. Here, you must answer all questions honestly and provide any additional information requested by the visa officer.
Recommended Read: All About Travel Insurance Premium Calculator
List of Documents Required for Schengen Visa
- Completed Schengen Visa Application Form
- A valid passport
- Passport-size photographs
- Travel Itinerary
- Proof of accommodation
- Schengen travel Insurance
- Proof of financial means
- Proof of employment or income
- Proof of travel history if required
- Proof of civil status to prove your marital status, such as marriage certificates, birth certificates of children, or divorce decrees, if applicable
It is advisable to apply for travel insurance for Schengen Visa for at least 30-60 days prior to the trip date.
What Does Schengen Travel Insurance Policy Cover?
Here are some of the common inclusions of travel insurance for Schengen Visa:
- Medical expenses and emergency medical treatment
- Repatriation of remains in case of death
- Emergency medical evacuation
- Trip cancellation or interruption
- Lost or stolen baggage and personal belongings
- Travel delay or missed connections
- Personal liability coverage
- Legal assistance and emergency assistance services
- 24/7 helpline for travel-related emergencies
- Coverage for all Schengen countries
- Minimum coverage amount of 30,000 euros (the exact benefits depending on the chosen policy)
What Does Schengen Travel Insurance Policy Not Cover?
Here are some of the common exclusions of travel insurance for Schengen Visa:
- Pre-existing medical conditions, unless specifically covered
- High-risk activities or extreme sports
- Travel to countries outside the Schengen Area
- Non-emergency dental treatments
- Cosmetic procedures or elective treatments
- Mental health conditions or psychiatric treatments
- War or acts of terrorism
- Illegal or reckless activities
- Losses due to drug or alcohol abuse
- Non-compliance with visa requirements or immigration laws
Disclaimer: The exact inclusions and exclusions of medical insurance for Schengen visa may vary as per the policy and insurer you select.
How to Find the Best Travel Insurance for Schengen Visa?
Finding the best Schengen travel insurance requires careful consideration and research. Here are some tips to help you find the most suitable policy:
- Familiarize yourself with the specific coverage requirements outlined by the Schengen Agreement and ensure that the policy you choose meets or exceeds these requirements.
- Review the coverage benefits offered by different insurance providers and look for comprehensive coverage for medical expenses, emergency medical evacuation, trip cancellation/interruption, etc.
- Assess your specific travel requirements and tailor the coverage to align with your travel activities and potential risks. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, make sure the policy covers them. For instance, if you plan to engage in adventurous activities, ensure that hazardous activities are covered.
- Obtain quotes from multiple insurance providers and compare their coverage benefits, policy limits, and exclusions. Pay attention to deductibles, claim procedures, and customer reviews to gauge the reliability and responsiveness of the insurance company.
- Carefully read the policy terms and conditions to understand the coverage in detail.
- Seek recommendations from friends, family, or peers about reputable insurance providers they have used for Schengen travel.
- Research the reputation and financial stability of the chosen insurance provider. You can check customer reviews, ratings, and the company’s track record in handling claims.
- Consider the overall value and coverage provided. While price is a factor, avoid basing your decision solely on the cheapest travel insurance policy. Compare costs relative to the coverage benefits and policy features to find the best balance.
- If you are unsure about the insurance terms or have specific concerns, seek assistance from insurance agents or experts specializing in travel insurance. They can guide you through the process and help you make an informed decision.
Is travel insurance for Schengen Visa mandatory?
Travel insurance is a mandatory requirement for obtaining a Schengen Visa. It must meet the specific coverage criteria outlined by the Schengen Agreement.
What is the minimum coverage required for Schengen travel insurance?
The minimum coverage amount required for travel health insurance for Schengen Visais 30,000 euros (or its equivalent in another currency). This coverage is intended to cover medical expenses, emergency medical evacuation, etc.
Can I use any travel insurance for my Schengen Visa application?
Not all travel insurance policies are suitable for Schengen Visa applications. The policy must explicitly state coverage for all Schengen countries, meet the minimum coverage amount, and provide the required coverage benefits.
Does Schengen travel insurance cover pre-existing medical conditions?
Generally, pre-existing medical conditions are not covered unless specified in the policy. Therefore, it’s important to check with the insurance provider regarding coverage for pre-existing conditions, as it may require an additional premium or specific documentation.
Can I purchase Schengen travel insurance after obtaining the visa?
It is recommended to purchase Schengen travel insurance before obtaining the visa. However, in certain cases, you may be able to purchase insurance after obtaining the visa but before your trip commences. You need to check with the embassy or consulate for specific guidelines.
Can I extend my Schengen travel insurance if my stay exceeds 90 days?
Travel insurance for Schengen Visa is typically designed for short-term stays of up to 90 days. If your stay exceeds this duration, you may need to seek additional insurance or consider long-term national visa options offered by specific Schengen countries.
How do I file a claim with my Schengen travel insurance?
In case of an incident or loss covered by your insurance policy, contact your insurance provider immediately to initiate the claims process. Follow their instructions, provide the necessary documentation, and submit the claim within the specified timeframe.
Can I use my travel insurance for non-Schengen countries during my trip?
This type of travel insurance is specifically designed to cover your stay within the Schengen Area. If you plan to visit non-Schengen countries during your trip, it’s advisable to check if your policy provides coverage outside the Schengen Area or consider separate insurance for those countries.
Can I cancel travel insurance to get a refund?
The refund policy for travel insurance varies depending on the insurance provider and the terms of the policy. Some policies may allow cancellation and provide a partial refund, while others may have specific cancellation fees or non-refundable premiums.
How much is travel insurance for Schengen visa?
The cost of travel insurance for Schengen Visa can vary depending on various factors such as duration of the trip, age of the traveler, coverage limits, and any additional optional coverage selected. On average, the price can range from around 10 to 100 euros per person for a short-term trip. However, the prices may vary among insurance providers, which is why it’s advisable to compare quotes and coverage options to find the best policy that suits your specific needs and budget.
From where can I buy travel insurance for Schengen visa?
Travel insurance for a Schengen Visa can be purchased from various sources, including the following:
- Insurance providers directly either online or offline
- Online insurance aggregators
- Travel agencies