Money

The Best Travel Health Insurance Companies for Europe

by Jeremy Scott Foster  |  Published May 31, 2021

If you’re traveling to Europe this summer, you will definitely want travel insurance to supplement your trip in case anything goes wrong. These are six of the best travel insurance companies for coverage in Europe.

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When you’re planning a trip to Europe, half of the fun is working out the details of your itinerary, creating a bucket list of attractions to visit, and mapping out the route you want to take.

It’s easy to forget about the finer details, like travel insurance.

That’s just human nature. Who wants to think about the bad stuff when there’s so much to look forward to?

Travel insurance gives you peace of mind while you’re exploring. It doesn’t matter if you’re planning a relaxing wine tour through Italy or a more adventurous jaunt through Switzerland – being insured means you’ll come home with only awesome memories and not outrageous medical bills.

But there are different types of travel insurance for Europe and the Schengen zone. Here’s how to pick the best one for your needs.

Why You Need Travel Insurance for Europe

So why do you even need travel insurance for Europe, anyway?

It all comes down to a very blunt truth: literally anything could happen while you’re on the road, and you need to protect yourself. It’s truly no different than having health insurance in your home country.

Travelers don’t like thinking about worst-case scenarios, but it’s the responsible thing to do. And a good travel insurance policy covers everything from the smallest stuff – like lost and stolen luggage – to all the big picture items, like natural disasters or broken bones. Yes, even death.

In countries where you’re not a resident, the cost of things like medical bills and emergency evacuation are drastically higher than in your home country (even compared to the US, where those bills are crazy high already). So while you might not like the idea of dishing out money for insurance, you definitely don’t want to return from your trip with hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses.

Note: Depending on your home country, you might need to apply for a Schengen visa. Furthermore, countries outside the Europe Schengen zone may have different visa and travel insurance requirements than member states inside the Schengen zone, including the UK. When in doubt, talk to an agent!

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BEST TRAVEL INSURANCE COMPANIES FOR EUROPE 

If you take away just one important thing from this article, let it be this: Europe travel insurance is necessary. Just because these countries are developed and modern doesn’t mean you’re immune to accidents or illness on your travels.

Have a look at the different Europe travel insurance companies and their travel insurance plans.

1. Seven Corners: Best Travel Insurance Policy for Students

So you’ve got your visa application sent off and you’re planning on studying for a semester in Europe. Welcome to one of the best experiences of your life!

It’s likely that you’ll be required to have Europe travel insurance as part of your visa requirements to study abroad (and you may even need to present proof of insurance with your visa application and your visa letter). Regardless, travel health insurance is a must—and Seven Corners is the best.

Seven Corners has three different travel insurance plans specifically designed for international students. Each one is customizable so that you can even change the amount of medical coverage (up to $250,000) as well as the deductible. When you visit the student health center at your school, it’ll only cost you a $5 copay. Trip cancellation and interruption are also covered.

There are tons of options to add as well. For example, if you want to visit family back home while on your holidays, you can add coverage for when you return to the US (or wherever home may be). That means if you get into an accident while you’re at home, you’ll have health insurance coverage.

2. SafetyWing: Best Travel Insurance Policy for Expats & Long-Term Travelers

SafetyWing has incredibly unique travel insurance offerings for long-term travelers/expats.

SafetyWing is a rare gem of a travel insurance company because their plans allow you to have coverage for as long as you want. It works like a subscription, and your plan renews every four weeks automatically (until you cancel).

You’ll get coverage up to $100,000 for travel medical insurance and emergency medical evacuation coverage in 180+ countries. Trip interruption and trip delay coverage is also included (up to $100/day), but trip cancellations are not.

There’s one downside: SafetyWing’s insurance policies will not cover your gear. For digital nomads traveling with laptops, cameras, and other items of high value, this may be a dealbreaker. The good news is that you can add supplemental insurance like InsureMyEquipment to make sure you’ve got complete coverage.

3. World Nomads: Best Travel Insurance Policy for Adventure Travelers

World Nomads is an all-around awesome insurance provider, but especially if you’re an adventurous type. They cover over 300 sports and activities, and their Explorer Plan is catered specifically to those interested in higher-risk activities.

Snowboarding in Switzerland? Diving in the Mediterranean? Competing in an air guitar competition (seriously) in Finland? This is the policy for you.

World Nomads’ plans include up to $100,000 in emergency medical coverage, medical evacuation and repatriation, and coverage for stolen or lost luggage. Bonus: their policies have always provided coverage for pandemics/epidemics, so you’re well covered up to $100,000 in emergency medical for COVID-19 too.

The user experience and customer service with World Nomads is also top-notch. If you’re not completely sure if your activity is covered, definitely speak with an insurance agent about your case.

4. Tin Leg: Best Travel Insurance Policy for Seniors

If you’re a senior ready to leave behind the US and make your dream of Europe travels come true, Tin Leg is the travel health insurance company for you.

Travel insurance requirements can be stringent for seniors, especially if you have pre-existing conditions (or if you’re over a certain age). Tin Leg is unique in that it offers travel insurance for people up to age 90!

Tin Leg has a few different plans, including the Tin Leg Economy policy with basic trip cancellations and medical coverage up to $20,000. That’s a bit low compared to other plans, but the Tin Leg Luxury policy covers people up to $100,000 for emergency medical and $250,000 for emergency medical evacuation and repatriation.

Pre-Existing Condition coverage is also included if your policy is purchased within 15 days of booking your Europe trip.

