Do you want to travel across multiple countries without going through the endless paperwork? Read this to know how it is possible in Schengen area and what is the required travel insurance. I have been to Europe twice and it was Schengen visa which made it possible. This visa really comes very helpful because with just one official stamp, its possible to travel non-stop to some amazing and breathtaking countries. During my first European trip, I had traveled to Finland, Sweden, Paris and Switzerland.
Know about Schengen area and required travel insurance
Schengen area is defined as a zone in which 26 European nations have agreed to abolish the internal borders with other member countries for the free and unrestricted movement of people and goods. It means a single visa is valid to visit Schengen countries.
While travelling to Schengen area, it is mandatory to have a travel insurance policy. A well-fitted travel insurance policy indemnifies you for potential medical expenses in case you get seriously injured or fall ill unexpectedly while travelling to any Schengen nation.
Nothing sums up the importance of Schengen travel insurance better than the extract from “Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009”, which entered into force on April 5, 2010,
“… Applicants for a uniform visa for one or two entries shall prove that they are in possession of adequate and valid travel medical insurance to cover any expense which might arise in connection with repatriation for medical reasons, urgent medical attention and/or emergency hospital treatment or death, during their stay(s) on the territory of the Member States.
The insurance shall be valid throughout the territory of the Member States and cover the entire period of the person’s intended stay or transit. The minimum coverage shall be EUR 30,000”.
What is covered?
While it is imperative to buy Schengen travel insurance, it is equally important to understand what is included and what is not. So let’s take a look:
Schengen travel insurance offers comprehensive coverage and here are some of the events which are covered under the policy:
- Emergency medical expenditure incurred by you whilst abroad for any injury, sudden ailment or death
- Emergency expenses arising due to medical evacuation to India
- Expenses incurred while transporting the mortal remains of the insured back to the home or buried abroad in case of a sudden demise
- Acute dental treatment followed by an injury
- Accidental bodily injury during an overseas trip
- Repatriation of mortal remains
- Compensation paid for death or permanent disability arising due to an accident while travelling as a passenger in a common carrier
- Cost of obtaining a fresh passport in case of passport loss
- Total loss of checked-in baggage by a carrier
- Reimbursement of expenses incurred by a family member towards visiting the insured, if he/she is hospitalized for over a week
- Compensation to be paid to a third-party in case your involuntary actions cause death, injury or damage to health or property of a third-party
What is not covered?
While Schengen travel insurance offers vast coverage, there are some events which are not covered under the policy. Here’s a list of some of the events which are not covered under the policy:
- Pre-existing diseases, unless it puts life in danger
- Expenses incurred in case of any of the following conditions:
- Mental disorder
- Self-inflicted injuries or illnesses
- Alcohol/drug abuse
- Pregnancy and related complications
- Mental or psychiatric disorders
- Treatment that could easily be delayed until the policyholder comes back to India
- Expenses incurred if you
- are travelling against the advice of a doctor
- have been given terminal prognosis for a medical condition
- are travelling abroad to seek medical treatment
- Any issues arising due to theft or loss of passport if the insured left it unattended or doesn’t report the matter to the local police authorities
- War or nuclear threat in the nation where you’re travelling
- Medical expenses incurred after the expiration of Schengen travel insurance
- Accident occurring when the policyholder is engaged in the manual work or hazardous occupation
- Accident occurring when the insured is engaged in aviation or ballooning, except when the policyholder is flying as a fare passenger in a commercial aircraft
- Cost of spectacles, hearing aids, contact lens, and other external appliances
- Cosmetic surgery unless it becomes necessary due to medical reasons
- Loss caused due to the policyholder’s failure to take appropriate safety measures
- Loss or damage caused to the insured’s passport as a result of the confiscation or detention by the police, custom authority or any other legal authority
Though it is compulsory to have a travel insurance to get a Schengen VISA, several cases have been reported in which prospective travellers after getting the VISA, later cancelled the policy to get a refund. While the traveller presents the travel insurance for the issuance of the visa but later pockets the money. To deal with the situation, a new tech platform has been unveiled to keep a check on Schengen travel insurance frauds. The General Insurance Council, the official representative body of 27 general insurance companies, has come up with a special technology platform for Schengen nations to check fraudulent practices. It means any Schengen state can directly log into the portal to check the validity of the travel insurance policy of the traveler.
The Bottom Line
The Schengen area gives you memorable experiences. Each destination offers an impeccable view of its culture. But in order to taste it, you require having a complete peace of mind that you’ll be fine in case something untoward happens to you. So while travelling to Schengen nations, make sure to buy Schengen travel insurance and protect yourself completely. After all, peaceful travelling is good travelling!
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