Get the best travel insurance for Europeans

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What we talk about in this article

We’ve noticed, and maybe you have too, that most travel insurance is catered for American, Canadian, Australian, … citizen. Some of these short term or long term travel insurance companies do cater for European citizen as well, but then the rates go up! So, we decided to research the best travel insurance for Europeans

Because, in the end, anything can go wrong once you leave your home country, right? No, really! Whether you travel to faraway countries, or you travel within Europe, you always need some form of security. Most of us have some sort of insurance which covers medical assistance and health issues while we’re at home. We also have some basic or standard coverage for abroad, but what about a full fledged travel insurance for EU residents? Let’s get to the bottom of this.

In this article we’ll provide you with some of the very best travel insurance companies who cater especially for Europeans or providers who have a neat plan for us. We’ll compare the best companies and policies out there and get you the information you need to choose!

Aside from getting a decent travel insurance, also consider getting one of the best VPN services to protect your privacy and personal data when surfing online.

Quick overview: top 4 travel insurance for Europeans

What do you need from your travel insurance?

Before you can actually get your insurance, you should decide (more or less) what you need. Answer these questions to get an idea of your needs.

What do you want to cover?

Most travel insurance for Europeans will cover a few basic things:

  • travel medical coverage and emergencies
  • flight cancellation or missed flights
  • luggage loss and theft

Things that your travel insurance won’t usually cover or things you might need to pay extra for:

  • wild and crazy activities (like bungee jumping, helicopter skiing, …)
  • pre-existing health issues
  • accidents caused by yourself
  • accidents happening while drunk
  • special camera gear or sports equipment (depends on the policy)

Some insurance providers will give you the option to get insured for extra risks or activities, if you’re willing to pay more. If you want to go bungee jumping in Guadeloupe, I’d say: pay extra for the extra coverage!

How long will you be traveling?

Usually, travel insurance is limited in time. This could be for up to 1 month or 3 months at a time. If you’re going on a regular 2-week holiday, most travel insurance companies cater for you.

If you are a digital nomad, a backpacker, or a long term traveler, that’s when things tend to get tricky. You’ll be needing special insurance, provided by an innovative company that knows about modern day and digital nomadism.

Most insurance companies in Belgium will just look at you with this dead expression on their face:

“You plan to travel for a year?!?!?”

Then they go blank again! So, yes! We will also get you some of these masterminds who have thought about long term travel as well!

Where do you want to travel to?

As a European resident, the Schengen area is pretty accessible. Travel insurance for EU residents usually covers the entire EU as a standard, which is nice.

If you want to travel outside of the EU, you definitely need to check if your insurance covers that. You can expect to pay quite a bit more if you plan to travel to the USA, don’t ask me why. Some areas appear to be high risk destinations.

Again, insurance brokers might give you a weird look:

“What do you mean? Travel everywhere? Have you booked your all-inclusive hotel yet?”

So, they’re not prepared for backpackers or spontaneous travelers.

How many people do you need to insure?

Are you traveling with your wife and kids? Or, are go off to discover the world with a friend who isn’t part of your household?

People from the same household or family can usually get a discounted price as a group. If your travel buddy isn’t your partner or relative, you might need to get separate insurances. Check the specifics at the company!

What else do you need to insure?

Do you need to insure other stuff, like your laptop or your car? You should really weigh those against the risk. Insurance for your laptop might be more expensive over the years than a new laptop might cost.

If you’re a van-lifer or a nomad who travels by RV, it’s a good idea to get all of your insurance at the same place. Most travel insurance companies have some extra options to insure extra stuff. Usually, the page where you can get a quote mentions the extra things you can insure.

Important note about cover and fine prints

I know, nobody likes to read all of the small print in the policy. Do they make the letters so small on purpose?

It’s always the best way to go to read all of the small print, but nobody is blaming you if you don’t. I don’t do it either. I just agree, like you do. There’s nothing you can change about it either, so… Well.

