If you live in the UK, the type of travel health insurance for Europe you will need depends on your nationality.
UK citizens are eligible for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which covers medically necessary treatment in state-run hospitals during short trips in the EU. If you are a non-UK citizen living in the UK, you may also be eligible for a GHIC, but chances are you also have to get Schengen travel insurance.
Do UK Citizens Need Schengen Travel Insurance?
If you are a UK citizen, travel insurance for Europe is essential to your trip, but it is not required by law. In other words, UK citizens do not need Schengen travel insurance; even though you are highly encouraged to get a health insurance plan whenever travelling abroad, you will be allowed to visit the rest of Europe even without it – at your own risk.
If you do not have any health insurance coverage and you happen to need medical treatment while on your trip to the EU, you will have to pay all expenses out-of-pocket. Most EU countries are not known to be cheap when it comes to medical costs for uninsured individuals.
What Are the Travel Insurance Options for Non-UK Citizens?
If you are a non-UK citizen who needs a visa to go to the Schengen zone, you must get Schengen travel insurance even if you are living in Britain at the time. If you also contribute to the NHS – for example, you work or study in the UK – you can also get a GHIC.
Schengen travel insurance refers to the type of insurance you need when you apply for a Schengen visa. In order for the Consulate or Embassy to accept it, your Schengen visa insurance must meet the following criteria:
- Must cover a minimum of €30,000 (around £24,500 as of March 2023) on medical bills and repatriation.
- It must be valid for the entire duration of your trip.
- It must be valid in the entire Schengen Zone.
Those who do not need a Schengen visa don’t have to get travel insurance that meets the requirements set by the Schengen countries.
Travel health insurance companies Europ Assistance and MondialCare provide the mandatory insurance certificate required when applying for a Schengen visa from the UK.You also can explore the insurance comparison website vti.travel to conveniently compare prices and coverage options from AXA, Allianz, and Mutuaide.
What If I Don’t Need a Visa to Enter the EU?
If you are a third-country citizen legally residing in the UK and receiving public healthcare benefits from the NHS, but you don’t need a visa to visit EU/Schengen member countries, you can use a GHIC, just like British citizens. You do not need to get Schengen travel insurance, but Europe travel insurance is always a good idea.
The Best Schengen Travel Insurance Plans from the UK
Even though there are separate travel insurance rules based on nationality, there really is no restriction on who can purchase a certain type of travel insurance; so, you can purchase an insurance policy covering the Schengen area even if you do not need a Schengen visa. As such, here’s a list of plans from some of the leading travel insurance providers for Europe and Schengen:
|Health Insurance Plan details||Accepted for Schengen visa application from the UK?||Available to UK citizens?|
|Europ Assistance Schengen Plus||Yes||Yes|
|Mondial Care Tourist Travel Insurance||Yes||Yes|
Which Countries Does Schengen Travel Insurance Cover?
This can vary between travel insurance companies, but the travel insurance policy for a Schengen visa usually covers all Schengen countries and non-Schengen EU countries. However, you might also be covered in some European countries which aren’t part of the European Union or the Schengen area.
Countries such as Albania, Serbia, Turkey, Montenegro, Kosovo or the Canary Islands are rarely included in Schengen travel insurance policies.
So, if you plan to travel to non-EU countries as well during your trip, you can get a separate policy to cover you there or ask your insurance providers whether they have options to extend coverage.
Which Countries Does Each Travel Insurance Plan Cover?
- Europ Assistance Schengen Plus – covers all Schengen countries and EU countries that are not part of Schengen: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Ireland, and Romania.
- Mondial Care Tourist Travel Insurance – covers all Schengen member countries, plus EU countries that are not part of Schengen: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania, San Marino, Andorra, Monaco and the Vatican.
How to Purchase Schengen Visa Travel Insurance From the UK?
