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Why You Need Travel Insurance for Paris


2021 France Travel Update


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08/06/21

All about travel insurance for Paris (and France) and some of the best options available in the market — including those that you can book when you’ve already started your trip.

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.

Unfortunately, anything can happen when you least expect it, so the best thing you can do for yourself is to be covered. For us, travel insurance is not an additional cost; it is a small investment in our health and belongings.

SafetyWing is our preferred choice, starting from a minimum of five days – but of course, there are other options.

Travel Insurance Paris

What Could Go Wrong in a Wonderful Place like Paris?

Paris is always a good idea, but, unfortunately, things can go wrong also in the City of Light, so it is better to play it safe. Apart from the travel-related risks (think lost luggage, delayed or canceled flights), getting sick abroad is always a possibility.

Contrary to widespread belief, health care in France is not free, and at the end of your treatment, you will get an invoice 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.

If you choose travel insurance that suits your needs, you ensure that you and your family are protected from unprecedented incidents while traveling. Having a travel insurance policy can give you peace of mind and is something most travel experts recommend.

Looking for the best travel insurance for Paris, France, can be quite intimidating, but we are here to help!

COVID-19 UPDATE: Some travel insurance providers may cover COVID-19 — as long as it was not contracted before the policy start date. Travel medical insurance provider SafetyWing covers COVID-19 and unexpected stays in quarantine for new policies.

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.

Types of Travel Insurance for Paris

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.

1.European Health Insurance Card (EHIC Card)

If you are traveling to Paris from one of the EEA Countries or 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.

However, this is a healthcare card – not a travel insurance policy –, 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. 

2.Credit Card Travel Insurance 

This is a good option to consider for weekend getaways or short trips to Paris. However, it is important to check the terms of use of your credit card insurance to understand in which cases you can use it, what it covers, and for how long.

Read the medical expenses coverage part carefully. Many credit card travel insurance plans have minimal 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. 

3.Traditional Travel Insurance

Traditional travel insurance protects your trip essentials – including lost luggage, trip cancellation, and interruption – plus medical expenses and evacuation.

What type of travel insurance you buy and with which company depends on where you’re from, where you’re traveling to, for how long, what you want to be covered for, and if you have any pre-existing medical conditions. 

SCHENGEN TRAVEL INSURANCE: if you require a visa to enter any other Schengen country, France included, it is compulsory to have travel insurance covering repatriation and medical expenses. The Schengen visa to travel to Europe will not be issued unless you provide proof of suitable coverage.

Our Favorite Short and Long Term Travel Insurance

After a huge amount of research for our own trips, we use SafetyWing and find it an excellent travel insurance policy for long and short trips.

As a partner of insurance giant Tokio Marine, SafetyWing offers travelers insurance that combines medical and travel-related coverage.

SafetyWing covers you in case of an accident or sickness while you are outside your home country, as well as coverage for travel delay, lost checked luggage, emergency response, natural disasters, and personal liability.

If you are looking for good traveling insurance for Paris, SafetyWing is worth considering. SafetyWing insures trips from 5 days to several years. You can kick off your travel insurance plan with SafetyWing any time, even when already on the road. For longer trips, it’s set up with recurring monthly payments, and you can cancel it at any time without penalty.

With SafetyWing, one young child per adult, up to 2 per family, age between 14 days and 10 years old, can be included on your insurance without added cost.

GOOD TO KNOW: Since August 2020, SafetyWing has also covered COVID-19 for new policies purchased, and since April 2021, unplanned quarantine is covered, too.

Pricing Example:

Paris travel insurance, two-week trip: for one adult (40-49 years old) from the United States, it costs $32.34 in total.

Paris travel insurance, three-week trip: for one adult (40-49 years old) from the United States, it costs $49.51 in total.

Travel Insurance Horro Stories by Travel Experts

Woman Crying

Most people don’t think that getting travel insurance is important, but it is highly recommended to mitigate travel risks. Below are personal stories and stories by travel experts and friends who were happy to have travel insurance when they were in trouble.

1.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, a nurse cleaned my arm. After some antibiotics and other shots, I needed 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 processes, 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 would happen in 10 days?), so we had to pay all the expenses from our pockets.

