Who needs Schengen visa insurance?

If you are applying for a Uniform Schengen Visa (USV), you will need to purchase international travel medical insurance and submit proof of coverage with your application. This insurance is meant to provide you with coverage in the event that you experience medically related repatriation, medical care, and/or hospitalization or death while you are in the Schengen area on a Schengen visa. Therefore, if you experience a medical issue while you are abroad that requires you to go to the hospital, your travel medical insurance will pay for the cost of your treatment, rather than your host country.

  • Please note, you may be denied a Schengen visa in the event that you fail to provide sufficient proof of valid insurance coverage.
  • Schengen visa proof of insurance is therefore part of the Basic Required Documents you need to submit as part of your Schengen visa application.
  • Your application form will contain a section asking you to sign a statement attesting to your acknowledgement of the requirement for you to purchase medical insurance for your stay in the Schengen area.
  • Schengen visa medical travel insurance is different from Schengen visa health insurance. Health insurance is generally more comprehensive than travel medical insurance, which mainly covers major medical events requiring hospitalization. For example, while health insurance might cover the cost of your ambulance ride to the hospital, as well as your hospitalization and post-hospitalization rehab, travel medical insurance would likely only cover the cost of your hospitalization. Please note, it is not necessary for you to purchase travel health insurance in order to obtain a Schengen visa. However, it is necessary to purchase travel medical.
The following are the Schengen visa medical insurance requirements:
  • Minimum coverage of 30,000 EUR.
  • Validity throughout entire intended dates of stay.
    • Your coverage must be valid throughout the duration of your intended stay in the Schengen area, as proved by your flight reservation (plane ticket) submitted as a supplemental document in your Schengen visa application. Please note, your insurance must be valid from the day of your intended entry to the Schengen area to the day you leave; failure to receive coverage for that entire period (even by just one day) will likely result in your visa application being denied. Please note, coverage that extends beyond your intended day of departure is acceptable, so long as it covers at minimum the period from arrival to departure from the Schengen area.
    • This stipulation that your insurance must be valid for the entirety of your stay in the Schengen area is mainly relevant for single and double entry visas. If your Schengen visa is for multiple entries, you must acquire medical travel insurance covering (at minimum), the first period of your intended stay in the Schengen area (also proved by plane tickets/intended travel dates as supplied in your Schengen visa application), and then any subsequent entries.
  • Validity within and across the Schengen area (i.e. valid for every Schengen country).
  • Have clearly stated conditions on either the insurance document or the confirmation letter.

Please note, if someone is taking out insurance in your (the applicant’s) name, the same above conditions will apply.

Things to consider:
  • When you submit proof of coverage, the requisite consular authorities will examine whether it is sufficient and valid relative to your profession and income. If your insurance coverage is at a level befitting the nature of your profession and income, it will be judged sufficient and valid.
  • If you are on a Limited Territorial Visa, your coverage at minimum must be valid for the state(s) valid under the terms of your visa. For example, if you have a Limited Territorial Visa for Hungary and Austria, your insurance must be valid for both states, in the case you experience a medical issue while in either territory.
  • Medical insurances of credit cards are generally not considered valid.

Who is exempt from needing medical travel insurance?

  • Certain types of applicants may be exempt from the general requirement to purchase Schengen visa medical insurance, including the following:
    • People who have a diplomatic passport.
    • Seafarers.
    • As medical insurance is not available for purchase at an external border, people who are applying for a Schengen visa at an external border of a Schengen state may be exempt from having to purchase it.
    • Rarely, and on a case by case basis, the stipulation requiring insurance may be disregarded on humanitarian grounds.

Where to buy travel medical insurance?

  • Ideally, you should purchase Schengen visa insurance in the country where you are currently living. If you are unable to do this for whatever reason, you should attempt to take out insurance in whatever country you are able.
  • Many consulates have relationships with medical travel insurance companies. In many cases, the consulate/embassy you are applying through can direct you to an insurance company in your area where you can purchase travel medical coverage.
  • You can also purchase Schengen visa travel insurance online.
  • You will learn more about travel medical insurance during your application process.

How much does travel medical insurance cost?

  • Schengen visa medical insurance costs vary based on a number of factors, including your age, general health, duration of your trip, and level of coverage.
  • Most Schengen visa insurance fees should not exceed several hundred USD.

What kind of medical situations are likely covered under travel medical insurance?

  • Medical travel insurance covers accidents, illness, and other medical events requiring hospitalization for treatment arising while you are abroad. Some of the most common medical events covered by medical insurance include the following:
    • Injuries resulting from car accidents
    • Fractures/broken bones sustained by falls
    • Heart attacks/cardiovascular events
    • The cost of repatriating a body back in the event that someone dies abroad.

What kind of medical situations are likely not covered under travel medical insurance?

  • Most medical travel insurance plans do not cover pre-existing conditions, meaning that if you experience a medical event related to a pre-existing condition while you are abroad, you will likely have to pay for your treatment out of pocket.
  • Most medical travel insurance plans do not cover minor illness and injuries not requiring hospitalization.
  • Most medical travel insurance plans do not cover elective surgeries, such as cosmetic procedures.

Do minors need travel medical insurance?

  • Applicants under the age of 18 (minors) must also acquire travel medical insurance. If you are travelling with a family, many insurance companies offer family plans which provide free coverage for children under 18.