France Travel Insurance overview and Full Guideline – On this page, you will get it right that Travel Medical Insurance is one of the main requirements for a visa to France. Are you planning to visit Paris? Don’t forget to check off France travel insurance from your to-do list!
France Travel Insurance Full Review
Yes, getting travel insurance right before your trip to France can be morbid, because who wants to think of all the things that can go wrong? But you can never be too prepared – and if you’re applying for a Schengen visa, your France travel insurance is a must!
Do I Need Travel Insurance for France?
Anyone who needs a France Schengen Visa must have travel insurance. Without it, your visa application will be rejected. On the other hand, if you do not need a Schengen visa to enter France, then travel insurance is not mandatory.
However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get it. In fact, it is always highly advisable to get a travel insurance plan for trips abroad – regardless of visa requirements and no matter how much of a damper it puts on your excitement.
France Travel Insurance Requirements
Seeing that France is part of the Schengen Area, any travel insurance you get for your trip to France should be Schengen compliant. As such, it must meet the following requirements:
- Cover at least €30,000 for emergency medical costs and repatriation
- Be valid in the entire Schengen Area
If you are applying for a Schengen visa to enter France, and your travel insurance does not meet these requirements, your application will automatically be rejected.
How to Get Travel Insurance for France?
You can get travel insurance for France entirely online. Here are your options:
- Travel insurance brokers. They offer a multitude of plans from different travel insurance providers which you can compare side-by-side before purchasing, so you are not limited to only one insurance company.
- Directly from a company. There are insurance companies everywhere. Many of them operate online but there are probably several in your country as well. You can simply visit one of their websites or visit a local travel insurance office and get an insurance policy. In these cases, you are slightly more limited to one or two plans which the company offers.
- From your travel agency or airline. If you are going to France on an organized tour, then your travel agency may offer a plan along with the tour. Many airlines also offer travel insurance plans. Before settling in one, make sure you have the adequate coverage you need. You should also remember that travel insurance plans that tour agencies or airlines offer have hidden fees and are usually a tad over-priced.
What Does France Travel Insurance Cover?
Schengen travel insurance for France is usually focused on health coverage. However, many plans also cover trip-related incidents, such as delayed flights or trip cancellation. Here’s an overview of what coverage you can expect to find on a France travel insurance policy:
- Emergency medical treatment. If you get suddenly ill from a condition you did not have before or if you get into an accident, travel insurance covers things like:
- Doctor visits
- Prescription medication
- X-rays and lab tests
- Medical evacuation. If you get severely ill and have to be flown back to your home country for treatment.
- This covers the cost of returning the body home if the traveler happens to pass away while in France.
- Trip disruption*. If your trip is cancelled or you have to leave France earlier than expected, travel insurance reimburses your costs to a certain amount.
- Loss of belongings.* If your baggage is damaged, stolen or lost during your trip to France, travel insurance reimburses your loss to a certain amount, and usually for certain items.
- Personal liability.* If you cause damage to someone or to someone’s property while in France, travel insurance covers the resulting costs.
*These covered items are not required by the Schengen/France rules. This is why not all Schengen plans offer them.
What Does France Travel Insurance Not Cover?
These are usually excluded from most travel insurance plans for France:
- Medical treatment because of a pre-existing condition.
- Medical treatment as a result of intoxication (alcohol, drugs).
- Non-emergency medical treatment.
- Medical treatment as a result of “high risk” or adventurous sports, such as parachuting, bungee jumping, motor racing, etc.
How to Choose the Best Travel Insurance Policy for France?
To choose the best insurance policy for your trip to France, ask yourself these questions:
- Does it comply with Schengen visa insurance rules? This is especially important if you are applying for a visa.
- Am I satisfied with this coverage? Check whether it covers the minimum €30,000 and what medical treatment is covered under the policy.
- Is the company trustworthy? Check whether you are buying from a reputable company.
How Much Does France Travel Insurance Cost?