Regardless of your nationality, you can easily purchase a travel insurance policy for your trip to the EU countries online through travel insurance companies websites. All you have to do is:
- Visit the website of the insurance company you want to purchase from, such as Europ Assistanceor MondialCare.
- Click on “Get a Quote”.
- Enter the details of your trip, such as where you are going, how long you will stay, and how many people you want to include in your plan.
- Select the plan of your choice if more than one is available.
- You will see how much the insurance plan will cost, and you can choose whether to purchase it or not.
- You will get a travel insurance certificate which you have to save digitally or print out.
Alternatively, visit vti.travel, a trusted insurance comparison website, to confidently compare prices and coverage options from industry leaders AXA, Allianz, and Mutuaide before selecting the perfect travel policy.
Because of the nature of the Schengen zone, you will likely find a policy covering you through the entire area, not just the specific country you visit.
You can also approach a local travel insurance office in person and purchase a policy or get it through a tour operator – if you are travelling as part of an organized group.
Who Is Required to Purchase Travel Insurance When Travelling to the EU or Applying for a Schengen Visa from the UK?
- Required to Purchase Schengen Travel Insurance
- Not Required to Purchase Schengen Travel Insurance
UK residents holding passports from the following countries are required to buy Schengen travel insurance when applying for a Schengen visa in the UK:
|Angola||Ghana||Papua New Guinea|
|Belize||Indonesia||Sao Tome And Principe|
|Burkina Faso||Kazakhstan||South Africa|
|Central African Republic||Lebanon||Syria|
|Dem. Rep. Of Congo||Mali||Tunisia|
|North Korea||Northern Mariana’s|
UK residents holding passports from the following countries are not required but highly recommended to buy travel insurance when travelling from the UK to the Schengen countries:
|Albania||Hong Kong S.A.R||Saint Kitts and Nevis|
|Antigua and Barbuda||Japan||Saint Vincent|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Mauritius||Solomon Islands|
|Colombia||Montenegro||Trinidad and Tobago|
|El Salvador||Nicaragua||United Arab Emirates|
|Georgia||North Macedonia||United Kingdom|
|Grenada||Palau||United States of America|
|Holy See (Vatican City State)||Paraguay||Venezuela|
Related visa information for the UK Residents
- Schengen Visa Application From the UK
- Do You Qualify to Apply for a Schengen Visa From the UK?
- France Visa for the UK Residents
- Spanish Visa for the UK Residents
- Italian Visa for the UK Residents
- Dutch Visa for the UK Residents
- Portuguese Visa for the UK Residents
- German Visa for the UK Residents
- Swedish Visa for the UK Residents
- Norwegian Visa for the UK Residents
- The Czech Visa for the UK Residents
- Greece Visa for the UK Residents
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Make sure you take out travel insurance with medical cover for your trip. You may not have access to free emergency medical treatment and could be charged for your healthcare if you do not get health cover with your travel insurance.Do I need travel insurance for Europe from UK? ›
Make sure you take out travel insurance with medical cover for your trip. You may not have access to free emergency medical treatment and could be charged for your healthcare if you do not get health cover with your travel insurance.What are Schengen travel insurance requirements? ›
Schengen visa insurance must include: Minimum coverage of 30,000 euros (roughly $33,000) that is valid in all Schengen countries. Coverage for expenses related to transporting someone back to their home country for medical reasons. Coverage for expenses for emergency medical treatment or hospital care.Does European travel insurance cover the UK? ›
European travel insurance policies typically cover all countries on the continent of Europe. Some policies may also cover certain countries outside Europe, such as Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco.Do Americans need Schengen travel insurance? ›
No, US citizens do not need Schengen insurance because they do not need a Schengen visa to travel to Europe. Schengen insurance is simply Europe travel insurance that meets the requirements of the Schengen visa, so Americans can still purchase it ahead of their trip to Europe if they want to.Do I need travel insurance to enter France from UK? ›
It's important to take out appropriate travel insurance for your needs. A GHIC or EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance and you should have both before you travel. It does not cover all health-related costs, for example, medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment and non-urgent treatment.What counts as Europe for travel insurance? ›
- Faroe Islands.
