Is Travel Insurance for Europe Required?

Is Travel Insurance for Europe Required?

When planning a trip to Europe, it is important to make sure that you are well prepared for your journey to ensure a smooth and fulfilling trip.

This means getting any required visas, important travel documents, and maybe even travel insurance, whether required or not.

Travel insurance can provide a crucial safety net for individuals traveling abroad to Europe, as it can offer coverage for travel related mishaps and emergency medical expenses if an unexpected incident were to occur.

For some travelers to Europe, travel insurance may be required. Regardless of requirements, travel insurance for Europe is highly recommended for all international travelers.

What Does Travel Insurance for Europe Cover?

Travel insurance for Europe can offer a variety of protections depending on what type of plan you choose.

Trip insurance can cover your travel expenses such as your flight, accommodations, tour tickets, and transportation. It can also provide emergency medical coverage in the form of an accident and sickness benefit.

Travel medical insurance is designed to offer coverage for medical expenses in the event that you need to seek medical care during your travels for an illness or injury. Coverage can include hospitalization, surgery, urgent care, prescription medication, emergency medical evacuation, and more.

What Does Travel Insurance for Europe Not Cover?

Since Europe travel insurance is meant to act as short-term coverage for emergencies, there are some exclusions and limitations to be aware of.

Travel health insurance for Europe typically excludes:

  • Preventative or routine care
  • Dental or vision care
  • Pregnancy
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Mental health
  • Elective treatments
  • Injuries caused by extreme sports
When purchasing a travel insurance plan, it is crucial to read over your plan's description of coverage to understand any exclusions or limitations in coverage.

Is Travel Insurance Required to Visit Europe?

When traveling to certain countries in Europe, travel insurance may be required for visitors.

For U.S. citizens traveling to European countries in the Schengen visa area, a Schengen visa is not required and therefore it is not mandatory to secure travel insurance for your trip.

However, if you live in a country where you are required to obtain a Schengen visa to visit a European country within the Schengen area, you will need to get travel insurance that meets certain Schengen visa travel insurance requirements.

Schengen Visa Travel Insurance Requirements

If you need a Schengen visa to travel to Europe, you will need to purchase a travel insurance plan that meets the following criteria:

  • Plan offers coverage for emergency medical expenses including hospitalization and repatriation of remains
  • Minimum medical coverage of EUR 30,000
  • Be accepted in all Schengen countries
  • Be valid for your entire stay in Europe

Should You Get Travel Insurance if It Isn’t Required?

If you aren’t necessarily required to get travel insurance for your European trip, you may ask yourself whether travel insurance is necessary or worth it to still buy.

Travel insurance is an extremely valuable layer of protection for individuals who are traveling outside of their home country, especially considering that most long-term health insurance plans will not offer coverage abroad.

With a small investment in travel insurance, you can have peace of mind knowing that if anything unexpected were to happen, you can avoid a large financial burden of medical expenses or lost trip expenses.

Is Travel Insurance Required for ETIAS?

If you are able to travel to Europe visa-free using ETIAS, or European Travel Information and Authorisation System, you will not be required to obtain a travel insurance policy.

However, it is still highly recommended to have medical coverage when traveling to Europe through ETIAS.

How to Find the Right Europe Travel Insurance Policy

If you are trying to decide on a travel insurance plan for Europe that best fits your needs, consider the following:

  • Are you worried about losing prepaid or nonrefundable travel expenses such as the cost of your flight or accommodations in the event of having to cancel or interrupt your trip? If so, trip insurance is a great choice.
  • If you are primarily concerned with not having health insurance coverage when traveling abroad, a travel health insurance plan for Europe is a good option.
  • If you are worried about any pre-existing conditions you have, it is advised to look for a plan that offers either limited pre-existing condition coverage or coverage for the acute onset of pre-existing conditions.
  • Do you require a Schengen visa to travel to your destination? If so, make sure you select a plan that meets the Schengen visa travel insurance requirements.

What to Do if You Have an Accident or Illness in Europe

During your trip, it is important to know what to do if you have an accident or illness unexpectedly.

Be sure to look up your destination country’s emergency phone number and research any nearby hospitals around your accommodations.

It is also crucial to carry around your personal identification, emergency phone numbers of family members or loved ones, and your travel insurance policy ID.

If you do receive medical care in Europe, keep records and copies of all payment receipts, bills, prescriptions, and doctor’s notes. You will need this information when you make a claim with your travel insurance provider later on.

Get Covered for Your European Adventure

Whether required or not, European travel insurance can ensure that you are prepared, even in the most unexpected of situations.

Have more questions? Contact our Customer Success Team for assistance or compare Europe travel insurance plans to find a policy that is right for your trip.