5. Travelex: Best Travel Insurance Policy for Families

Taking the whole fam on a country-hopping tour of Europe? Travel insurance coverage is a must for the whole gang.

One of the best things about Travelex is that they provide free coverage for all children age 17 and under, as long as they’re traveling with you under a single policy. It doesn’t matter if you have one kid or five…they’re all covered for travel health insurance!

Travelex is a heavy-duty insurer, and although they only have two main plans they also tons of add-on options. The Basic plan covers $15,000 in emergency medical expenses, $100,000 for emergency medical evacuation, and $500 for lost and damaged baggage.

But with their Travel Select plan, your coverage skyrockets: you’ll get $50,000 in emergency medical, $1,000 for lost or damaged luggage, and $500,000 in medical evacuation coverage. You’ll also get 150 percent of your insured trip cost reimbursed if your trip is interrupted.

6. AXA: Best Travel Insurance Policy for Multiple Trips

If you’re addicted to Europe travel, getting covered by Ama’s Multi-Trip Schengen visa travel insurance is a must.

Multi-Trip is an AXA Schengen visa insurance for frequent travelers who plan on making several trips to Europe over one year. That means if, for example, you’re traveling between the US and France all year on business, you don’t have to purchase travel insurance more than once.

AXA offers medical insurance for expenses up to €100,000 ($111,000) for both the Schengen zone as well as other countries outside of Schengen. If your Europe travel takes you to places like Monaco and Liechtenstein, the AXA Multi-Trip Schengen travel insurance is a great option for you.

But before you plan multiple trips all over Europe, make sure you’re aware of the Schengen visa requirements. Citizens of certain countries may need to apply for a visa depending on the country (if you’re a traveler from the US, you likely won’t have to). Visa refusal is never a fun experience, so make sure to include your AXA Schengen visa insurance certificate with your visa application.

If you’re unsure about anything, AXA has some great customer service. When in doubt, give them a call.

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EUROPE TRAVEL INSURANCE FAQs 

Now that you’re aware of the different Europe travel insurance options and their different travel insurance policies, let’s make sure you’re clear on everything else travel insurance related.

Is travel insurance necessary in Europe? 

Yes, as soon as you leave the US (or your home country) to visit Europe and the Schengen area, travel insurance is necessary. Travel medical insurance is by far the most important asset for any traveler because those medical expenses will skyrocket if you get sick or injured abroad.

Plus your Schengen travel insurance should also cover things like trip cancellations and interruption. No matter what country you’re visiting, you need to be prepared.

Does travel insurance for Europe also cover the United Kingdom?

It’s important to understand that not all countries are part of the European Schengen area, including the United Kingdom. Your Schengen visa will not apply here, and your European travel insurance may not apply.

Some insurances, like World Nomads, will take into account that you’re traveling all over the European region and that you don’t just need Schengen travel insurance. When you’re requesting a quote online, you can select each destination you’ll be visiting.

You need to check with your travel insurance plan to make sure you’re covered for all your medical expenses and emergency evacuation (as well as anything else you want).

Talk to some travel insurance agents for greater clarity on your options. Europe travel awaits!

How much travel insurance do I need for Europe? 

The amount of travel insurance coverage you need for Europe/the Schengen area really depends on what you’re planning to do. In any case, your insurance plan should at least cover you for up to $100,000 in medical expenses and emergency evacuation.

You’ll also want to consider what kind of expenses you’ll incur if you’re not covered for things like trip interruption, cancellations, and lost/damaged luggage. You can’t often make corrections to your travel health insurance plan after you’ve begun traveling, so make sure you get it right!

Do US citizens need travel insurance for Europe?

Yes, US citizens absolutely need travel medical insurance for Europe, including the Schengen area.

If you’re a US citizen and you get sick or if you’re seriously hurt while in Europe or the Schengen area, you could face crazy high medical expenses. That could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical debt.

Europe travel insurance is a must for any traveler, and that means US citizens too.

What countries are included in Europe travel insurance?

Generally, Europe/Schengen travel insurance will cover all European countries. As mentioned above, insurers know that you’re likely to visit more than one country on your trip.

But do your homework. Some popular European countries aren’t part of the Schengen area, including the likes of Bulgaria, Croatia, and even the United Kingdom. When it comes to insurance coverage, make sure you read the fine print and make any corrections to your policy as needed.

Residents from certain countries other than the US may require a visa as well, and applicants will want to apply well in advance. Bottom line: your travel medical insurance (just like your Schengen visa requirements) may differ depending on where you’re going.

Does my health insurance cover me in Europe?

Depending on the health insurance coverage you have at home, you may have travel coverage for Europe travel too. Keep in mind this is still travel insurance though—you won’t be able to claim expenses for things like cosmetic surgery abroad.

But in general, residents of the US (and residents of other places, for that matter) shouldn’t assume they’re covered.

Pro-tip: review your policy in great detail before you leave, in case you need to make any corrections.

Do I need Schengen visa insurance for Europe?

Many citizens do not need a Schengen visa before traveling to Europe. You’ll need to figure out what the Schengen visa requirements are for your country first. If you’re a US citizen, for example, you do not need to apply for a Schengen visa.

Applying for a visa can be a daunting experience for some citizens, but the online process for applicants is pretty straightforward. Absolutely make sure you have proof of your Schengen visa travel insurance secured beforehand (like the AXA Schengen visa insurance certificate mentioned earlier), and include it with your visa letter and visa application.

Once you’ve received your Schengen visa, you’re good to go.

Now it’s time—are you ready to see Europe?