Schengen travel insurance
One of the advantages of creating the European Union was the removal of borders between countries thanks to the Schengen Agreement, which has been in force since 1995
The free movement of people, goods, services and capital is one of the main pillars of the European Union. This was all materialised in the Schengen Agreement. Third-country nationals that want to enjoy the agreement's advantages must meet a series of requirements, among of which is taking out a Schengen travel insurance policy.
This agreement is named after the Luxembourg town in which it was signed in 1985, although it entered into force ten years later in 1995. By entering this agreement, any citizen from any of the 26 countries comprising the agreement is free to move within all others without any restrictions.
The following are Schengen member countries:
Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Sweden and Switzerland.
Of all these, original members are Western Germany, Belgium, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. There are also other countries with exceptions. The United Kingdom and Ireland have certain restrictions; Norway, Iceland and Switzerland are part of the Schengen Agreement but not of the European Union; and others, such as Bulgaria, Romania and Cyprus, are awaiting to meet the requirements to belong to this group.
Any country that wishes to join the European Union in the future will have to accept this agreement.
Schengen travel insurance for non-resident foreigners
The Schengen Agreement allows the free movement of citizens from any of the member countries within any country that has entered the agreement. Citizens from third countries that are not part of the agreement must meet a series of requirements in order to enjoy the advantages provided by the agreement.
They must have a valid passport and a visa known as a Schengen visa. For the visa to be valid, the applicant must take out a Schengen travel insurance policy that covers basic expenses, such as repatriation in the event of an emergency, legal assistance, medical assistance and accident assistance, for at least 30,000 euros. It is also advisable that the insurance company offering the Schengen travel insurance has a branch in Europe so the insurance policy is valid.
As whenever we take out a health insurance, it is important to check the coverage offered, the premium to be paid and, especially, if the insurance policy meets the requirements set forth to obtain the Schengen visa.
Once we have obtained the Schengen travel insurance policy and visa, we can enjoy the advantages of free movement within any member country.
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