If you want to visit the Schengen Area of Europe and you need to apply for a visa, did you know you also need specific Schengen travel insurance? The aim of this post is to help explain what the Schengen Zone is, whether or not you need a visa, and what insurance coverage you need. I hope it helps!
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What is the Schengen Area?
The Schengen Zone, or area, is a group of 26 countries within Europe who have signed an agreement allowing passport-free movement across borders for member states. All except four of the members are also members of the European Union.
The 26 Schengen countries are: 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.
If you are visiting any of these countries from outside of Europe, you may need a Schengen visa to enter. Read on to find out if you do, and whether or not you need Schengen travel insurance.
Who Needs a Shengen Visa?
Visitors from several countries, including the USA, Canada, and Australia, can enter the Schengen Area without a visa for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. All these countries are shown in green on the map below.
Visitors from the countries in grey require a visa to enter the Schengen area. If you’re not sure, the Shengen Travel Insurance site from Europ Assistance has a visa checker. You can enter your nationality and which destination you are planning to visit, and it will tell you if you need a visa or not. They can also help you with Schengen visa insurance.
What is Schengen Insurance – And do You Need It?
In order to get a Schengen visa, you must have proof of travel insurance. You can check the list of required documents when applying for a Schengen visa here – it includes what level of cover you need. At the time of writing, it was mandatory to have Europe travel insurance covering emergency medical, hospitalisation and repatriation (including in case of death) for a minimum of 30,000 EUR.
So yes, you do need travel insurance for a Schengen visa! You also need to make sure that the insurance policy covers you for the whole of the Schengen area – not just the country you’re planning to visit – and that it’s valid for the whole of your trip.
Where to Find Schengen Travel Insurance
If you’re applying for your visa and need coverage that meets the above requirements, look for a site offering tailored Schengen Insurance. This will make life much easier as you’ll know that your policy will offer the exact level of coverage to meet the visa standards.
Have you ever needed to apply for a Schengen visa? Let us know your experiences in the comments!
This post was brought to you in collaboration with Europ Assistance Schengen. All facts have been checked on verified sources, and all words are my own.