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Buying Travel Insurance for Europe

What should I do if my luggage is lost or stolen in Europe? Who should I contact if I need emergency medical treatment abroad? Anxiety-ridden questions like these can quickly turn what should have been an exciting travel planning process into an excruciating one. While it’s wise to be cautious before traveling across the pond, the best way to squash these stressful thoughts is with travel insurance for Europe.

Though a valid travel insurance policy is not required for U.S. citizens to enter Europe in the same way that a valid passport is, European travel insurance is essential for financial protection and peace of mind. Not to mention, international tourists entering Europe from one of more than 100 countries — such as China, Cuba, Iran, Russia, and Vietnam — require travel insurance to receive an entry visa.

Explore the essential legal requirements for travel insurance in Europe, including how to pick the best policy, below.

Understanding Travel Insurance Necessities for Europe

If you’re an American citizen traveling to Europe, the financial protection travel insurance provides is priceless, especially if you unexpectedly fall ill, become injured, or encounter an unforeseen complication that impacts your trip. Travel insurance equips tourists with 24/7 emergency assistance for travel concerns, whether handling sky-high unexpected medical bills or helping to reschedule transportation.

Necessary coverages when purchasing travel insurance for Europe include but are not limited to:

Medical emergencies: European healthcare for tourists is notoriously expensive, especially if you require emergency repatriation, so coverage for hospital visits, medical treatment, and emergency medical evacuations is a must.

Trip cancellations or interruptions: If unforeseen cancellations or delays interrupt your travel plans, protections for non-refundable travel costs will help ensure you don’t pay out of pocket for experiences that never happen.

Lost or stolen belongings: Baggage coverage provides reimbursement for lost luggage, passports, or personal items while abroad and can provide a limited daily stipend if your belongings are delayed for more than 24 hours.

Liability coverage: Liability coverage provides protection against collision damage for the vehicle you rent if you’re found responsible for an incident while abroad.

Schengen Area Requirements

If you’re researching legal requirements for travel insurance in Europe, you’ve likely stumbled across the Schengen Borders Agreement, a treaty that eliminates internal border checks for American tourists, exchange students, and business travelers exploring the 27 Schengen area countries. While U.S. citizens only require a valid passport for entry, foreign citizens must acquire a Schengen visa.

Likewise, if you plan to visit the Schengen area for over 90 days, you must obtain a Schengen visa, regardless of citizenship. A prerequisite for a Schengen visa is travel insurance with medical coverage. So, what is the minimum coverage required for the Schengen visa? Travelers must obtain at least €30,000 (approximately $32,850) in travel insurance coverage before applying for a Schengen visa.

Legal and Health Considerations for European Insurance

Is travel insurance mandatory for visiting Europe? The short answer is it depends. Travel insurance with medical coverage is a Schengen visa prerequisite for foreign citizens currently residing in the U.S. and for American citizens planning to visit Europe for more than 90 days. Even in the border-free Schengen area, a border guard can verify if you meet entry conditions, including travel insurance.

Beyond a legal requirement, travel insurance for Europe is a significant health consideration, regardless of age and physical condition. While European medical services are widely available if you fall ill or injured, free treatment under the National Health System (NHS) is for UK residents only. European health care for tourists is charged at 150% of the NHS costs, and unpaid balances can result in legal trouble.

Managing Risks: The Role of Travel Insurance in Europe

The beauty of international travel insurance is that it can protect you from risks abroad. So, what are the potential risks of traveling to Europe? Political unrest and threats of terrorism are some of the most dangerous risks of traveling across the pond. Travel insurance for Europe, especially policies with 24/7 emergency assistance travel services, can help you safely exit areas of political turmoil.

Like the rest of the world, Europe is also prone to natural disasters and health outbreaks. So, depending on the countries you visit, it’s wise to consider seasonal travel insurance. For instance, if you plan to travel to Switzerland in the winter to ski the Swiss Alps, you should purchase travel insurance for Europe that offers reimbursement if a snowstorm cancels your flight.

Navigating Policy Selection for European Travel

The internet is home to endless options for travel insurance for Europe, each with varying levels of coverage and included protections. Tailoring your chosen travel insurance policy to your specific travel needs is vital. For instance, how often do you plan to travel to Europe? Determining the frequency of your trips can help you decide if you require single-trip coverage or annual multi-trip insurance for Europe.

A beautiful blue sky day overlooking Positano on the Amalfi Coast in Campania, Italy

Next, assess the need for additional coverage based on your planned activities. Certain providers enforce policy exclusions for extreme sports, such as cliff diving and hang gliding. While you’re exploring travel insurance policy exclusions, consider if any items beyond sports apply to you. For instance, pre-existing condition coverage for various medical concerns may not be available through specific providers.

The Benefits of Comprehensive Travel Insurance Coverage

Select comprehensive travel insurance for Europe, no matter which travel policy you purchase. Comprehensive coverage provides the ultimate peace of mind to truly enjoy your vacation. The confidence that you’re protected against an extensive array of potential issues is worth its weight in gold — but so are the financial protections travel insurance provides travelers.

Comprehensive travel insurance for Europe helps mitigate the financial impact of unexpected events during your travels. For instance, say inclement weather cancels your return flight home. Travel insurance concierge services can help book the next-best flight and ensure you’re not left with out-of-pocket costs for the inconvenience. These services are especially helpful if you speak a different language.

Go Ready Travel Insurance Plans for Your Travel to Europe

Travel insurance is a legal requirement for some; for others, it’s an answer to the logistical nightmares that could impact their dream vacation. If you’re on the hunt for comprehensive travel insurance for Europe, look no further than the Go Ready VIP Plan by Aegis. This robust policy has been designed with cancellation and interruption benefits that reimburse up to 175% of your trip costs.

Protect your peace of mind — and your European vacation — by exploring travel insurance plans today!

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