2. 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 before 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 urinary tract infection symptoms.

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 that localized the nearest hospital I could access. As soon as I arrived, I was admitted without paying a dime, and I was run through some tests.

Once it was established that it was indeed a urinary infection 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.

3. WHEN YOU NEED 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 whether the cost of trip cancellation and interruption insurance was worth the additional cost for a few days. Still, I 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 making the trip.  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 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.

4. 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 to get it in Vienna if we required medical treatment.

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 ‘bad cough’ diagnosis 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 a 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.

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  • Agness of Fit Travelling
    10/23/2017 at 5:33 pm

    Travel insurance is truly important and necessary! Thanks for sharing your tips. Your post is very enlightening and practical!

    • WorldInParis
      10/24/2017 at 9:25 pm

      Great that you liked it Agness 🙂

  • Lakshmi Sharath
    10/22/2017 at 9:05 am

    Very comprehensive post..coming from India we need insurance to even to apply for visa

  • Paige W
    10/12/2017 at 2:38 am

    Great post full of options for travel insurance. My husband and I always use Wold Nomads as well. People think those accidents will never happen to them, but I just broke my arm in Thailand less than a week ago.

  • Jennifer
    10/11/2017 at 9:34 am

    You’re right that travel insurance is a small investment that could literally mean the difference between getting treatment or even going bankrupt. I think the most extreme story is Dave & Deb from The Planet D. A few years ago Dave slipped and broke his back in the Amazon jungle. He had to be airlifted out and then also flown by an emergency med plane back to Canada. The costs of those flights alone would have bankrupted them had they not had travel insurance. It’s just not worth the risk to not have the insurance because you never know what could happen.

  • Megan Jerrard
    10/10/2017 at 11:34 pm

    So glad to see a post promoting travel insurance – SO much can go wrong, and the cost is so insignificant compared to what you might have to pay if you find yourself in an accident overseas. As you said, anything can happen! I used to rely on my credit card travel insurance, though as you rightly pointed out, I found that this had many hidden gaps, and it didn’t come through for me when I needed it the most. So it’s traditional travel insurance for us – have heard great things about World Nomads 🙂

  • Dave Briggs
    10/10/2017 at 5:49 pm

    It’s always good to know about the different insurance options. I have the European Health Card you mentioned, but fortunately so far, have not needed to use it. It’s there in case I do though! As for additional insurance, I normally judge country by country as to if I need it or not. Certainly for the US I take it, but most Europeans I think take for granted that we visit other countries in the EU with the health card and maybe credit card cover.

  • Susan R
    10/09/2017 at 10:40 pm

    Travel insurance is good not just for emergency cover but most importantly for peace of mind. I feel more relaxed knowing that I’ve got a backup solution in case of a problem. Thanks for sharing details of this insurance plan

  • Simon
    10/09/2017 at 4:52 pm

    We don’t leave home without travel insurance at all. I love how you explained the different types of travel insurance and the limitations each has. We believe in World Nomads travel insurance as well.

    • WorldInParis
      10/11/2017 at 7:22 pm

      Glad that you enjoyed my post (and to know that you always travel with a good cover!) 🙂

  • Gokul Raj
    10/08/2017 at 7:39 am

    I always take travel insurance before I go for a trip. Unfortunately World Nomads does not have good plans for Asian residents.

    • WorldInParis
      10/08/2017 at 7:53 pm

      Interesting feedback. I am sure that my Asian audience will appreciate that. Thanks!

  • Karen
    10/08/2017 at 6:17 am

    I’ve had two horrible experiences where my travel insurance came in handy. Unfortunately both times were very frustrating! Thanks for sharing this recommendation on World Nomads

    • WorldInParis
      10/08/2017 at 7:57 pm

      Oh, I would be interested in knowing more details about the frustration :-/

  • Rhonda Albom
    10/07/2017 at 8:30 am

    We also use World Nomads and it seems that every time we leave the country we have to use it in one way or another. I couldn’t imagine travelling without it. I second your recommendation.

    • WorldInParis
      10/08/2017 at 7:55 pm

      Thanks Rhonda for your feedback. Sorry to read that you have problems on the road when you travel, hope nothing really bad! But glad to know you had your insurance