But! The small print does explain everything about your cover. It usually only becomes interesting once something has happened and you notice that this one thing is not covered.

Most travel insurance policies have the same setup and when something happens, there has to be some sort of guidance of what’s included and what’s not.

Many travelers have the idea that their insurance policy will cover anything that goes wrong, regardless of who is responsible. With that, it could be that things go wrong, but they’re not for your insurance company to set straight. It can happen that the person responsible has to address their insurance company to cover your expenses.

I don’t have a straight out solution for any problems. Just saying that you should be careful and considerate, especially before leaving horrible reviews for claims you might not get. 🙂

travel insurance for Europeans

Different types of insurance you might want

Not all insurances are created equal. Besides, you get to choose what you want! These are the most common types of insurance.

Health insurance and medical assistance

Make sure to be insured in your home country. If you happen to be a resident in an EU country, you should be eligible for the EHIC card.

The EHIC card gives you access to basic and unplanned healthcare during a short trip to another EU country. You might feel that’s enough for you, but it is still quite basic, even when you’re staying within the EU.

Good travel health insurance will make sure that you get the chance to visit a private clinic to get urgent medical treatment. It should also include a method to get you back to your home country to get long-term treatment.

Make sure to have a decent healthcare insurance in your home country as well!

Emergency evacuation and repatriation

Most travel insurance comes with emergency evacuation and repatriation, but you can also buy that separately.

Evacuation is valid when local healthcare can’t provide the care you need or if there’s a valid reason for repatriation. Usually, you don’t get to make this decision. Doctors, healthcare providers or your insurance company will decide if you’re eligible for repatriation.

Travel related insurance

Travel related insurance usually covers lost luggage, missed flights, travel delays. But if you read the small print, you’ll find out what is covered exactly and what’s not. Some policies cover for trip interruption (when a family member passes away or you need to get home quickly for a valid reason) and restarting your trip afterwards.

Things you need in a good travel insurance are usually not the things you anticipated. There might be an earthquake, sudden political unrest in your area or something might happen to one of your travel buddies.

Get travel insurance which covers all bases, like natural disasters, political evacuation, emergency medical evacuation, etc.

Extreme sports insurance

Some providers have specific policies for people who go skiing or practising a different sport in the snow. But there are also policies for scuba divers and other sport enthusiasts.

If you plan any adrenaline inducing activities, they might need extra cover, because they aren’t usually included in your standard policy.

Battle of the titans!

All right!

Now that you have a good notion of the things you need from your travel insurance, we’ll get into the deep. There are a few companies who provide travel insurance for Europeans. Though it seems they all offer slightly different things.

We took the time to check them all out and did our complete research to find out which ones are good and which ones aren’t.

Spoiler: each travel insurance company has advantages and disadvantages. Usually, it depends on the things you need specifically to find out which travel insurance is right for you!

1 - SafetyWing

SafetyWing is an innovative travel insurance company. They offer Nomad Insurance which you can pay on a month to month basis, without specifying travel dates or anything. Some would call that revolutionary, especially when you compare them with regular old-school insurance companies.

SafetyWing has tons of advantages and they’re a good choice if you’re looking for long-term travel insurance or digital nomad travel insurance. Plus, this company also caters for vanlife coverage!

General information

  • Located in the United States
  • Established in 2017
  • Underwriter: Various (Lloyds of London)

For who?

  • EU residents
  • Residents from all over the world

Types of insurances

  • Nomad Insurance on a month to month basis gets you basic medical insurance and the regular travel insurance (without extreme sport extras)
  • Remote health is an amazing plan that takes care of all your medical needs, anywhere in the world.

What’s covered?

