Buying Insurance for Schengen Visa
I know that our website name is "American Visitor Insurance", but we actually serve a wide array of travelers. You do not need to be anywhere near the US borders to use our insurance! In particular, we have many customers from across many seas who use our website to purchase insurance to meet Schengen visa insurance requirements. Indeed, we try to make this process as simple as possible for all so you can get on and make your other necessary arrangements for your trip!
Any of the policies which we sell here can be used to satisfy the Schengen visa insurance requirement. Note that for visiting some countries, you must choose a $0 deductible and the closest to the maximum required of 30,000 Euros is $50,000 US dollars. If you are not certain, we recommend purchasing the $0 deductible just in case. If you choose a $0 deductible, you would owe nothing for any medical illness or emergency you incurred while traveling which offers additional peace of mind. Note that the insurance will cover you anywhere in the world outside your home country, so even outside Schengen states, so you can purchase a policy for the entirety of your trip should you be planning to visit other countries besides Europe on your visit. All the policies at the above link will meet or exceed the requirements for the visa for all items (repatriation, emergency medical evacuation, etc). The policies are US based and will pay providers directly if they are in Europe and possibly other countries as well.
Occasionally our customers run into additional issues when trying to purchase a policy. They use the easy link above, find a good policy, but when they fill out the application, they have difficulties and get online errors which do not allow them to finish their purchase. The first thing to consider, if you are having a problem, is that your browser must allow "cookies" in order for the online application to work. Some security settings, if very high, will NOT allow them and then you will get error messages. Unfortunately for all of us, the error messages are rarely very helpful. You would think "Your system must allow cookies for this website to work" would be nice, but instead, you get a random error message. Alas! I, personally, work on a Mac computer and sometimes I have to switch my browser from Safari to Firefox. In fact, as I write this, International Medical Group (IMG) policies can only be purchased on Firefox, at least from my machine. Isn’t technology great?
The companies we use have all their applications online and purchase is made using a credit card. These websites are designed to work from anywhere in the world. However, there are a few countries for which the companies will not take an on-line payment due to a high amount of fraudulent credit cards used with that nationality. So, unfortunately, if you are in Nigeria or South Africa to name two, you will not be able to make an easy on-line payment. However, you can print out the application (usually at the back of the brochure) and fax it in with your credit card information. This will take a little longer, of course, but in this way you can make your purchase.
Another issue which sometimes occurs to our customers is that they are filling out the application and at some point, they have to choose their "home country". However, look as they may, they cannot find their country on the list. If you do not see your country listed then it is likely an embargo on your country may be in place and the US company may not sell to you for that reason. Cuba and Iran come into those categories. This may change and I keep expecting the embargo on Cuba to lift at anytime as relations are improving. Sometimes (like with Cuba) you can just find a company that will sell to you (I think, for example, at the time that I am writing this, IMG does sell to Cuba, but TokioMarine does not). But, in some cases, like Iran, none of them will. I continue to hope for more peaceful and congenial relations with all nations of our wide world to make this problem a thing of the past. However, if you are in a situation, please contact us and we may be able to assist you personally. I have assisted several Iranian customers make insurance purchases on a case by case basis.
After you successfully make your purchase, you will receive a confirmation email which has your receipt, links to your ID cards (which you should carry with you on your trip) and link to the Schengen visa letter. That letter is what the consulate will want to see to show proof of insurance when you are applying for your visa. That visa letter is considered an official document even though you print it out yourself. I have heard of situations where the consulate allowed the person to email the confirmation after the interview was done because they did not have the insurance in place beforehand. However, I would suggest that you make your purchase in advance so there is no question of being denied a visa for this simple reason (not all consulate personnel may be that generous; I know I’ve met my share of surly ones…).
Note that if your trip dates change, you can email the company and request that the policy be started earlier or later as needed; just be sure to do this BEFORE it is scheduled to begin. Also, if you contact us, we can help you with this unless you are making an additional purchase, like adding days to the policy. In that case, they will want to hear from you directly before charging your credit card further. So if you need to shorten or shift dates, we can easily help you with that. Furthermore, if, for some reason, you decide NOT to go on your trip, you can cancel the policy for a full refund as long as you do so BEFORE the start date. After the start date, you will incur a cancellation fee.
As ever, we wish you safe and happy travels!