Opportunity Knocks - Schengen Visa
Mar 19, 2020
Have you ever thought about tapping into the travel insurance market for Schengen visa holders?
It’s a large market, and these travelers are required to purchase travel insurance.
What is a Schengen Visa?
This is a visa issued by any of the 26 Schengen Area member countries, and it allows the holder to travel within the Schengen zone as though there were no borders separating the countries. It provides travel without passport checks and border control within the defined area.
How big is the market for Schengen Visa travelers?
In 2015, 14,308,392 people were issued a Schengen visa. The countries issuing the greatest number of these visas include France, Germany, and Italy.
Who needs a Schengen Visa?
Citizens of these countries are required to obtain a Schengen Visa to visit any of the Schengen member countries. There are different types of visas depending on the reason for travel, including tourist, business, student, work, and transit.
Non-U.S. citizens need to apply at the embassy or consulate representing their destination country. If staying over 90 days, the traveler must apply for a residence permit, not a Schengen visa.
U.S. citizens with a valid tourist passport can travel in the Schengen Area for up to 90 days without a Schengen visa.
Schengen Visa requires travel insurance
Anyone required to obtain a Schengen visa must have travel insurance in place while traveling in one of the Schengen countries.
Important insurance requirements:
Insurance plans for this market
- The plan must cover expenses for urgent medical attention and/or emergency hospital care or death.
- It must include benefits for repatriation for medical reasons.
- The plan maximum must be at least 30,000 euros (approximately $50,000 USD depending on currency variations).
- The traveler must purchase the coverage before they pick up their visa, or the visa can be refused.
- While not publicized on the website, we have found that most consulates require a $0 deductible.
We typically sell travel medical plans to this market, including Liaison International, Liaison Continent, and Liaison Majestic, depending on their trip length. We provide a coverage letter that the insured can take to the consulate with them. It contains all of the details that the consulates requires.
Also, our travel medical plans allow the insured to cancel the plan before the effective date of the plan. That way, if the visa is not approved, the insured will not be out any money.
A sad story
Many people do not realize they need insurance coverage for this type of travel until they visit the embassy or consulate to apply for the visa. We recently received a call from a gentleman who told us he traveled to Italy in December of 2016. Originally from India, he was working in the United States when he bought his airline tickets and flew to Italy. Sadly, when he arrived in Italy, he was not allowed to enter the country and had to return to the U.S. He contacted Seven Corners because he is planning to give his 2016 trip a try again and wanted to make sure he had the correct insurance so his Schengen Visa would be approved!
How to find this market.
Educate your clients about this type of coverage, and they will contact you for the insurance plan they need. There are many people in the United States who call us to learn about coverage for Schengen visas. Either they are a citizen of a country that must obtain the visa or they have a family member with whom they are traveling who needs it.
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