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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Travelling to Europe? Know All About Schengen Area

You are probably aware that touring Europe is simplified with the concept of Schengen Visa, which lets you travel to any of the member countries with just one visa. It curtails the time spent on bureaucratic procedures and makes border crossing seamless.

While, this has made travelling easy, many people don’t know that travel insurance is mandatory to visit any of these countries. Before we discuss Schengen travel insurance, let’s first understand what Schengen territory entails.

What is the Schengen zone?
26 European nations have signed the Schengen agreement to abolish multiple visa and passport requirements in order to facilitate free movement of tourists among themselves. It means, a tourist travelling to a Schengen nation, or hopping from one country to another within the Schengen area, needs to apply for only one common visa ‘Schengen Visa’, which is generally valid for 90 days or less.

Which are the Schengen countries?
Nations that have signed the Schengen Agreement are:
Source: haaretz.com

What type of visa is required for visiting Schengen countries?
You’ll require a special visa called ‘Schengen Visa’ to visit Schengen countries. However, this Visa is applicable for leisure and business trips only. For most of the time, you get only one-time entry visa. It means, if a person leaves the Schengen zone, he/she can’t re-enter without obtaining a new visa. In case the person wants to enter a Schengen country more than once, he/she needs to apply for a multiple entry visa. This Visa lets you enter one or more Schengen nations as many times as you want, within the validity of your visa.

Where to apply for Schengen Visa?
At VFS Global. You need to apply for the country which will be your first port of entry into Europe.

Why should you buy Schengen travel insurance?
According to the Schengen country law, your Schengen visa should be coupled with a travel insurance policy. Such law exists because people may fall sick during their trip and need urgent medical care. However, recuperating becomes very difficult in case vacationers are unable to afford expensive medical treatment offered by the country they are visiting. Here, travel insurance policies help a lot. Possessing Schengen travel insurance could help travelers get at least basic medical care before returning to their home country for further medical treatment.

However, your Schengen travel insurance should comply with the following three requirements:
  • Minimum coverage of Euros 30,000
  • Medical evacuation/repatriation must be included
  • Provide a cover in each of the Schengen member nations
What does Schengen travel insurance cover?

Some of the features of the policy are:
Medical Expenses (Includes medical evacuation)
Repatriation of Remains (in case of death)
Daily Allowance in Case of Hospitalization
Dental Expenses
Total Loss of Checked-In Baggage
Delay of Checked-In Baggage
Hijack Distress Allowance
Loss of Passport
Political Risk and Catastrophe Evacuation
Schengen nations offer you numerous experiences. Each place has its own beauty and to appreciate it, you need to have a complete peace of mind that you’ll be fine in case something goes wrong. So, before you start your journey, make sure to buy a comprehensive travel insurance policy to protect yourself from all unforeseen losses or damages.

Current Update: Security has been a major concern since the migrant crisis and ISIS threat has taken Europe by storm last year. While Schengen agreement is still in force, do expect more checks at borders. France had temporarily opted out of schengen scheme after terror attack- do check latest travel advisories before your departure.

Read more of my posts from Schengen area: Denmark * Sweden * Germany * Europe * Bergen-Norway

1 comments :

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