Erica Lamberg | Oct 6, 2021
The European Union’s recommendation that European countries close to non-essential travel from the U.S. has thrown renewed uncertainty into travel. So far only Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden are imposing the bans on unvaccinated American travelers.
Even if you’re fully vaccinated, be sure to check the quarantine and Covid-testing requirements of your destination countries. With those rules in mind, you may still be planning to enjoy the many exciting possibilities of European travel.
You may be dreaming of visiting France, looking to reunite with relatives in Italy, or planning to explore the Christmas markets in Germany.
There are a plethora of direct flights from the U.S. to many cities in Europe. Plus, with high-speed trains and ample flights between countries, it’s easy to visit multiple countries with only one transatlantic flight.
If you are getting ready to travel to Europe, be sure to purchase a robust travel insurance policy.
You may be planning an itinerary to Europe that includes a broad mix of museum tours, historic tours and boutique hotel stays. The reality of any large and expensive trip is that there’s always a chance 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 reimburse you 100 percent for all pre-paid and non-refundable deposits if you need to cancel for a covered reason. Acceptable cancellation reasons include common problems like a sudden illness, injury or death to a family member or travel companion, severe weather, terrorism or a serious family emergency. Even unexpected jury duty may be covered.
For example, if you pre-paid for a private gondola ride in Venice followed by a private dinner prepared by a renowned chef, your travel insurance policy can reimburse you if you have to cancel the trip because you injured yourself.
Many policies cover Covid-related trip cancellation. If that’s a concern, work with a travel insurance agent to identify the policies that will provide Covid-related coverage.
It’s important to note that not all reasons are covered for trip cancellation by a standard insurance plan. For example, if your grandson’s college graduation was changed and now conflicts with your trip to Budapest, this is not a covered reason.
If you want the highest level of flexibility when planning a luxury European vacation, it’s best to add a “cancel for any reason” upgrade to your trip insurance policy.
This upgrade will allow you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before your scheduled departure date. This upgrade will add about 40 percent to your policy’s cost. Under a “cancel for any reason” claim you can generally recover 75 percent of your trip cost.
When you leave home, there’s always a risk of theft or loss of personal belongings, and it’s a bit more of a hassle if you’re out of the U.S.
Baggage and personal effects coverage within a travel insurance policy can reimburse you for lost and stolen belongings. For example, the RoundTrip Choice plan from Seven Corners provides up to $2,500 per person for baggage and belongings. Note that reimbursement is based on the depreciated value of your items, not the cost to fully replace them.
Travel insurance companies also offer 24/7 emergency assistance lines. These teams can help with a wide variety of travel problems.
“Losing your passport in Europe can be a real inconvenience. On many occasions, you may need to show ID, whether you’re checking into a flight, renting a car or checking into a hotel,” says Cheng. “Travel insurance could help direct you to a consulate, where you can get a replacement or temporary passport.”
It’s a high priority to take precautions to protect yourself against crime, especially in touristy spots in Europe that are packed with crowds. Skip the fancy jewelry, clothing and handbags. It’s better to blend in than look like a wealthy tourist.
If you’re the victim of a pickpocket or thief, promptly report the incident to your tour operator, the police or a hotel manager. You will need this documentation to file a loss claim with your travel insurance company.
Discover other coverage options for your European travel.