- San Marino.
|World Trips – Atlas Travel||Coverage for eligible illness or injury up to €50,000, COVID-19 eligible expenses.|
|Mondialcare – Schengen Insurance Premium||Repatriation or medical evacuation, assistance in case of death, and hospital stay up to €35,000.|
The Cover Letter for a Schengen Visa is a necessary part of your visa application because it is a way to introduce yourself, the reason why you want to travel to that specific country, as well as to communicate with the visa officers who are handling your application.How do I write a travel plan for Schengen visa? ›
- passenger's first and last name.
- flight number of the chosen airline.
- a reservation number or identifier.
- departure and return dates (the ticket must be round trip)
- flight hours.
- IATA airport codes.
- the total price of the ticket.
Your travel insurance should always include the following cover: medical expenses and cover for getting you home if you're injured or fall ill abroad. personal injury and cover for accidents or damage caused by you. cover for lost or damaged items.Do you need a paper copy of travel insurance? ›
No, it's not essential to take copies of your travel insurance documents with you. It's always a good idea to have a copy in your bag or on your phone.What is not covered in travel insurance? ›
According to Allianz Global Assistance, a travel insurance provider, "Trip cancellations and trip interruptions due to known, foreseeable, or expected events, epidemics, or fear of travel are generally not covered."Will my US health insurance cover me in Europe? ›
U.S. health insurance plans typically do not cover regular and routine medical care required overseas. This means your health insurance won't pay for care if you need to visit a doctor for a prescription medicine, or if you need treatment for a condition that is not considered an emergency.Do I need travel insurance from UK to USA? ›
Medical care for Brits in the USA
This means that having good medical travel insurance is an imperative. Without it, you are unlikely to receive treatment or, if you do, it could run to tens of thousands of dollars. You may be asked to pay an amount up-front by a hospital or treatment centre as a gesture of good faith.
The U.S. government does not provide medical insurance nor pay for medical bills for U.S. citizens overseas. You should purchase insurance before you travel. Before you go abroad, learn what medical services your health insurance will cover overseas.Do US citizens need travel insurance for France? ›
While travel insurance is not a requirement for U.S. citizens traveling to France, there are plenty of reasons you may want to consider coverage. Many travelers to France carry individual health insurance, which may cover some medical expenses depending on the details of the specific policy.Can I use UK insurance in France? ›
Do I need different insurance to drive in France? As long as your car's UK insurance includes third-party cover, then you'll have the necessary cover to legally drive your car in France.Does France accept UK travel document? ›
To travel to the French Overseas territories, British citizens do not require a visa for short stays (up to 90 days). No change either for the holders of other British passports : British Nationals (Overseas), British Overseas Territories Citizens, British Overseas Citizens, British Protected Persons, British Subjects.Is travel insurance the same as international insurance? ›
What is Travel Insurance? Travel insurance is designed for holidaymakers to cover cancellations, personal belongings and emergency medical treatment, whereas international health insurance is designed to cover inpatient treatment check-ups and continuing treatment of chronic conditions abroad.
Here's the very short answer: Cancellations, medical expenses, evacuations, loss or delays, and 24/7 assistance. These are the 5 basic types of coverage provided with vacation insurance. This is the #1 concern with most travelers.Does travel insurance cover all of Europe? ›
This region-specific Europe travel insurance covers medical and other financial emergencies abroad, like hospitalisation, COVID-19 emergencies, evacuation and repatriation, etc. It also offers coverage for passport & baggage loss, flight delay, etc., in all 26 Schengen countries.Which travel agency is best for Schengen visa? ›
Visas Association is one of the largest and most reliable Schengen Visa agencies. You may be surprised to know that the Schengen Visa is one of the world's hardest-to-get visas.Which is the easiest Schengen visa to get in Europe? ›
- Finland – 4.7 per cent out of 61,015 applications.