  • The Nomad insurance covers a lot of travel based things:
    • Emergency medical assistance outside of your home country
    • 30 days medical insurance in your home country every 90 days abroad
    • Travel delays
    • Lost luggage (no laptops, camera’s , or smartphones)
    • Political evacuation
    • Medical emergency evacuation
    • Personal liability
  • The Remote Health insurance is mainly focused on medical insurance
    • All medical treatments and needs worldwide
    • Dental add-on
    • 0% deductible add-on
    • Outpatient add-on

Extra covers you can purchase

The extra cover at Safety Wing is one that includes insurance in the US.

What’s not covered?

SafetyWing plan doesn’t cover the following dangerous activities: base jumping, cliff diving, martial arts, mountaineering, scuba diving below 30 metres, bungee jumping, canyoning, paragliding, climbing over 4000 metres, …

Maximum trip duration

There’s no limits to your trip duration.

The Nomad insurance will cover you as long as the plan is running.

With the Remote Health plan, you have to be in your home country for more days than being abroad. The Remote Health plan actually replaces your home medical insurance and adds the international factor.

Age restrictions

Insurance policies at SafetyWing are divided into age groups. Your policy will get gradually more expensive the older you get.

On their website, the maximum age is 69 years old.

Pre-existing medical conditions

Some pre-existing medical conditions are covered, while others are not. You have to provide information about your condition when signing up.

The Remote Health plan covers more pre-existing medical conditions than the Nomad Insurance plan.

Extra options

You can get the SafetyWing coverage while traveling. So, if you already abroad, you can still get covered.

A nice extra with SafetyWing, is the fact that you’re also covered in your home country, which is a great option. Most policies don’t cover you in your home country.

With the Nomad insurance, you can go home for 30 days every 90 days and have a medical cover. With the Remote Health plan, you get complete medical cover in your home country.

The Remote Health insurance also covers Covid-19.

Final words: SafetyWing travel insurance reviews

SafetyWing gets an all-round score of 4,1 on Trustpilot. They got fewer reviews, but they haven’t been in business as long as some of the others have.

I contacted SafetyWing through their website chat and got assistance within minutes. All my questions were answered quickly and I’m very interested in their policies.

I believe that SafetyWing offers a really good plan, especially when you combine both insurances. If you get the Remote Health plan, you can easily get rid of your medical insurance in your home country, because the Remote Health plan covers really anything you can think of!

2 - True Traveller

True Traveller is an insurance company which understands the needs of travelers very well. They offer quite a few different policy options for every type of traveler. As some other companies offer Schengen visa insurance policies, True Traveller offers IEC insurance for Canada. So, no matter your travel wish list, you’ll probably find the right fit with them!

True Traveller has a wide variety of adventure sports and adrenaline inducing activities you can add to your package. If you plan on climbing 6000 meter mountains, you can get the right insurance for than in a few clicks.

General information

  • Located in the UK
  • Established in 2010
  • Underwriter: AWP P&C (part of Allianz)

For who?

  • EU residents
  • Residents of the UK
  • Residents of all countries in the EEA

Types of insurances

  • General travel insurance for a length up to 18 months. You get to choose all your favourite options while you go through the inquiry process.
  • One-way travel insurance doesn’t require a return ticket home.
  • Multi-trip travel insurance is an annual travel insurance which covers every trip you make during the year. Separate trips can last up to 10 weeks each.
  • Gap Year travel insurance is a policy that runs for an entire year (or longer if you like). With this package, you’ll also be covered while volunteering or while working abroad.
  • The Winter sports insurance covers most snow activities you might do while abroad. But there’s also a scuba diving insurance, and a trekking insurance. So, any sport you like!
  • Already traveling insurance: forgot to get insurance before you left? That’s all right!

What’s covered

The True Traveller insurance policies can be adapted any way you want. There are a lot of extra options you can choose, depending on your wishes and needs. All policies have a standard cover for:

  • Emergency Medical Assistance
  • 90+ adventurous activities covered
  • Personal liability
  • Optional extra activities
  • Optional luggage cover
  • Optional cover for electronics and gadgets

Extra covers you can purchase

This is quite a long list, so we have cut it down to the important stuff! You can add almost anything you can think of in any of the packages.

