Most expats and visitors in Germany have to get some sort of German health insurance. In this article, you will find detailed information about so-called Schengen travel insurance, it’s requirements and who needs to get it before travelling to Germany or any other country in the Schengen zone.

Do I Need Travel Health Insurance for Europe?

If you need a visa to enter any country in the Schengen area, then you must have travel insurance that meets all the Schengen insurance requirements. You have to submit proof of having obtained it when you apply for a Schengen visa. If you don’t have a travel insurance policy, your Schengen visa application is automatically rejected.

On the other hand, if you can enter Schengen zone visa-free, then you don’t necessarily need travel insurance. However, it’s still very advisable that you get travel health insurance for Europe, regardless of visa requirements if you do not want to shoulder the cost of any emergency medical bills all by yourself during your trip to Germany or to any other country in Europe.

Schengen Visa Insurance Requirements

In order for the Embassy/Consulate to accept your travel health insurance policy, it has to meet these requirements:

  • It has to be valid in all Schengen member countries.
  • Minimum medical coverage of €30,000.
  • Must cover emergency medical expenses and repatriation.
  • Must cover the expenses which might arise as a result of the individual’s death.
  • Must cover the entire period of the individual’s intended stay in the Schengen zone.

Where Do I Get Europe Travel Visa Insurance?

You can get travel health insurance for your trip to Europe in one of the following ways:

  • Through medical insurance companies. You can buy a policy online and print out the certificate you need for the Schengen visa application. Some of the top insurance companies selling Europe travel insurance are DR-WALTER, AXA Schengen and Europ Assistance.
  • Through your travel agency. If you are travelling to Europe via an organized tour, your travel agency could include a travel coverage plan along with the tour package. Sometimes, these complimentary plans tend to be overpriced, so make sure you read the policy well before signing up.

How to Buy Schengen Travel Insurance Online?

Many travel health insurance companies now operate mostly online, making the process of obtaining an insurance policy very easy and accessible. You simply have to:

  • Visit the website of the travel insurance company:
  • Select the plan you want to apply for. You have the option to read the plan details carefully before deciding. Make sure you read thoroughly.
  • Complete the online form. You have to give the details of your trip (dates, destinations), your age, sex, nationality, etc.
  • Complete the payment. After analyzing your data, the insurance company will show you the final price of your policy. You can pay with your debit/credit card or another online payment method such as PayPal.
  • Download and print the Insurance Certificate. If applying for a Schengen visa, attach it to the rest of the documents and submit it to the Embassy or Visa Application Center.

Best Schengen Travel Visa Insurance Plans

Here is a side-by-side comparison of the plans offered by some of the top travel insurance companies:

 

AXA SchengenEurop AssistanceDr-WALTER
Plans availableSchengen Low Cost

Schengen Europe Travel

Schengen Multi-Trip (annual policy)

Plan Schengen (includes all Schengen Area countries)

Plan Schengen Plus (which also includes several European countries outside Schengen)

Travel health insurance

Travel health insurance plus liability insurance.

CostDepending on the plan:

€0.99/day

€1.50/day

€298/year

Depending on the plan:

€3/day

€5/day

Depending on the plan:

€1.10/day

€1.30/day

CoverageFrom €30,000 to €100,000From €30,000 to €60,000From €30,000
Accepted at German and other EU Embassies/ConsulatesYesYesYes
Duration of coverageUp to 180 consecutive daysUp to 180 consecutive daysUp to 180 consecutive days
Liability insuranceNoNoYes
QuoteQuoteQuote

What Does Schengen Visa Insurance Cover?

Schengen visa travel insurance plans typically cover the following:

  • Medical bills. The medical insurance company will cover your medical treatment bills if you get into an accident or suddenly fall ill while you are in Germany or another Schengen country. This includes hospitalization, doctor visits, prescription medication, surgery, etc.
  • Emergency medical evacuation and repatriation. If you have a major medical emergency while you are in Germany or another Schengen country, and you need to be evacuated to your home country for treatment, the travel insurance company covers the cost of things such as an air ambulance. Repatriation covers the costs of returning the body home in case the traveller passes away while in Europe.

