Travel health insurance is required to obtain most Schengen travel visas. U.S. residents whose citizenship is elsewhere may now travel more conveniently among 15 European countries with the Schengen visa. Participating countries are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.
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Learn what is required. Two of the three types of Schengen visas require proof of travel health and accident insurance coverage. For a category A visa, airport transit only, insurance is not required. For categories B, travel from one outside state to another through the Schengen states, and C, issued for tourism, etc., you must obtain insurance. The insurance must provide for repatriation, urgent medical attention and/or emergency hospital treatment expenses during your entire travel period. The medical coverage limit must be at least £24,375, i.e. about 30,000 euro, and the issuing company must have a representative office in Europe.
Apply and pay for the travel insurance. Most will e-mail you a "Certificate of Coverage" that you should show to the consulate issuing your visa, and you should carry it with you throughout your travels.
Tips and warnings
- To prevent fraud, rules regarding cancellation of insurance upon issuance of a Schengen visa are strictly enforced. Most insurance companies will require proof of cancelled airline tickets, a copy of your passport and daily calls, from anywhere in the United States, during the period you intended to be in Europe. The European Consulate may also be informed, resulting in refusal of entry should you arrive in any Schengen country during this period.
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