Categorized | Travel Insurance

travel insurance-is it mandatory?

If you are planning a trip abroad, do take time to find out if Travel Insurance is mandatory to obtain visa.

Travel insurance for foreign travel is not mandatory for all countries but almost always recommended. For some countries though, it is mandatory to have travel insurance to obtain visa. This is often referred to as overseas medical insurance or international health insurance. When applying for visa, for these countries, you need to provide proof of travel insurance that meets their basic visa criteria.
 
Countries that Require Travel Insurance

The Schengen states are the most prominent set of countries that have made it mandatory to have overseas medical insurance to get a Schengen Visa. These are 25 European countries (22 European Union Countries and 3 Non European Union Countries). Even if you are not applying for Schengen Visa but only one of the countries included in the Schengen treaty, travel insurance is still mandatory. You will need it whether you visit these countries or just transit.
 
These days it’s not just the Schengen states asking for mandatory travel insurance. Other countries are also making it mandatory visa procedure. Non-Schengen countries like United States of America and United Kingdom have made overseas Mediclaim mandatory.

Most countries where international medical insurance is not compulsory strongly recommend taking travel insurance covering medical expenses. They specifically state that the visitor will not get medical treatment under any national or public health scheme and will have to personally bear the cost.

Travel Insurance Coverage

Most insurance companies offer comprehensive travel insurance policies that include Coverage for flight cancellations and delays, baggage loss or delay, overseas medical cover and passport loss. For mandatory travel insurance, the Policy must cover expenses arising from medical emergency, immediate medical attention, Repatriation and medical evacuation. Any other features included in travel insurance are added benefits that may come handy, but are not mandatory.

How Much Cover and for What Duration

You must have a minimum overseas medical insurance of Euro 30,000 to meet the visa condition for Schengen countries. Other countries have their own specific requirements and these are accordingly mentioned in visa application guidelines. The insurance has to remain valid for the complete duration of stay in these countries. One has to make sure that the insurance company offering you overseas insurance has representation in counties being visited.

Considering the cost of treatment and medical evacuation abroad, it is better to consider overseas medical insurance unavoidable.

Key Points

•Travel insurance is the basic requirement to obtain visa for many countries
•The travel insurance must be for the complete duration of the stay in these countries
•Travel insurance must cover the cost of medical emergency, immediate medical attention, repatriation and medical evacuation
•For Schengen countries, minimum overseas medical insurance of Euro 30,000 is must.