  • Adventure sports package – Extreme package – Ultimate pack: all of these are different activities you might plan on doing while traveling!
  • Winter sports
  • Luggage, money and documents
  • Valuable electronics
  • Collision damage waiver for rental cars
  • Insurance for one-way travel without a return ticket
  • Get insured while already traveling
  • Travel disruption and travel resumption

Maximum trip duration

The maximum length of a policy is 18 months. But don’t let that stop you! You can always extend your cover if you’re not done traveling yet!

Age restrictions

The age limit to get an insurance policy at True Traveller is 65 years of age. Most policies are centered around adventurous activity and backpacker journeys.

Pre-existing medical conditions

You need to declare existing medical conditions before getting your insurance policy. Some conditions are included and shouldn’t be an issue. Other conditions might cause your policy price to rise.

Extra options

We already mentioned the ‘Already traveling’ policy, which is a great feature.

You can also choose the region you want to travel to during the inquiry process. You can choose for travel within Europe, but there’s also Australia and New Zealand, Worldwide (without the US and Canada) or really Worldwide!

Final words: True Traveller travel insurance reviews

True Traveller really gets what travelers need, and that shows in their Trustpilot review score, which is a 4.8. Travelers are happy about their great customer service.

If you’re looking for long-term travel insurance or digital nomad insurance, make sure to check out the True Traveller policies first!

3 - Globelink International

Globelink International is an independent insurance company, which has been providing insurance for travelers for over 20 years. They are one of the only providers who insures people over 70 years of age and they have a wide variety of different plans.

General information

  • Located in the United Kingdom
  • Established in 1996
  • Underwriter: Various (Lloyds of London, …)

For who?

  • EU residents
  • EEA residents
  • Residents of the UK

Types of insurances

  • Travel insurance (various options)
    • Winter sports travel insurance with extra cover for sports equipment, cancellations and injuries while doing winter sports
    • Adventure travel insurance. This policy can be extended to your wished. There’s a standard pack of activities that are included, but you can purchase an extended pack with more adventurous sports
    • Backpacker insurance for up to 15 months. This insurance is available for people up to 51 years old and it covers backpacker activities.
    • Expat insurance is a type of insurance you can get without having residential documents. It covers expats who are residing within the EU.
    • Annual travel insurance is an insurance policy for people who travel multiple times per year. So it’s actually a multi-trip insurance, rather than an insurance for long term travel.
    • Travel insurance for seniors is a single trip travel insurance for EU residents up to 89 years old. Existing medical conditions are mostly covered.
    • If you’re not sure which insurance is best for you, the Wizard might help you out!
  • Car hire excess insurance (Collision damage waiver insurance) This is a car hire insurance, which covers for accidents and damage.

Standard covered

Things that are covered, vary in each of the different policies. So, you have a wide range of policies to choose from when you’re planning your trip. The basic coverage of all plans with Globelink cover this:

  • Cruise cover
  • 100+ sports and activities
  • Emergency repatriation
  • Cancellation
  • Emergency medical expenses
  • Baggage
  • Personal liability

Extra covers you can purchase

If the standard policy cover doesn’t meet your requirements, you can purchase extra cover for certain things you need:

  • Adventure activities
  • Cover for specific valuable items
  • Repatriation to countries outside the EU
  • Return home option

Maximum trip duration

The maximum trip duration varies, depending on the policy you choose. You can get various policies with different wordings and trip limits. These are some of the options:

  • 15 months for a single trip comprehensive plan or backpacking trip
  • 60 days for a single trip in economy or regular insurance
  • 120 days for separate trips in the annual plan

Geographical limits

When selecting your insurance policy, you get to choose from 3 major zones you want to insure.

  • Europe
  • Worldwide excl. USA, Canada, Caribbean Islands, Costa Rica, Japan, and Mexico
  • All countries worldwide

Age restrictions

You can use the Globelink travel insurance for Europeans up until you’re 89 years old.

