Comprehensive Guide to Travel Insurance for Europe

By Ivan PetrenkoMay 19, 2024 00:30 AMNews
Certificate of insurance and policy
Certificate of insurance and policy. Source: Vlad Deep, Unsplash

Planning a trip to Europe is thrilling but challenging. While travel insurance can't prevent mishaps, it offers protection against delays, injuries, and disasters.

Is Travel Insurance Necessary for Europe?

Travel insurance isn't mandatory for visiting Europe but can reimburse prepaid, non-refundable trip costs for delays, cancellations, medical emergencies, or lost baggage. Europe’s 44 countries offer diverse experiences but also potential issues. U.S. travelers usually lack health insurance in Europe, making medical coverage vital.

European Travel Insurance Requirements

American citizens don't need travel insurance to visit Europe. However, travelers requiring a Schengen visa must have medical travel insurance if visiting Schengen Agreement countries or staying over 90 days.

Best Travel Insurance for Europe

A comprehensive plan is recommended. Look for coverage that includes trip cancellations, delays, interruptions, medical emergencies, and lost or delayed baggage.

Trip Cancellation and Delay Insurance

Comprehensive policies include trip cancellation insurance, reimbursing prepaid, non-refundable expenses for reasons like job loss, medical emergencies, or bereavement. Trip delay insurance covers costs like food and accommodation during delays, typically after three to 12 hours.

Trip Interruption Insurance

This reimburses unused, prepaid costs if you end your trip early for covered reasons like bereavement or severe weather, such as the wildfires in Greece in 2023.

Travel Medical Insurance

Most American health insurance doesn’t cover Europe. A comprehensive policy with at least $50,000 in medical coverage is recommended. It covers unexpected injuries or illnesses, including hospital bills and emergency dental treatment.

Emergency Medical Evacuation and Baggage Insurance

Emergency medical evacuation covers transport to a medical facility or repatriation to the U.S. Baggage loss or damage insurance covers lost or stolen items, while baggage delay insurance reimburses essential items if delayed.

Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) Insurance

CFAR insurance, an optional add-on, allows cancellation for any reason with partial reimbursement (50%-75%). It offers maximum flexibility but isn’t standard.

Cost of European Travel Insurance

Costs vary by number of travelers, trip length, and destination. For a single 40-year-old traveler on a seven-day trip to Italy and Spain with a $5,000 cost, quotes ranged from $66 to $360.

Procuring Travel Insurance for Europe

Determine coverage needs, including existing coverage from credit cards or insurance policies. Request quotes to find a policy that fits your budget and requirements.

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