5 Tips for Buying Schengen Visa Travel Insurance

It's a good idea to have at least some base level coverage when traveling around Europe.
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Written by Carissa Rawson
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Edited by Kevin Berry
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Travel insurance can be a very important accompaniment to your trip, especially when you’re traveling throughout multiple countries. Europe is a prime example of this, where the border-free Schengen zone allows you to traverse multiple countries without passing passport control. Finding Schengen visa travel insurance isn’t always simple, however, and you’ll want to ensure that you have coverage regardless of your location.

There are plenty of things to think about before buying travel insurance when traveling throughout Europe, including: the coverage you’re looking for, how you’ll be paying and whether your credit card already offers insurance.

Let’s take a look at Schengen travel insurance and five easy tips for making sure you’re good to go — no matter where you travel within the region.

1. Decide which type of insurance you’d like

Although there aren’t generally any Schengen visa travel insurance requirements, there are multiple types of travel insurance coverage available depending on your needs. Consider carefully the type of coverage you’re looking for. Common types includes:

Note that the U.K. left the Schengen zone a few years ago, so you’ll want to double-check whether coverage in the U.K. is valid for your travel insurance policy.

2. Get multiple quotes

It’s always in your best interest to get multiple quotes before purchasing insurance. The amount you’ll pay will be heavily dependent on the type of coverage you receive, its length and any deductibles that you may have.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Cancel For Any Reason insurance, or CFAR, allows you to recoup most or all of your nonrefundable costs — no matter why you’ve chosen not to travel.

There are plenty of different websites that’ll allow you to compare different insurance plans such as TravelInsurance.com or SquareMouth.com (a NerdWallet partner), which will gather together multiple quotes in one easy search.

There are several details you’ll need to have on hand when looking for quotes. These include:

  • The total cost of your trip.

  • Your destination.

  • Your dates of travel.

  • The number of travelers.

  • The age of travelers.

  • Where you live.

  • When you booked your trip.

Once you’ve got all your information gathered together, it’s simple to find a policy that fits your need for travel insurance in the Schengen zone on one of the comparison websites.

3. Use this as an opportunity to maximize credit card bonus points

If you’re planning a vacation to Europe, hopefully you’ve already acquired a travel credit card or two. However, cards that focus on travel rewards won’t necessarily optimize insurance purchases.

In this case, you’ll want to double down on rewards with a card that’ll maximize everyday spend. These cards will give you bonus points on all purchases, no matter their category. Great options for this include:

🤓Nerdy Tip

Pair your Chase Freedom Unlimited® card with a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card card or Chase Sapphire Reserve® card to unlock the full suite of Chase Ultimate Rewards® transfer partners. This strategy is sometimes referred to as the Chase Trifecta.

While you likely won’t be earning a ton of points for your travel insurance purchase (unless your costs are exorbitantly high), maximizing your earnings is always a good idea. Don’t leave money on the table.

4. Double-check the policy before purchasing

Not all travel insurance policies are created equal. This is probably no great revelation, but it’s definitely something of which you’ll want to be aware.

This is especially pertinent when it comes to the current travel climate in the COVID-19 era. While you may purchase a health insurance plan that covers most medical costs, it may specifically exclude those incurred by COVID-19. And even if it does reimburse you for any hospital costs, it may not pay for a forced quarantine in the event of illness.

These are things you’ll want to check for when buying travel insurance for any trip. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of your policy carefully, and if there’s very specific coverage you’re looking for (such as that offering protection in the event you catch COVID-19), you can often use search filters to narrow down your options.

5. Consider using a credit card that provides trip insurance instead of buying a new policy

One great feature of travel credit cards is the complimentary trip insurance they often provide. In order for your trip to be eligible for coverage, you’ll need to use the card to pay for your trip. In exchange, however, you can receive some pretty powerful benefits without needing to pay out of pocket.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card card, for example, provides primary rental car insurance. This means that when you decline the insurance offered at the counter, your entire rental will be covered against collision up to the actual value of the rental car.

What’s most powerful about this feature is that, as primary, it comes before your own personal insurance — possibly saving you expensive premium jumps and claims on your policy.

Other cards that include powerful travel insurance protection such as interruption, cancellation or baggage coverage include The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card. Terms apply.

If you’re looking to buy travel insurance for a Schengen visa

It makes sense to purchase travel insurance in many circumstances, especially with the uncertainty in today’s travel world. Take advantage of these five tips to make sure you’re properly prepared for your trip — whether you’re heading to France, Finland or any of the over two dozen Schengen countries.

To view rates and fees of The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, see this page.
To view rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, see this page.

Insurance Benefit: Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance

  • The maximum benefit amount for Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance is $10,000 per Covered Trip and $20,000 per Eligible Card per 12 consecutive month period.

  • Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply.

  • Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details.

  • Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.

Insurance Benefit: Baggage Insurance Plan

  • Baggage Insurance Plan coverage can be in effect for Covered Persons for eligible lost, damaged, or stolen Baggage during their travel on a Common Carrier Vehicle (e.g., plane, train, ship, or bus) when the Entire Fare for a ticket for the trip (one-way or round-trip) is charged to an Eligible Card. Coverage can be provided for up to $2,000 for checked Baggage and up to a combined maximum of $3,000 for checked and carry-on Baggage, in excess of coverage provided by the Common Carrier. The coverage is also subject to a $3,000 aggregate limit per Covered Trip. For New York State residents, there is a $2,000 per bag/suitcase limit for each Covered Person with a $10,000 aggregate maximum for all Covered Persons per Covered Trip.

  • Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply.

  • Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details.

  • Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024:

Cards for Travel Insurance from our Partners
Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-10x

Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel℠ immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Points

Intro offer

60,000

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Points
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-5x

5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.

Points

Intro offer

60,000

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Points
Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

on Chase's website

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
4.2
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-2x

Earn 2X points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare. Earn 2X points on internet, cable, and phone services, and select streaming. Earn 1X points on all other purchases.

Points

Intro offer

50,000

Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Points
See more cards
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