- Hungary – 4.8 per cent out of 70,269 applications.
- Estonia – 5.4 per cent out of 40,657 applications.
- Poland – 5.6 per cent out of 41,891 applications.
- Greece – 6.3 per cent out of 295,634 applications.
|Visa cost USD||Visa cost €|
You will receive an email when a decision on your visa application has been made. This is usually within 15 days after submitting your visa application. The email does not say whether your application was successful.What do they check for Schengen visa? ›
The applicant shall present a valid travel document (passport) the validity of which extends at least three months after the intended date of departure from the territory of the Member States (or, in the case of several visits, after the last intended date of departure from the territory of the Member States).Do I need an interview for Schengen visa? ›
As soon as you have submitted your visa application form, you will be required to attend an interview with a visa officer at the consulate of the Schengen country.What is the fastest processing time for Schengen visa? ›
When making travel plans to Schengen countries, it is important to consider the processing time for Schengen visas. Fastest Schengen Visa processing time: Less than 72 hours. Slowest Schengen Visa processing time: More than 15 days.How many entries should I request for Schengen visa? ›
With a single-entry visa you can enter the Schengen area only once. This is indicated on the visa sticker by "01". With a visa allowing for two or multiple entries you may enter twice or several times during the validity of the visa. This is indicated by “MULT”.
Could I use this visa to make a trip to other Schengen States? Yes. According to the Schengen rules, the Schengen visa is generally valid for all the countries in the Schengen area. Please note, however, that you always have to apply at the consulate of the country which is your primary destination (see FAQ no 5).What are the 3 things travel insurance covers? ›
- Injury or sickness. ...
- Lost luggage. ...
- Last-minute cancellations. ...
- Coverage beyond your credit card. ...
- Cancel for any reason insurance. ...
- Comprehensive travel insurance. ...
- Changing your travel insurance coverage.
It can be cheaper to take out an annual travel insurance policy if you're planning on more than one holiday a year. UK-only policies are quite rare, but you can choose from either European or worldwide cover.
|Company||Starting Price||Coverage Limit|
|Travelex Best Overall||$24||$25,000|
|Allianz Travel Insurance Runner-Up, Best Overall||$138||Starting at $3,000|
|InsureMyTrip Best Value||$25 to $100||Varies|
|World Nomads Most Comprehensive Coverage||$100 to $200||$2,500 to $10,000|
Copies of all bills, invoices, receipts, and applicable credit card/bank statements pertaining to claimed medical expenses. INJURY Claims - Accident / Incident / Police / ER Report(s) which detail accident. EOB's from health insurance companies may be required if coverage is Secondary or Excess.What to print out for travel insurance? ›
The Confirmation of Coverage is the document that will be most important to print and bring with you. The full document is usually 4-5 pages long and it will contain the three most important pieces of information to have with you in case of an emergency: The insurance company's emergency contact phone numbers.What documents should I copy before travel? ›
Before you go, make copies of your passport, visa, and the fronts and backs of any credit cards you might bring with you. Also copy other important documents such as flight and hotel information, documents regarding prescriptions, medical conditions and vaccination records, and your communication plan.Does travel insurance ask for medical records? ›
Your insurance provider can request access to your medical records if they feel it's necessary. Under the AMRA act: Consent must be given by you in writing. Your travel insurance provider will typically ask you to fill in a form giving consent.Does travel insurance ask for proof? ›
The travel insurance company will require documentation to support your claim, so you'll want to be organized as you collect the necessary records.What are the two basic types of travel insurance? ›
There are two main types of travel insurance: trip protection plans and travel medical plans.
