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How to choose the best travel insurance for Paris (and Europe)


After visiting 70+ countries all around the world nobody can deny that we know something about traveling. One of our few travel essentials, apart from the passport of course, is a travel insurance. For us a travel insurance is not an additional cost, it is a small investment in our health and belongings. Before leaving the house to our next destination we always take the time to choose the best travel insurance for the trip.



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 a good travel insurance 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 (une p’tite facture . .) 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?

How to choose the best travel insurance Europe?



It is the way to protect your trip essentials, including trip cancellation and interruption, medical, evacuation, baggage, and flight 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. A “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.

Important: If you need a Schengen visa to enter France or another European country in the Schengen Area, you must have international health insurance. A letter from your insurance company is required for your Schengen visa application. This needs to mention that you will be covered in Europe for any medical, evacuation and repatriation expenses during your whole stay. The Schengen travel insurance needs to cover medical expenses for at least $35,000 or 30,000 euros. No travel insurance = no Eiffel Tower.



We have listed below the most common types of travel insurance in Europe. By understanding the pros and cons of each type of travel insurance you can make the best decision for your trip to Paris.

How to choose the best travel insurance Europe


European Health Insurance Card (EHIC card)

If you are a European traveling to France or to other beautiful countries in Europe (actually to all EEA Countries + Switzerland) all you need is the EHIC card. It’s free, you can order it online, and it will basically give you the same rights as in your own country’s healthcare system.

Actually, this card is not a travel insurance. It is a healthcare card, so you will be covered only for the “medical” part of your trip. You may want to complement this coverage with a basic travel insurance for travel cancellation or problems with luggage. Online travel companies or flight companies usually propose this kind of insurance for 10-15€ when you buy tickets online.


Credit Card Travel Insurance 

Some people traveling to Paris will rely on credit card travel insurances, especially if it is a short trip (less than three months). This is a 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 may 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, 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, the credit card travel insurance may only extend to the portion which was purchased on a card, being uncovered for the rest of your trip.

On the other hand, usually, credit card travel insurances come with a rental cars coverage, both domestically and abroad. Many travelers find this part of the insurance very useful.

We usually travel with MasterCard and Visa card, both coming with a travel insurance. Personally, we prefer Visa travel insurance because they provide us with an insurance certificate (in French and English) with our names, dates of travel and country. We always print this certificate before leaving home (just in case) and this is the first thing that we showed when we needed a hospital abroad. MasterCard travel insurance does not provide this kind of certificate and I never understood what’s behind their policy (it is not easy to find the information online). Probably Mastercard travel insurance has a similar coverage than Visa travel insurance but I tend not to trust (or use) what I don’t understand.


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.

However, traditional travel insurance policies also come with many limitations. For example, travelers with a chronic illness prior to their departure may not be covered for the consequences of this illness. Most of the times, a travel insurance with pre-existing conditions is just more expensive.

Unlike credit cards, traditional travel insurance policies may not cover rental cars. This leaves the traveler to pay high fees if there is any problem.




For long trips overseas, we have tested many travel insurance plans. The one which works best for us and we go on buying is World Nomads. They have flexible plans, a great customer service, and competitive prices and we really think it is the best option for a long trip to Europe.

The cool thing about World Nomads is that they are travelers too so they created a service that covers the way they traveled.


What we like about World Nomads

Plans for every kind of traveler
World Nomads Travel Insurance is not (only) a nomad insurance or a backpacker travel insurance. World Nomads’ Standard and Explorer packs are designed for every kind of traveler, from the casual traveler to the most adventurous one. They can also propose a family travel insurance. Their plans cover more than 150 activities, also many extreme sports. There are not many extreme activities to do in Paris, apart from taking the metro during the rush hour, so probably the Standard pack will be ok if you are only traveling to Paris. Instead, if you are planning a long trip around Europe with some hiking or adventure activities, you may prefer the Explorer pack which comes with a complete coverage.

Trusted reliable underwriters is backed by a suite of strong, secure, specialist travel insurers who provide you with a great cover, 24-hour emergency assistance and the highest levels of support and claims management when you need it most.

Value for money with the cover you need
By focusing on what you need and leaving out what you don’t, World Nomads prices are some of the most competitive online. You just need to fill up the form below and compare the given quote with other travel insurance quotes.


They are flexible when you need it most
Had a change of plans? You can buy more cover or claim online while you are still away. You can even buy a World Nomads policy if you’re already traveling. During my world tour, I was extending my policy every 3 months. And with World Nomads it was very easy to do it online, on the road. How many travel insurances propose you that?

World Nomads keeps you traveling safely
All members have access to up-to-date travel safety alerts, as well as travel safety advice and tips online through the World Nomads Travel Safety Hub.

Great, committed staff 
If you have any questions about your travel insurance or travel safety in general, you can contact directly, they will help you with all your questions and doubts.

You can protect your gear
For a little extra, World Nomads can protect your bags, tech, and gear. From laptops to digital cameras, to a maximum of 1400€ (single items have a limit of 700€).


Lonely Planet, National Geographic, and many fellow travelers recommend World Nomads. You cannot be wrong with a Travel Insurance which has so many fans 😉



Of course, this is only our humble opinion. We recommend World Nomads Insurance because this is the insurance we use and trust. In the end, the best tip that we can give you to choose the best travel insurance is to make a list of what you need for your trip and take the time to do your own research. Check the best plan for your trip and don’t hesitate to contact the support staff to get additional information. Make sure you know exactly what your policy covers (and what excludes) before you purchase it. But please, TRAVEL SMART, TRAVEL SAFE and do not leave home without travel insurance.

How to choose the best travel insurance Europe

Ah, by the way:  the guy taking pictures on the roofs of Paris looks very cool but we are not sure this is something covered by any travel insurance . . 😉


We want to know: What kind of travel insurance do you usually take for your trips overseas? Do you have happy ending stories thanks to your travel insurance?  



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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