Why Take Out Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance covers you in the event of a mishap encountered in the Schengen area or on the other side of the world. Indeed, you are not protected from an accident or an illness that could go so far as to justify your repatriation to France. There are many examples: infections, transport accidents, and loss or theft of luggage. Travel insurance coverage is a combination of two components:
- The insurance component: compensation part, i.e. advance or reimbursement of costs generated by an accident, illness, damage caused to third parties, etc.
- The assistance component: help or support when you find yourself in a complicated situation (repatriation, loss or theft of your luggage, legal fees).
Abroad, medical and hospitalization costs are often much more expensive than in France, especially in the USA, Canada, and certain Asian countries. The care offered is also not always as complete as in France. In addition, abroad, you do not have your usual points of reference and do not necessarily know who to turn to in the event of the unexpected. We therefore strongly advise you to subscribe to such a contract regardless of:
- The destination of your trip.
- The duration of it.
- Your age.
- The nature of your stay abroad (holidays, professional, PVT, etc.).
In which countries is travel insurance compulsory?
As a general rule, travel insurance is not compulsory. You could therefore choose not to subscribe and still obtain the requested visa when it is required to enter the territory. But be careful in the event of claims because unforeseen expenses can considerably reduce your holiday budget. Taking out travel insurance allows you to enjoy your stay more peacefully.
Despite its optional nature, travel insurance is systematically offered to you by the agency or organization that sold you the trip; it is a legal obligation.
In many countries, the amount of medical and hospitalization costs are much higher than in France. In North America, for example, going to the emergency room will cost you a lot of money (between $350 and $700 in the USA, for example).
In addition, abroad, you do not have your usual benchmarks (language barrier, specificities of the healthcare system, etc.). Being confronted with an unforeseen situation, such as a simple deterioration of your luggage, can then be particularly stressful.
Compulsory travel insurance
The only countries that require international travel insurance to grant you a visa are China, Russia, Algeria, and Cuba. When you apply for a visa for one of these countries, you will be asked for an insurance certificate during the procedure.
Travel to Switzerland or Europe
If you are traveling to Switzerland or the European Economic Area, French Social Security may cover you. You must then apply for your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from the organization on which you depend. This allows you to have access to medical consultations and hospital care under the same conditions as the premises, but with reimbursement according to the French Social Security scales, even if this will be clearly insufficient in many European countries.
How to choose your travel insurance?
Depending on your stay abroad and your profile, our travel insurance comparator offers you the most suitable contracts. It also gives you all the information you need to make a useful choice. It is then up to you to compare the policies offered according to your real needs abroad and the criteria that are important to you.
Here are 4 points to pay particular attention to :
- The price: everyone is looking for cheap travel insurance. That said, buying a policy with price as the sole consideration is a bad idea. The question of the tariff is central, but should not on its own decide which contract to subscribe to.
- Additional guarantees: the same offers are often offered, namely compensation for medical and hospitalization expenses, repatriation assistance, and civil liability abroad. But you must also look into the question of additional guarantees, useful in the event of an unexpected event: luggage guarantee, travel cancellation insurance.
- Compensation caps: each insurer sets its own compensation caps and these maximum amounts should be considered, especially if you leave the Schengen area and go to the USA or Canada where health costs are very expensive.
- Exclusions: here again, remember to consult the exclusions provided for in the contract in order to avoid unpleasant surprises. Be aware that legally, any exclusion must necessarily be included in the general conditions of the insurance policy.
The objective is simple: to find the travel insurance contract with the best value for money or coverage for the price. If you do not wish to use an online tool, you can contact several independent insurers or banking establishments to obtain quotes on paper or by email, but the selection criteria will be the same.
To get an idea of the different travel insurance options, you can consult the table below. The prices displayed correspond to a trip lasting 2 weeks, for one person.
What are the different types of travel insurance?
- Short-stay travel insurance, for periods of less than 90 days.
- Long-term travel insurance, for all, stays longer than 3 months.
- Insurance for studies and internships abroad, for au pairs, international volunteering, and internships in companies.
- Working holiday permit insurance (PVT ), for “Working Holidays” Visas.
- expatriate insurance, for the first months of French people starting a new adventure abroad.
