Everything you need to know – Robb Report


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The European Union’s recommendation that European countries are close to non-essential travel from the United States has thrown further uncertainty into travel. So far, only Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden have imposed bans on unvaccinated American travelers.

Even if you are fully vaccinated, be sure to check the quarantine and Covid testing requirements of your destination countries. With these rules in mind, you may still be planning to take advantage of the many exciting possibilities of traveling to Europe.

You might be dreaming of visiting France, reuniting with loved ones in Italy, or exploring Christmas markets in Germany.

There is a plethora of direct flights from the United States to many cities in Europe. Plus, with high-speed trains and numerous flights between countries, it’s easy to visit multiple countries with just one transatlantic flight.

If you are planning to travel to Europe, make sure you have a solid travel insurance policy.

Related: Compare and buy travel insurance for 2021

Travel cancellation insurance for Europe

You may be planning a European itinerary that includes a wide range of museum visits, historical tours, and boutique hotel stays. The reality of any large and expensive trip is that there is always the possibility that you may have to cancel the trip with little notice due to an emergency.

A comprehensive travel insurance policy will include trip cancellation insurance. This will refund you 100% of all prepaid and non-refundable deposits if you need to cancel for a covered reason. Acceptable cancellation reasons include common issues such as sudden illness, injury or death of a family member or travel companion, inclement weather, terrorism, or a serious family emergency. Even unexpected jury duty can be covered.

For example, if you have prepaid for a private gondola ride in Venice followed by a private dinner prepared by a renowned chef, your travel insurance may reimburse you if you have to cancel the trip because you injured yourself.

Many policies cover travel cancellation related to Covid. If this is of concern to you, work with a travel insurance agent to identify policies that will provide Covid-related coverage.

It is important to note that not all reasons for trip cancellation are covered by a standard insurance plan. For example, if your grandson’s university degree has changed and now conflicts with your trip to Budapest, that is not a covered reason.

If you want the highest level of flexibility when planning a luxury vacation in Europe, it’s best to add a “cancel for any reason” upgrade to your travel insurance policy.

This upgrade will allow you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before the scheduled departure date. This upgrade will add approximately 40% to the cost of your policy. As part of a request to cancel for any reason, you can usually recover 75% of the cost of your trip.

Prepare for travel delays in Europe

Unforeseen events can cause travel delay, especially for overseas travel.

“The diversity of the nations of Europe means that you can experience a lot in one trip, whether you are visiting one country or traveling to multiple destinations,” says Lisa Cheng, spokesperson for World Nomads, a company global travel insurance.

Travel delay is an important cover for multi-stop routes. “Your police might offer reimbursement for incidentals when you encounter an obstacle that prevents you from reaching your destination,” explains Cheng.

For example, if you are traveling from Barcelona to Berlin and your flight is canceled due to a mechanical problem with the airline, and you need to stay overnight in a hotel in Barcelona, ​​your police may reimburse you for meals, a hotel stay and transportation, as long as the reason for the delay is covered by your policy.

It is good to read the fine print for coverage rules such as travel delays. “Typically, the delay should be a certain time and caused by a covered event, such as a weather-related flight change or a road closure on the way to the airport,” Cheng explains. There may also be a waiting period of three to 12 hours before the start of your benefits.

European trips cut short

Planning for unfortunate events after departure is important, especially for international travel.

Trip Interruption Benefits reimburse you for unused, prepaid, non-refundable travel deposits and expenses if you need to cut your trip short and return home.

For example, if you’ve prepaid for an expensive bike tour in Amsterdam, followed by a private city tour, and you need to interrupt your trip and return home due to the sudden death of a sibling, your plan may repay those prepaid. expenses paid. It can also cover the cost of a last minute one-way plane ticket home as well as the cost of transportation to the airport.

“Along with travel interruption, travel delay is one of the most common complaints among travelers in Europe,” observes Cheng of World Nomads.

Travel medical insurance for trips to Europe

If you are an experienced traveler, you probably know that your US health insurance plan is unlikely to cover medical costs in Europe. Senior travelers should note that Medicare does not apply outside of the United States in most cases.

You will surely be doing a lot of walking when visiting cities in Europe. If you lose your footing along a sidewalk in Nice, France, while admiring the magnificent view of the water, you will need medical attention. Without a travel insurance policy, hospital costs, doctor’s visits, and ambulance costs will be your responsibility if you need medical attention.

Be sure to purchase travel insurance when you book your trip and make your initial deposits. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, many travel insurance companies will provide you with an “exclusion waiver” for the pre-existing conditions. This gives you coverage for issues that erupt with existing conditions. You must generally purchase your travel insurance plan within 14 to 21 days of booking your trip in order to obtain the exclusion waiver.

Medical evacuations during a trip to Europe

Even though many cities like Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Brussels, Barcelona, ​​Lisbon and Athens have top-notch medical centers, you want the best insurance protection for serious medical issues in Europe.

For example, if you are taking a guided tour of the cathedral in Fontainebleau, France, and your husband is having a seizure, the local clinic may not be the best place for treatment. Your travel insurance policy will cover the cost of an air ambulance medical evacuation to a hospital better equipped to provide emergency care.

The most robust travel insurance plans offer up to $ 1 million for emergency medical evacuations. For an added layer of protection, consider a membership with a medical transportation company such as Medjet or Global Rescue. These services organize your return home if you are hospitalized. Your travel insurance policy only pays to get you to the nearest suitable facility for your state, which may not be right for you.

Baggage and personal effects insurance

When you leave the house there is always a risk of theft or loss of personal belongings, and it is a bit more complicated if you are outside the United States.

Baggage and personal effects coverage under a travel insurance policy can reimburse you for lost or stolen personal effects. For example, Seven Corners’ RoundTrip Choice plan offers up to $ 2,500 per person for baggage and personal effects. Note that the refund is based on the depreciated value of your items, not the cost of their complete replacement.

Travel insurance companies also offer 24/7 emergency assistance lines. These teams can help with a wide variety of travel issues.

“Losing your passport in Europe can be a real inconvenience. On many occasions, you may need to show ID, whether checking in for a flight, renting a car, or going to a hotel, ”Cheng explains. “Travel insurance could help direct you to a consulate, where you can get a replacement or temporary passport.”

It is a high priority to take precautions to protect yourself against crime, especially in tourist spots in Europe which are crowded with crowds. Avoid costume jewelry, clothing, and handbags. Better to blend in than look like a wealthy tourist.

If you are the victim of pick-pocketing or a thief, promptly report the incident to your tour operator, the police or a hotel manager. You will need these documents to file a claim with your travel insurance company.

Erica Lamberg is a personal finance and travel writer based in the suburbs of Philadelphia. She is a regular contributor to USA Today and her writing credits include NBC News, US News & World Report, Business Insider, Oprah Magazine and Creditcards.com.


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