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Who Needs Schengen Visa Insurance?
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Who Needs Schengen Visa Insurance?

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Who Needs Schengen Visa Insurance?

Passport-holding American citizens can travel to 26 European countries for less than a 90-day stay without first obtaining a visa. But many other people must get a visa before entering the 26 countries that make up Europe’s Schengen Area. For example, citizens of China, India and Russian must get Schengen visas in order to travel there.

A Schengen visa allows free movement among European countries, which don’t have border control checkpoints.

Those who need to secure a Schengen visa must meet several requirements, including the purchase of medical travel insurance. Here’s what you need to know about Schengen visa insurance.

Which Countries are in the Schengen Area?

The 26 countries that compose the Schengen Area are Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

What Is Schengen Visa Insurance?

Schengen visa insurance covers expenses arising from an accident, injury, illness or death while the policyholder is visiting the Schengen Area.

For 2020, Schengen visa insurance must include:

  • Minimum coverage of 30,000 Euros (roughly $35,500) that is valid in all Schengen countries
  • Coverage for expenses related to transporting someone back to their home country for medical reasons
  • Coverage for expenses for emergency medical treatment or hospital care
  • Coverage for expenses related to the policyholder’s death
  • Coverage for the entire period of the policyholder’s intended stay or travel

Some insurance companies offer coverage that goes beyond those requirements.

For instance, Europ Assistance sells extended coverage that provides coverage up to 60,000 Euros (roughly $71,000), travel and lodging expenses for the return trip of a policyholder’s companion, expenses for the return of a minor under age 14 to their home country, and a doctor-prescribed extended stay of up to five days. This coverage is good in Schengen countries as well as Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom.

Another insurer, AXA, offers coverage of medical expenses up to 100,000 Euros (roughly $118,600) for up to 180 days. It’s valid in Schengen countries and non-Schengen countries in the European Union, along with Great Britain, Liechtenstein, San Marin, Andorra, Monaco and Vatican City.

Another AXA policy provides that same level of coverage over a one-year period. This coverage enables someone to stay for up to 90 days. Once the 90-day trip ends, the policyholder would need to leave the region, but the coverage would be reactivated once they come back. The coverage then would apply for another 90 days within the same one-year window.

Who Needs A Schengen Visa Insurance?

Someone who must obtain a Schengen visa also must purchase Schengen visa insurance. This includes citizens of more than 100 countries, such as Cambodia, China, Cuba, Egypt, Haiti, India, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.

Countries that are exempt from the visa requirement include the United States, Canada, Israel, Japan, Mexico and South Korea.

Who Sells Schengen Visa Insurance?

Primary sellers of Schengen visa insurance include AXA and Europ Assistance.

AXA’s coverage carries no age limit. It sells coverage to citizens of any country.

Coverage from Europ Assistance isn’t available to residents of Iran, Syria, Belarus, Burma (Myanmar), Cuba, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan or Zimbabwe. Europ Assistance covers people travelers who are under age 74 when the policy is purchased.

How Much Does Schengen Visa Insurance Cost?

AXA’s lowest-cost coverage starts at 0.99 Euros per day of travel. Its mid-level coverage starts at 1.50 Euros per day, and its annual plan starts at 298 Euros. At Europ Assistance, coverage starts at 3 Euros per person for the basic plan or 5 Euros per person for the extended plan.

Does Schengen Visa Insurance Cover COVID-19?

Schengen visa insurance might cover medical expenses related to the coronavirus.

For example, AXA says its policies cover COVID-19 as long “as long as you have respected medical advice and the travel recommendations provided by the World Health Organization or any other similar organization from your country of residence or from the country you are traveling to.” However, policies from Europ Assistance exclude COVID-19.

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