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When planning your next trip to Paris, you’ll most likely think about your flight, transfers, hotel and main activities. However, there is one important aspect of traveling that you might have forgotten: travel insurance.
One of our few travel essentials, apart from the passport, is travel insurance. For us, travel insurance is not an additional cost, it is a small investment in our health and belongings.
Even if you have health insurance at home, there are always limitations to your coverage abroad, which means hefty out-of-pocket payments, rare direct billing and the possibility that you may not be covered at all. If you choose travel insurance that suits your needs, you ensure that you and your family are protected from unprecedented incidents while traveling.
Looking for the best travel insurance to Paris, France or Europe, in general, can be quite intimidating, that’s why we are here to help!
Travel Insurance to Paris, France
We are sure that your trip to Paris will be a memorable one. But life is not predictable and in case something does not go according to plans, having good travel insurance for Paris, France, is worth the investment.
Unfortunately, things may go wrong also when you are traveling and you are having the best time of your life. Sometimes it may be a missed connection flight on a layover in Paris or somewhere else. Sometimes it can be a broken arm or many things at the same time.
Contrary to widespread belief, health care in France is not free and you will be presented with a bill (a little invoice . .) at the end of your treatment, which you’ll be expected to pay before you leave. The cost of covering these expenses can be high, maybe hundreds or thousands of euros, which you may not have at that moment. How willing are you to take risks?
What is a Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is the way to protect your trip essentials, including trip cancellation and interruption, medical expenses, evacuation, and baggage insurance.
Of course, not all activities are covered under every plan. Take the time to read the conditions carefully, what is included and what is not.
Comprehensive travel insurance includes all of the above plus expenses incurred if your trip is delayed, if you miss your flight, or if your tour company changes your itinerary.
Most Popular Types of Travel Insurance for Paris and France
We have listed below the most common types of travel insurance for Paris and France. By understanding the pros and cons of each type of travel insurance, you can choose the best Paris travel insurance for you.
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC Card) + Complements
If you are a European traveling to France or to other countries in Europe (actually to all EEA Countries + Switzerland) you may be ok with the European Health Insurance (EHIC) card. This healthcare card is free, you can order it online, and it will basically give you the same rights as in your own country’s healthcare system.
Two things to consider:
» Notice that this card is not a travel insurance policy. It is a healthcare card, so you will be covered only for the medical part of your trip. Also, it is important to understand how much (%) of the medical expenses your healthcare system covers if you have an accident abroad.
» You may want to complement this coverage with basic travel insurance for travel cancellation or problems with luggage. Online travel companies like Kayak.com or flight companies usually propose this kind of insurance for 10-15€ when you buy your flight tickets online.
Credit Card Travel Insurance
Some people traveling to Paris will rely on Credit Card Travel Insurance. This is good to go insurance for us when we do short trips in Europe because we have the European Health Card (we are in the French Social Security System).
However, credit card travel insurances have limitations and may also have hidden gaps and the level of coverage that travelers think they have is not that good or not enough for their needs.
For example, we can use our Visa travel insurance or our MasterCard travel insurance only for trips shorter than 3 months as long as we have paid things like transportation tickets with this card and we are traveling from our country of residence (France).
» Read the medical expenses coverage part carefully. Many credit card travel insurance plans have very limited coverage for medical emergencies and medical care. This means that travelers are forced to pay out of pocket if they are injured during the trip.
» Also, understand if the credit card travel insurance only extends to the portion which was purchased on with the card, or for the totality of your trip.
Traditional Travel Insurance
Traditional travel insurance plans cover the entire trip, regardless of how the traveler paid for it. With one policy and only one number to call when things go wrong, travelers can receive protection on every part of their trip, from the drive to the airport until they are back home.
While general travel insurance is helpful, it has limitations such as trip length, and the medical coverage they do provide is geared primarily towards emergencies. In addition, you’re often not eligible to buy traditional travel insurance once you’ve left your home country, that’s why companies like World Nomads and SafetyWing came to life. Amongst all these new companies, SafetyWing is our favorite one. We’ll tell you why.
SafetyWing: a Winning Combination of Medical and Travel-related Coverage
For long trips in Europe or overseas, we have tested many travel insurance plans. The one which works best for us and we will go on buying in the future is SafetyWing.
Looking for travel insurance to Paris, France? Get your travel insurance Paris with SafetyWing, a winning combination of medical and travel-related coverage.
SafetyWing is the newer entrant to the market of travel insurance. Started by nomads for nomads, long-term travelers, or remote workers, SafetyWing serves as a hybrid of both travel health insurance, as well as travel insurance.
SafetyWing has flexible plans from 5 days to 364 days. It also has great customer service, competitive prices, and we really think it is the best option for a long trip to France or Europe.
How SafetyWing Works
As a partner of insurance giant Tokio Marine, SafetyWing offers travelers insurance that is a combination of medical and travel-related coverage.
Looking for your Paris travel insurance but don’t know where to start? SafetyWing has a great online platform that makes getting started really easy.
You pay $37 for 4 weeks of coverage if you’re between 18 and 39 years old. If you are older, the premium increases according to age band.
Coverage automatically renews every four weeks for 364 days, and you can cancel at any time without penalty.
You can sign up from anywhere, from home before your trip to Paris or when you are already on the road. If you are looking for travel insurance on the go, SafetyWing is a very good option!
If something happens and you need to use your policy you have two options:
» Search on their website for a partner hospital or medical provider near to you. Make a visit, and they will directly bill SafetyWing without having you pay upfront.
» Otherwise, visit any medical establishment, pay at the time of treatment, and submit a claim for reimbursement.
