Schengen visa is the visa that is required by an individual while travelling to Europe for a visit, whether for recreational or business purpose, from a country that is subject to visa requirements. However having a visa is not just enough to travel to Europe because the European Parliament has made it mandatory that international travel insurance is required while visiting their country.
It should be noted here that travel insurance for Europe must be purchased from a company that is licensed and is also accepted at the Schengen country where one is choosing to travel to. The official Schengen visa website recommends getting the insurance done from MAWISTA Visum by ALLIANZ Worldwide as this is very pocket friendly and is easily accepted by the European embassies.
There are certain requirements that travel insurance for Schengen visa must comply with:
- All the members of the Schengen area must be covered under this
- There should be a minimum coverage of about 30,000 EUR (approx. 50,000 USD)
- It should cover all but not limited to, expenses related to emergency medical assistance including treatment at a hospital and death cases.
There are certain heads that any good Europe travel insurance policy should cover:
- Travel delays because of bad weather
- Emergency evacuation
- Accidental sickness, injury or death
- Medical emergency
- Repatriation of remains
- Interruption of trip
- Cancellation of trip
- Return of a minor
- Funeral expenses taking place overseas
- Baggage that is stolen, lost, damaged or delayed
- Travel documents that are stolen or lost
- A scenario involving hijacking
- Delay in travel due to bad weather or natural calamities
- Issues related to pregnancy
The member states that fall under the Schengen area that must be covered under the blanket of insurance are: Czech Republic, Estonia, Belgium, Denmark, Austria, France, Greece, Estonia, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, Poland, Germany, Iceland, Hungary, Portugal, Italy, Luxembourg, Latvia, Sweden, Liechtenstein, Malta, Lithuania, Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain and Slovenia.
Medical insurance is necessary for the entire duration of visit whether it is for business, studies or recreational. However this is an option for individuals who are travelling from countries that do not require a visa for travel to Europe.
If one will be travelling by car in the Schengen area then it is advisable to purchase a travel insurance that covers medical issues as well as valuable possessions as the cost related to both in case of any unfortunate incident is usually on the higher side.
There are certain explicit costs that the travel insurance does not cover and this must be purchased separately. These include:
- Travel to a country that is high on the risk radar for reasons like terrorism, political unrest and natural disasters
- Sports activities that involve an element of risk like sky diving
- Preexisting health conditions like diabetes or asthma
There are about a 110 countries whose passport holders and nationals are required to purchase travel insurance if they wish to apply for a Schengen visa.
Few of these countries are:
- Sri Lanka
There are certain restrictions and limitations that are not covered under the travel insurance. Some of these factors are:
- Factors related to war
- Suicide in the Schengen area as it is a self-inflicted injury
- Cases involving drugs, alcohol and substance abuse.