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Insurance Article

Schengen Visa And Travel Insurance

July 22 2015

visit and reside within its political borders for a pre-approved reason and period. Therefore, it is mandatory to hold a valid visa for entering a foreign country.

In June 1985, a handful of European countries mutually decided to abolish the requirements of country-specific visa within themselves. As this historic treaty was signed in the town of 'Schengen' at Luxembourg, the member countries were referred to as Schengen countries.

The Schengen Treaty has proved to be conducive to trade and tourism; it has new takers every year as more European countries join hands as members. Here are some FAQs about visas issued by Schengen countries:

What is a Schengen Visa?

A Schengen Visa is a common visa issued by one member country for and on behalf of other Schengen member countries. Currently 26 European countries form a part of the Schengen area, they are:

1. Austria 10. Hungary 19. Norway
2. Belgium 11. Iceland 20. Poland
3. Czech Republic 12. Italy 21. Portugal
4. Denmark 13. Latvia 22. Slovak Republic
5. Estonia 14. Liechtenstein 23. Slovenia
6. Finland 15. Lithuania 24. Spain
7. France 16. Luxembourg 25. Sweden
8. Germany 17. Malta 26. Switzerland
9. Greece 18. Netherlands  

What is the benefit of a Schengen Visa?

The key benefit of a Schengen Visa is less paperwork and hassle-free travel. The Schengen zone mostly consists of neighboring countries. Schengen Visa makes intra-zone travel from one country to another easy, as one does not need multiple visas. Hence, backpackers wanting to explore Europe need to apply for a single visa allowing them to visit all the countries within the Schengen zone.

Do Indian citizens need to obtain a Schengen Visa?

Yes, any Indian travelling to the Schengen area is required to obtain a Schengen Visa. Note: These rules differ for citizens of other countries.

Is insurance mandatory for obtaining a Schengen Visa?

Yes. Insuring health and travel risks is one of the pre-requisites for obtaining a Schengen Visa. Whether one travels for business, studies, or leisure, the European Council mandates adequate medical insurance for all. The following are the specific requirements for Schengen Visa:

  • Minimum medical insurance coverage amount of 30,000 Euros
  • Physical presence of the insurance provider in the Schengen zone
  • Valid travel insurance policy for the traveler's entire duration of stay
  • Emergency Medical Treatment
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation to India
  • Repatriation of Remains to India

Are there any other benefits of purchasing a travel insurance plan?

A travel insurance plan safeguards you from monetary losses that may arise due to accidents, sickness, or other exigencies during your stay abroad. A few of the expenses covered are:

  • Cashless Hospitalization
  • Loss of Checked in Baggage
  • Loss due to Delayed or Missed Flights
  • Reissuance of a Lost Passport
  • Legal Liability to Third Parties

Besides protecting you from financial catastrophes, a travel insurance plan provides you peace of mind. It is always wise to opt for travel insurance while planning to go abroad.

Quick Notes:

  • Geographical Zone:The Schengen zone should not be misinterpreted as Europe or European Union. UK and Ireland are not a part of the Schengen zone.
  • Insurance Period: Your travel insurance should match or preferably be longer than the duration of your Schengen Visa.
  • Insurance Sub-limits: The travel insurance plan that you have shortlisted should ideally not have sub-limits.

All travel insurance plans are not recognized by the council for Schengen countries. Get acquainted with the insurance policy and your embassy guidelines prior to applying for a Schengen Visa.

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