Almost all embassies and consulates have made it mandatory for the applicant to acquire travel insurance whilst applying for a visa.
A travel medical insurance helps in covering medical expenses if any unforeseen medical expense arises during the course of the applicant’s stay in the host nation. Once availed, travel medical insurance also gives financial security to the backpackers, and thus, they can enjoy their stay without worrying about expenses.
Criteria for Availing Travel Medical Insurance
When availing medical insurance for visa purpose, the applicant must ensure that:
- The travel medical insurance provides minimum coverage equivalent to EUR 30000 or USD 50000.
- The medical insurance must cover all medical expenses including expenditures for an emergency, treatment in hospital, and even repatriation after death.
- If the candidate is submitting a visa application for a Schengen member-state, then he/she should avail travel medical insurance that is valid in all Schengen area.
Extract from “Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009”, which entered into force on April 5 of 2010:
“… Applicants for a uniform visa for one or two entries shall prove that they are in possession of adequate and valid travel medical insurance to cover any expenses which might arise in connection with repatriation for medical reasons, urgent medical attention and/or emergency hospital treatment or death, during their stay(s) on the territory of the Member States.
The insurance shall be valid throughout the territory of the Schengen Area Member States and cover the entire period of the person’s intended stay or transit. The minimum coverage shall be EUR 30,000” (…)
States Covered by Schengen Travel Insurance
Schengen medical insurance covers the following states:
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.
Coverage Provided by Schengen Medical Insurance
Usually, the Schengen Travel Medical cover following arrays of expenses:
Medical emergency (accident or sickness)
Repatriation of remains
Return of a minor
Accidental death, injury or disablement benefit
Overseas funeral expenses
Lost, stolen or damaged baggage, personal effects or travel documents
Delayed baggage (and emergency replacement of essential items)
Flight connection missed due to airline schedule crash
Travel delays due to weather
The insurance covers pregnancy expenses if it happens in the first trimester. After this, the coverage differs from company to company.
What is Excluded or Optional in Visa Travel Insurance Policy?
You should remember that the coverage offered by travel insurance varies from company to company. However, nearly all companies do not provide coverage in the following cases:
Pre-existing conditions like Asthma, diabetes.
Sports involving high-risk activities.
If you are traveling to high-risk countries (these include countries where war has erupted, countries where natural disasters are common, or countries where terrorist incidents are common)
Acute onset of pre-existing conditions: It means the sudden return of a pre-existing disease without any prior warning from the doctor. If the applicant is suffering from pre-existing conditions, then he/she must cover it to protect himself from the expected cost of medical treatment in the Schengen Area.
Common Restrictions and Limitations
- As mentioned earlier, not all companies provide insurance for preexisting conditions. If the applicant—with a preexisting condition—is on treatment and he opts to travel to the Schengen Area, then there will be no medical cost alleviations via the applicant’s insurer.
- In case the applicant with the preexisting condition is declared fit by the doctor, then the insurance company is ought to cover any unforeseen medical complication in the Schengen Area, acute onset of the preexisting condition.
- Sports: Insurance companies might exclude participation in extreme sports activities from the coverage.
- War: Insurance companies might exclude coverage for injuries of war.
- Duration – Many policies specify a time limit for coverage (e.g., 60 days) and the costs differ accordingly.
- Drugs/Alcohol: The medical insurance will not cover the expenses of substance abuse including drugs and alcohol.