Europe is a dream destination for every traveller. The continent is known for its gorgeous landscapes, architectural marvels, historical relevance, lip-smacking food as well as for varied culture. That can be a major reason why Europe is the most travelled continents across the world. When planning a trip to Europe, you may have heard about Schengen countries and a need for a Schengen visa to travel there. Read on to know more about Schengen countries and the requirements for a Schengen visa.
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The continent of Europe comprises of 44 counties. Out of these, 26 countries have come together to form an area with mutual borders known as the Schengen area. Citizens of the Schengen countries can enter each other’s borders without the need for a passport or a visa. In fact, citizens of a few countries can also travel to the Schengen area without any visa. However, Indian citizens need a valid Schengen visa to travel to one or more Schengen countries and do not need to obtain individual visas for each country.
Let’s take an example to understand better. Suppose you want to visit France, Italy, Switzerland, Spain and Germany from India. All of these countries are a part of the Schengen area. As a result, you need to obtain a Schengen visa to travel to all of these countries instead of applying for separate visas for each of them.
However, obtaining a Schengen visa is not as easy as it sounds. You cannot obtain a Schengen visa unless you have a travel insurance policy to cover your trip to the Schengen states.
Travel insurance is mandatory to obtain a Schengen visa. Anyone who wishes to travel to the Schengen states on a Schengen visa needs to purchase a travel insurance policy before applying for the visa. If you apply for a Schengen visa without a travel insurance policy covering your trip, your visa application will get rejected.
Schengen countries are expensive, especially when it comes to healthcare services. Getting ill or meeting with an accident during your trip to the Schengen area can result in major expenses if you need to get hospitalized. As a result, your trip budget can get severely affected and you may incur major financial losses in the absence of a travel insurance policy. Such a situation can be prevented if your trip is covered under the best travel insurance policy.
Since you will be travelling outside of India, you can buy international travel insurance online for your trip to the Schengen states. An international travel insurance policy covers a traveller against any unforeseen medical or trip-related risks encountered while travelling abroad. Whether you are travelling to the Schengen states for a vacation, business trip or due to a flight layover, you must buy the best travel insurance for your trip. But the question remains that which travel insurance is the best for travelling on a Schengen visa.
In India, several travel insurance companies offer a variety of travel plans to people travelling to Schengen countries on a Schengen visa. However, the best travel insurance plan for people travelling to the Schengen area is Schengen travel insurance. Schengen travel insurance is a type of international travel insurance policy designed exclusively to cover people travelling to Schengen countries. It provides financial coverage against any adversities faced across all the member Schengen states. It also offers cashless hospitalization facility in case you need to get admitted to a hospital during your trip.
A Schengen travel insurance policy also fulfils the insurance requirements for obtaining a Schengen visa. It offers minimum insurance coverage of 30,000 EUR, which is around Rs 26 lakh. It stands valid across all 26 Schengen countries and covers unforeseen medical emergencies, including sickness, accidents and medical repatriation.
Moreover, anyone can easily buy Schengen travel insurance online. It is advisable to compare different travel insurance plans to choose the best Schengen travel insurance for your trip. You can make these comparisons online on an insurance broker website. Most people do not need to undergo a medical check-up before buying a Schengen travel insurance policy.
Schengen travel insurance comes with a variety of coverage to ease your trip to the Schengen countries. Take a look at the covers that every best travel insurance for Schengen visa offers:
Anyone can get ill or injured while travelling abroad. Getting hospitalized in a Schengen country can burn a hole in your pocket and upset your trip budget. This is where emergency medical expenses cover comes to the rescue. It covers the cost of any hospitalization expenses incurred during your trip to Schengen countries. It covers your medical expenses incurred due to sickness as well as accidents.
Sometimes, accidents can have drastic and life-long consequences. A major accident during your Schengen trip can lead to permanent total disability or death. Such situations will have a direct financial impact on your family. However, with personal accident cover, your travel insurer will provide compensation to you or your family in case an accident leads to permanent disability or accidental death.
Any medical illness or accident can lead to the death of an individual. In case any injury or illness during your Schengen trip leads to death, the medical repatriation cover will come into play. This cover will put the responsibility of transporting the mortal remains of the body to your family in India on your travel insurer. The expenses incurred in repatriating the body will also be borne by the travel insurer.
During your stay in a Schengen country, there can be an instance where you may lose your passport. Losing your passport while in a foreign country can be a dangerous situation. However, if you have a loss of passport cover under your Schengen travel insurance policy, you don’t have to worry about anything. As soon as you realise that your passport is missing, contact your travel insurer as they will help you to obtain a duplicate copy of your passport or apply for a new passport. The expenses incurred on obtaining the duplicate or new passport will also be covered by your insurer.
When you travel to a Schengen country through an airline, you need to check-in your luggage with the airline staff before boarding the flight and collect it after arriving at your destination. Sometimes, your check-in baggage may not arrive at the conveyor belt at the destination airport and when contacted, your airline will tell you that it has been delayed. In such a situation, you may have to incur additional expenses on necessary items, such as medicines, clothes, toiletries, etc. until your baggage finally arrives. But if you have a delay in check-in baggage cover, your insurer will reimburse the expenses incurred on these crucial items if your check-in baggage is delayed for more than a specified number of hours.
Sometimes, there can be a situation where your check-in baggage may be misplaced by the airline with which you flew to the Schengen area. The airline staff will be unable to locate your check-in baggage at all. In this scenario, the loss of check-in baggage cover will be useful. It will enable your travel insurer to compensate for the monetary losses incurred due to the loss of your check-in baggage.
During your trip to the Schengen area, there is a possibility of you getting sick. You may have to get hospitalized and under some cases, the hospitalization may be required for a long time. In case you are hospitalized in a Schengen country for a long period of time, one of your immediate family members can come to visit you with the help of a compassionate visit cover. This cover enables the family member of the traveller to visit him/ her in the Schengen country and resultant expenses are covered by the travel insurance company.
While travelling in a Schengen country, you may come across a situation where you may have misplaced your wallet or may get robbed. You may be left with no money and no means of arranging cash. In this case, the emergency financial assistance cover will come to your rescue. With this cover, your insurer will arrange emergency cash for you and help you to arrange finances for the rest of your trip.
Summing It Up
The dream of visiting Europe will remain incomplete unless you visit the Schengen area. But to visit the Schengen area, you need to obtain a valid Schengen visa before commencing your trip. Do remember to buy the best Schengen travel insurance policy to financially secure your trip as well as to prevent your Schengen visa application from getting rejected. Also, make sure that your Schengen travel insurance policy fulfils the Schengen visa insurance requirements and provides all the necessary coverage.