Additional Coverage for Europe

Some health insurance companies might also cover these incidents or disturbances which can happen during your trip to Europe:

  • Trip interruption. If you have to return home in the middle of the trip to Europe or cancel for reasons outside your control, travel insurance reimburses some of your non-refundable costs.
  • Flight delay. If your trip to Europe is delayed while you are travelling, then the company pays for accommodation and food during the waiting time.
  • Loss or theft of baggage. If your baggage and belongings are stolen or damaged while travelling to Europe, the company reimburses some of the lost costs.
  • Personal liability. If you damage property or you cause bodily injury to someone else while in Europe, travel medical insurance covers the resulting costs.
  • Adventurous activities. You may be able to extend coverage for injuries related to certain “adventure” sports, such as skiing or scuba diving. Other sports which are deemed too risky are always excluded.

How Can I Get a Schengen Visa Insurance Certificate?

When you purchase a travel visa insurance policy, you receive an Insurance Certificate or Letter, which you can send to the Embassy as proof.  If you buy a travel health insurance plan online through DR-WALTER, AXA Schengen and Europ Assistance, then you can simply download the Insurance Certificate/Letter, print it out, and attach it to the rest of the documents. The Embassy/Consulate will accept this as valid confirmation.

How Does Travel Insurance for Europe Work?

Europe travel insurance covers the cost of your medical bills in the EU. When you buy an insurance policy, the company will give you an Insurance Certificate/Letter or a Medical Card, which you can show medical staff to prove you have insurance. Then, depending on the hospital policies, they can contact the insurance company directly to settle the bills. Sometimes, you may have to pay upfront, then make a claim with the company for reimbursement.

Either way, in case of a medical emergency, you should contact the company as soon as possible in one of their contact numbers. Most companies have 24/7 assistance helplines.

How Long Should Travel Insurance Last?

You must take out a travel insurance policy to cover your entire trip to Europe. When purchasing, you have to state the dates when your trip starts and when it ends, and that’s the time for which you are covered.

Most companies will cover you for up to six months at a time. If you will be in Europe for longer than six months, then you need an international or long-term health insurance plan, such as Dr-WALTER’s PROVISIT.

Can I Take A Multiple-Plan EU Insurance Trip?

If you travel to the EU member states frequently, you can buy an annual travel insurance plan. This means that within a year, you will always have travel medical insurance when you visit any member country of the Schengen zone, and you do not need to take out a new plan every time.

With an annual plan, individual trips within the year cannot exceed 1-3 months, depending on the company.

Can I Extend My Europe Travel Health Insurance Policy?

If you have not travelled yet to Europe, then it is possible to adjust the dates on your policy and pay a higher fee. If nothing, you can simply cancel your existing plan and get another one.

However, it is not always guaranteed you will be able to extend the policy after you have already travelled to Europe. In order to extend your Europe travel insurance policy when you are already on the trip, you will have to contact the company directly.

Based on your situation, they will decide whether it is possible to extend your insurance coverage past the agreed-upon time. You will likely have to prove that you do not intend to make a claim after the extension.

How Much Does Travel Visa Insurance Cost?

Travel insurance for Europe is usually only a small fraction of the overall cost of the trip. For example, travel medical insurance for a one-week trip to Europe can be between €20 to €40 depending on the plan you choose. This means it is well worth getting, considering the peace of mind you receive.

Factors which contribute to the price of a visa travel insurance policy are:

  • Older travellers, especially retirees (65+ years of age), pay more for an insurance policy because the probability of them having to make a claim increases.
  • The duration of the trip. Travel insurance companies charge by the day, so the longer you will stay in Europe, the more your policy will cost.
  • The amount of coverage. Insurance companies offer more than one plan, with different amounts of coverage. Those which offer more protection or offer protection in a wider geographical area will cost more. If you have the option to include additional coverage items (e.g. adventure sports, liability, etc) and you do, this will drive up the price of your policy as well.

Where Can I Find Cheap Schengen Visa Insurance?

Many insurance companies offer Schengen insurance plans which meet the minimum requirements for the Schengen visa application (meaning it must have €30,000 worth of coverage) and not much else. These types of plans are usually not expensive, ranging at €20.00 for one week.

Because the minimum amount of coverage is already determined by the EU authorities, in most cases, you will not be able to find plans which are cheaper than this and are still adequate and meet the Embassy requirements.

You can buy travel health insurance for Europe at a very low cost from DR-WALTER, AXA Schengen and Europ Assistance. The travel medical insurance policies from these companies are accepted by European Embassies and Consulates worldwide.