The deductible on SafetyWing is $250 per policy period.
IMPORTANT: Before you purchase your travel medical insurance policy please check all the details to be sure it covers all your needs. Some of the details on this post may have changed.
What is Covered
SafetyWing provides quite extensive coverage, particularly for unexpected illness or injury. Here are some key inclusions:
» Health /Medical
- Emergency Medical Treatment
- Medical Expenses
- Emergency Dental
- Hospital Room and Board
- Family member transportation from the home country if you need an extended hospital stay
- Terrorism Evacuation
- Emergency Medical Evacuation
- Natural Disaster Accommodation
- Lost Checked Luggage
- Trip Interruption
- Travel Delay (after a 12-hour delay period requiring an unplanned overnight stay)
What’s Not Covered
Like most insurance policies, there are certain things that are not covered under SafetyWing. These exclusions are routine check-ups, pre-existing conditions (besides acute onset), and cancer treatment. This is pretty reasonable as this is travel medical insurance, not primary health insurance.
- Organized and professional sports, and adventure sports.
- Pre-trip cancellations or missed connections
- Belongings Stolen, damaged or destroyed
For full details on what is covered (and what is not) we recommend checking out their website.
Travel Insurance Stories by Travel Experts & Friends
Most people don’t think that getting travel insurance is important, but it is highly recommended to mitigate travel risks. Below, personal stories and stories by travel experts and friends who were happy to have their travel insurance when they were in trouble.
PROBLEMS ON THE ROAD
During a road trip abroad, we had a car accident. The car was destroyed and my right arm was badly cut by the glasses of the broken car window so we had to go to the nearest hospital.
In the hospital, my arm was cleaned. After some antibiotics and other shots, it was necessary to have surgery to close the wound (I could see my bone!). This was a simple operation with local anesthesia so there was no need to sleep in the hospital. However, I was asked to stay in town for the next 3 days for the dressing and some extra shots.
The travel insurance followed all the process and their doctor called me regularly to check how I was doing. For me, it was important to have a friendly and reassuring voice, from France, on the other side of the phone. Because they did not have an agreement with the hospital where I received the treatment I had to submit a claim for reimbursement but I was paid without any problem.
What happened to the car? When we rented the car we did not find it necessary to buy insurance (after all, what’s going to happen in 10 days?) so all the expenses were paid from our pockets.
AN UNEXPECTED VISIT TO THE HOSPITAL
By Claudia from My Adventures Across The World
I am a firm believer that travel insurance is the kind of thing you buy prior to traveling in the hope you never make use of it. However, there have been a few occasions in which I have had to make use of it.
The last time was while I was visiting Buenos Aires. I realized that I felt the urge to pee way too often, and quickly recognized the symptoms of a urinary tract infection.
Instead of wasting precious time trying to find a solution (I knew pharmacies would refuse to give me antibiotics if I didn’t have a prescription) I called the insurance company who localized the nearest hospital I could access. As soon as I arrived, I was admitted without having to pay a dime and I was run through some tests.
Once it was established that it was indeed a urinary infection that was causing the symptoms, I was sent to a pharmacy where I paid the equivalent of €30 for medications. This was the only sum I had to cover – I just assume the costs would have been much higher if I didn’t have travel insurance.
WHEN IT’S NECESSARY TO BOOK THE FIRST FLIGHT HOME
By Lesley from Freedom 56 Travel
My travel insurance story isn’t a happy one but really is a cautionary tale about why trip cancellation and interruption insurance is a really worthwhile investment.
I booked a 3-week trip to Europe when one of my parents was sick with a chronic but stable illness. I considered for a few days whether the cost of trip cancellation and interruption insurance was worth the additional cost but decided to go ahead with it as the added expense wasn’t great and the peace of mind it provided was helpful.
Several months later when I started the trip, my Mother’s condition was much the same as it had been months before, so I didn’t worry about taking the trip. Very sadly, 2 weeks into the trip I received a call from my sister that my Mother’s condition had deteriorated significantly and she had very little time left. I immediately booked the first flight home, but Mom passed away before I arrived.
I never regretted the expense I incurred to book a last-minute flight home as I needed to be with my family. I was surprised to find out the insurance I purchased not only reimbursed the cost of the flight but also for the trip expenses I had pre-paid for the last week of the trip I missed.
In the grief of my Mother’s passing, it was a relief not to have to worry about the financial impact of returning home so quickly. Since that time, I have always used trip cancellation and interruption insurance. I have not had to use it again but knowing that it’s there really provides peace of mind for life’s unexpected occurrences.
MEDICAL TREATMENT IN VIENNA
By Holly from Globe Blogging
Traveling through Austria I felt Bronchitis coming. As we were going into Croatia we were strongly advised that if we required medical treatment to get it in Vienna.
As a foreigner, I was told my only chance to get antibiotics was to go to the hospital.
I am sure they must have thought ‘tourist’ and seen dollar signs above my head in neon lights. I found myself lying on a bed being poked and prodded, sensors taped to my chest for an ECG, chest x-ray’s and a blood test, all in the guise of being thorough.
After spending most of the day there, they sent me away with a diagnosis of a ‘bad cough’ and told me to see a chemist. Naturally, this was after I had paid about 400 Euros.
It’s a scary thing being sick in a country where you don’t even speak the language and it’s easy to find yourself handing over money for things you probably wouldn’t have agreed to had you fully understood. While I certainly had plenty of grief making the claim with the travel insurance company, which I incidentally never used again, I was at least eventually able to get most of my money back.
SING UP FOR INSURANCE
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