- Group travel insurance, which generally concerns groups of more than 10 people.
What are the travel insurance guarantees?
The guarantees depend on the travel insurance contract taken out since it is the insurer himself who determines the extent of the coverage he offers. Even if there are a multitude of guarantees, all contracts are globally articulated around the triptych:
- Medical expenses and hospitalization.
- Assistance and repatriation.
- Civil liability abroad.
When subscribing, make sure that these basic guarantees are included in the contract:
- Medical and hospitalization costs: advance or reimbursement of the costs of your consultations or hospital treatment abroad. Compensation caps vary by contract and will affect the price. Of course, the higher the ceilings, the better the coverage, especially in North America where a hospitalization can quickly amount to tens of thousands of dollars.
- Assistance and repatriation: in the event of illness, accident, or death abroad, or in the event of an event occurring in France during your stay and justifying your early return (death of a loved one, a major accident at your primary residence).
- Civil liability abroad: covers you in the event of personal or material damage caused by yourself or your dependent children. In France, it is your home insurance which generally includes a Civil Liability component, but internationally, it depends on travel insurance. This guarantee is essential because clumsiness can generate hundreds of thousands of euros of damage, for example, if you cause a traffic accident.
- The Covid guarantee: it has been strongly recommended since 2020. The Covid travel insurance, in addition to covering the usual guarantees of classic travel insurance, also covers medical expenses, hospitalization, and possible repatriation abroad in case of Covid contraction!
How does travel insurance work?
Travel insurance can be used in several situations: international travel for which insurance is compulsory, health problem, cancellation, loss of luggage, etc.
But in practice, how can you take advantage of this insurance if you need it during your stay? The first thing to do, if your condition allows it, is to contact the insurer’s assistance team (and/or the medical team), in principle available 24/7.
This number was normally communicated to you immediately after your subscription, or is otherwise in the general conditions of the insurance policy. A word of advice: always carry the insurer’s card with the user numbers.
The dedicated support team can also recommend a healthcare establishment or a practitioner (some historical insurers have a large network all over the world) in the event of an accident, for example. The functioning of travel insurance in the event of an accident is distinguished in two parts: either you can benefit from treatment in the country, or you have the possibility of being repatriated. To find out what the conditions of coverage are, you must read the contract carefully before subscription because it depends on each insurer and the level of guarantees you have selected.
What is the cost of travel insurance?
The cost of travel insurance depends on several criteria. It is now possible to make tailor-made and thus avoid paying for guarantees that you do not need. In general, the insurer will determine the cost of its contracts according to the following criteria:
- The type of trip: the nature and purpose of your stay will have a definite impact on the price of the contract.
- The duration of your trip: depending on whether you are leaving for 3 days or whether you need travel insurance for a round-the-world trip, the insurer will apply different price schedules. Some contracts also provide for an extension of cover for a certain period after your return to France. This provides you with coverage in the event of illness contracted during your trip but which occurs in France.
- The destination of your stay: are you going to Europe? Out of Europe? This will necessarily have an impact on the cost of your international travel insurance coverage. Many contracts also make a distinction between the world “including the USA and Canada” and the world “excluding the USA and Canada”. The sometimes pharaonic amount of care in these countries entails an additional risk for the insurer.
- Your age: health risks increase with age. This is reflected in the contract price. Insurers provide for pricing levels, as for the vast majority of personal insurance.
- The options were taken out such as insurance for loss or theft of luggage, and insurance for the practice of extreme sports.
- Insured persons: as a general rule, your spouse and your dependent children are also insured for tax purposes, but you should still ensure this when you take out insurance.
It is now very easy to obtain quotes for travel insurance policies online, in order to carry out a careful comparison in terms of prices and guarantees. To do this, think of online insurance brokers who are independent and allow you to have instant access to the best contracts on the market according to objective criteria, such as price, guarantees, and compensation ceilings… In addition to earning money, you save time.
Reassure Me is an online travel insurance broker. We have developed an intelligent and free travel insurance comparator that allows you to obtain personalized quotes in just a few clicks according to the nature of your project and your profile. Thanks to our travel insurance comparator, all you have to do is compare quotes to find the best travel insurance.