Do I Have Coverage in All Schengen Countries?

Yes, the travel insurance plan should cover all the Schengen countries. That’s because the Schengen Area countries have an agreement which allows free movement of people within its borders, and this applies to visa holders and travel insurance as well.

If you buy a schengen insurance plan from DR-WALTER, AXA Schengen or Europ Assistance, you will be covered in all Schengen countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Do I Have Coverage in Other European Countries?

If you have a Schengen Insurance plan, then you typically only have coverage within the Schengen Area. However, some travel insurance plans like Schengen Plus from Europ Assistance and Europe Travel from AXA offer protection to the EU States that are not part of the Schengen Area, such as the UK, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, and Romania.

You will not have coverage in European countries such as Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Moldova,  Montenegro, Russia,  Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine, which are not in the European Union.

Who Must Purchase Travel Insurance for Schengen Visa?

Citizens of the following countries are required to buy travel insurance in order to be able to apply for a Schengen visa.

AfghanistanGabonOman
AlgeriaGambiaPakistan
AngolaGhanaPapua New Guinea
ArmeniaGuineaPalestinian Authority
AzerbaijanGuinea-BissauPhilippines
BahrainGuyanaQatar
BangladeshHaitiRussia
BelarusIndiaRwanda
BelizeIndonesiaSao Tome And Principe
BeninIranSaudi Arabia
BhutanIraqSenegal
BoliviaJamaicaSierra Leone
BotswanaJordanSomalia
Burkina FasoKazakhstanSouth Africa
Burma/MyanmarKenyaSouth Sudan
BurundiKosovoSri Lanka
CambodiaKuwaitSudan
CameroonKyrgyzstanSuriname
Cape VerdeLaosSwaziland
Central African RepublicLebanonSyria
ChadLesothoTajikistan
ChinaLiberiaTanzania
ComorosLibyaThailand
CongoMadagascarTimor-Leste
Cote d’IvoireMalawiTogo
CubaMaldivesTonga
Dem. Rep. Of CongoMaliTunisia
DjiboutiMauritaniaTurkey
Dominican RepublicMongoliaTurkmenistan
EcuadorMoroccoUganda
EgyptMozambiqueUzbekistan
Equatorial GuineaNamibiaVietnam
EritreaNepalYemen
EthiopiaNigerZambia
FijiNigeriaZimbabwe
North KoreaNorthern Mariana’s

What Isn’t Covered?

Travel medical insurance companies do not offer coverage for the following situations or conditions:

  • Medical treatment as a result of a pre-existing condition. If you have an illness or condition, such as diabetes, and you need medical attention while you are in Europe, your insurance policy will not cover the costs.
  • Medical treatment as a result of engaging in adventure sports. If you are injured bungee jumping, parachuting, or other “high risk” activities, your insurance policy will not cover it, unless you have chosen to extra coverage.
  • Medical treatment as a result of being intoxicated. If you have an accident or become ill from excessive drinking or taking drugs, your insurance policy will not cover your treatment costs.
  • If you travel to a high-risk area or an area where there is conflict.
  • If you seek medical attention even though it is not an emergency. For example, if you travel to Europe specifically to visit a doctor or hospital.

Remember: It is just as important to read what your travel medical insurance will not cover as it is to read what it will cover.

Does Schengen Travel Visa Insurance Cover COVID-19?

Travel medical insurance companies do not usually cover cases related to COVID-19. That is because most policies exclude pandemics or infectious diseases, as well as any trip which is taken against the advice of the World Health Organization (WHO) or relevant government bodies.

Considering that COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization since March 2020, and most countries in the world have some sort of travel restrictions in place, nearly all travel is “against WHO or government advice”. So, no – your Schengen travel insurance will probably not cover you for any treatment related to COVID-19.

  • Medical treatment: If you get sick with COVID-19 when in the EU, travel insurance may cover the cost of medical treatment as long as you have not travelled against WHO guidelines, or against advice issued by your government or the government of the Schengen country you are travelling to.
  • Testing: Maybe, and only if ordered by a doctor in Europe because you are displaying symptoms, and only if you have not travelled against WHO/government advice.
  • Quarantine: Your travel visa insurance will not cover any costs related to you being placed under quarantine upon travelling to Europe.

Other Types of Health Insurance When Travelling to Germany