Travel insurance for France is usually a very small fraction of the overall cost of the trip. Depending on which plan you choose (and your age), a travel insurance policy for a one-week trip to France can be from $10 to $50. Here are some of the factors that affect the cost of the policy:
- Duration of the trip. The longer your trip to France is, the more the policy will cost.
- The older you are, the more you likely have to pay for travel insurance. Some companies even stop covering after a certain age, such as 80.
- Amount of coverage. A plan with maximum coverage of $50,000 will be less expensive than a policy with $100,000 coverage.
- The deductible. This is the amount of money you pay yourself before the insurance company takes over. The higher the deductible, the lower the cost of the policy and vice-versa.
Can I Use France Travel Insurance In Other Schengen Countries?
Yes, if you get a Schengen travel insurance plan for your trip to France, you can travel to other countries in the Schengen Zone and you will be covered there as well for any medical emergencies.
Can I Use France Travel Insurance In Non-Schengen Countries?
If you get a Schengen travel insurance plan, you are usually only covered in the countries which make up the Schengen Zone. Some insurance policies may also cover EU countries not included in Schengen, such as Romania, Croatia, Cyprus, and Ireland.
For How Long Does Travel Insurance for France Cover Me?
Travel insurance covers the entire duration of your trip to France, from the moment you depart until the moment you return home. When buying an insurance policy, you have to state the dates between which you will travel.
Can I Get Annual Travel Insurance for France?
Yes, many companies offer annual, multi-trip travel insurance policies for the Schengen Zone. This type of travel insurance is beneficial if you frequently travel to France or elsewhere in the Schengen Area.
If you intend to actually live in France, then you need international health insurance, not travel insurance.
International Health Insurance for France
If you are moving to France for work, studying, or joining your spouse, then you will need an international health insurance policy, also referred to as expat insurance. International insurance works in much the same way as a health insurance policy you may have in your country, but it is intended to protect you internationally.
The main difference between international and travel health insurance is that:
- An international health insurance policy in France will cover you for non-emergency medical treatment as well, including regular checkups, pre-existing conditions and maternity.
- A travel insurance policy will only cover medical treatment which is a result of emergencies or accidents.
Is Healthcare in France Expensive for Tourists?
For any small injuries or maladies you may experience while in France, such as a cold or food poisoning, you can just head to a local pharmacy or visit a doctor. In these minor instances, the doctor visit will not be expensive – the fee for a consultation is about $25 if you visit an “approved” doctor (one which has signed up and agrees to the established rates by the Social Security). Non-approved or non-contracted doctors have their own rates, which may be higher, but no higher than €70.
So, if the fees are not high, why should you bother with travel insurance for your trip to France when you do not even know that you will get sick?
Well, because if you need major medical attention while in France, such as a serious surgery, the hospitalization fees can easily become too high to pay yourself. This is why it is advisable to have an adequate travel insurance plan.
France Healthcare System
The French healthcare system is one of the best in the world. It is a universal healthcare system, funded by monthly contributions which are paid by workers via deductions in salary, by employers, and the self-employed.
In turn, when they need medical attention, 70% of the medical bill is reimbursed. And In cases of long-term or severe illness such as heart disease, cancer, or diabetes, or for persons with low income, the costs are covered 100%.
In addition to public health insurance, many French residents subscribe to private health insurance providers as well, which offer them coverage in private facilities.
Can I Use My EHIC Instead of Travel Insurance in France?
If you are a citizen of an EU State, then you can use your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to get medical treatment in French public hospitals. You will be held to the same regard as French nationals. This does not mean it entitles you to free healthcare – if a French citizen has to pay for a service, then so do you. On this note, an EHIC is not a complete substitute for travel insurance. With an EHIC, you will not be covered for evacuation or repatriation, nor for treatment in a private hospital.
You can only use an EHIC if you have a medical emergency or become suddenly ill in France, even from a pre-existing medical condition. You cannot use the Card if you went to France specifically to get medical treatment.