While no system is perfect, Europe's universal health care does mean that everyone is taken care of — including foreigners. So if you get sick or injured while traveling, you will receive treatment, no questions asked.What countries accept US Medicare? ›
What Countries Accept US Medicare? You can only use Medicare in the USA and its territories. This includes the 50 US States as well as its territories: Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands.How do I know if my health insurance works internationally? ›
Private insurance might or might not offer coverage overseas, but again, it depends on the plan you have. So, the best way to find out whether your health insurance covers international travel is to contact your insurance provider.Do I need travel insurance from UK to Europe? ›
When you travel to an EU country or Switzerland you should have either: a UK Global Health Insurance Card ( GHIC ) a European Health Insurance Card ( EHIC )Does UK health insurance work in the US? ›
Healthcare (UK vs. USA) UK residents (consists of people from Northern Ireland, Great Britain, England, Scotland and Wales) are covered by NHS while in the UK; however, NHS does not provide any health coverage in the US.Should I get travel insurance UK? ›
If you travel internationally you should buy appropriate travel insurance before you go. If you already have a travel insurance policy, check what cover it provides for coronavirus-related events, including medical treatment and travel disruption, and any planned activities such as adventure sports.Do I need proof of health insurance to travel to Europe? ›
For example, travellers that enter EU countries visa-free via ETIAS, such as Americans or Canadians, are advised to have medical coverage for or travel insurance for Europe. Schengen Visa holders are required to obtain travel insurance as part of their visa application.Can a US citizen get free healthcare in UK? ›
If you have an urgent medical problem and you're not sure what to do, you can call 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk. IMPORTANT: Anyone in the UK can receive treatment at an NHS facility, no matter their residency status. However, tourist visitors to the UK do not typically qualify for free NHS treatment.Is travel insurance mandatory for Europe? ›
Schengen Visa applicants and holders are required to be in possession of travel insurance throughout their planned stay in Europe and before obtaining a Schengen Visa.Do British need travel insurance? ›
The government always advises visitors to the UK to take out travel or health insurance. This means that you can reclaim any healthcare costs you are required to pay from your insurer.
If you do not have appropriate insurance before you travel, you could be liable for emergency expenses, including medical treatment, which may cost thousands of pounds. You should buy your travel insurance as soon as possible after booking your trip.Do US citizens need health insurance in Europe? ›
The U.S. government does not provide medical insurance nor pay for medical bills for U.S. citizens overseas. You should purchase insurance before you travel. Before you go abroad, learn what medical services your health insurance will cover overseas.Do tourists need travel insurance? ›
If you do not have health insurance, you will have to cover all of the expenses yourself. This is why US travel health insurance is a must for all visitors, no matter how short the visit is.Is healthcare free in UK for foreigners? ›
People who have a visitor visa and those with a visa for under 6 months need to pay for any healthcare at the point of use unless they are exempt. See the Pay for UK healthcare as part of your immigration application page for a full list of exemptions and further information.Can I use my US health insurance in the UK? ›
A U.S. health insurance plan will likely not cover any medical costs in the U.K. While traveling, there's always a risk of illness or injury, so a travel insurance policy with travel medical insurance is essential for international travel. For example, road safety is a consideration for a U.K. trip.Does UK health insurance cover in the US? ›
Healthcare (UK vs. USA) UK residents (consists of people from Northern Ireland, Great Britain, England, Scotland and Wales) are covered by NHS while in the UK; however, NHS does not provide any health coverage in the US.Can I buy travel insurance after departure UK? ›
Can I buy travel insurance when I'm already on holiday? Yes. Some insurance providers offer post-departure insurance – sometimes called 'already travelling insurance'. This is extremely handy if you've forgotten to buy cover or realise your policy has run out.Can I add insurance after booking flight? ›
The short answer is: It's not too late! You absolutely can buy travel insurance after booking your trip. However, it's always best to purchase insurance as early in the process as possible. If you procrastinate, you may miss out on certain benefits.Can foreigners buy travel insurance in UK? ›
If you are residing in an Eligible EEA Country, Travel Insurance is available to you no matter where you are travelling to so long as your trip starts and ends in your home country.