Pre-existing medical conditions

We already saw that most insurance companies take their hands of pre-existing medical conditions, which can be very annoying for people who have a medical condition. Globelink covers tons of pre-existing conditions. You can check those at their website.

Extra options

The Already traveling insurance is a travel insurance package you can still start up while you’re already abroad. This is the type of policy people often seek and Globelink has it on offer! So, for people who seek insurance, while already on the road, Globelink is a good option.

The backpacker insurance is especially cut out for backpackers and the activities that match a typical backpacking journey.

A winter sports policy is awesome for doing more adventurous activities in the snow. This policy covers a lot of snow activities that are excluded from most other travel insurance policies.

The adventure travel package is also a great addition, as you get to select a plan according to the types of sports you plan on doing. So, if you want to go helicopter skiing or cenote diving, check out this one! The plan is divided into 4 ‘hazardous pursuits’ categories, which each cover a plethora of adventure sports.

Globelink International offers a wide variety of options in each of the different policies. You can always choose the economic version of the policy or get a premium policy with a better coverage.

Final words: Globelink travel insurance reviews

If you wonder how customers respond to the Globelink services, let’s discuss that shortly over here.

Globelink International gets mostly positive reviews. On Trustpilot, they get a 4,4 star review score.

They have a lot of happy customers and a happy audience. Their policies are easy to book and you can get your insurance policy ready within minutes.

Their online platform and helpdesk are easy to use and straight forward.

Globelink is a great choice when it comes to travel insurance for Europeans!

4 - Europ Assistance

Europ Assistance is a well known and established travel insurance group who started out in 1963. So, you can be sure they are experienced in insurances. They offer a variety of different insurances with different options and possibilities.

General information

  • Located in France
  • Established in 1963

For who?

  • EU residents

Types of insurances

  • Temporary Travel Insurance is a policy for the duration of 1 trip. You get to choose from tons of extras and options, like citytrip, winter sports, World coverage, …
  • Annual Travel Insurance is a long term travel insurance for multiple trips per year. Separate trip in the annual plan can last up to 3 months.

What's covered

You get to choose what you want to cover. Change your plan from a Light plan to a VIP plan to get access to more options. This is one of the great advantages of the Europ Assistance travel insurance: you get to select exactly what you need!

Extra covers you can purchase

  • Assistance for ski trips
  • Search and rescue
  • Luggage insurance
  • Insurance for your vehicle
  • Car assistance within Europe

Maximum trip duration

The usual maximum trip duration is either 45 days or 3 months.

If you plan on going on a long backpacking or digital nomad trip, you can also get the Long Trip Insurance, which covers 364 days in a row.

Age restrictions

Europ Assistance doesn’t use age restrictions. You’re welcome to use their services at any age.

Extra options

Europ Assistance has tons of extra options you can discover once you start filling in the specs. You can easily add a car, caravan or RV to your insurance, which then means you will get help when your car breaks down somewhere around Europe.

Final words: Europ Assistance travel insurance reviews

Europ Assistance is an established travel insurance company. They have been in business for decades and there is no slowing them down. You can rest assured that you’re in good hands with their plans!

Frequently asked questions about travel insurance for EU residents

Nobody will force you to get travel insurance. That is, unless you are obligated to get travel insurance in order to get a visa for a specific country. For Schengen area, you must have insurance in order to get your visa.

Other than that, you’re free to do what you want.

But!! We recommend getting travel insurance in order to be prepared. Nobody leaves on a trip, thinking they will get injured or an earthquake will happen, but it might. A lot of travelers, backpackers, and digital nomad end up getting medical treatment abroad, whether that’s for a sprained ankle, a root canal treatment or something worse.

If you don’t feel like paying these expenses from your own pocket money, travel insurance for Europeans (or anyone else) is definitely a safe choice.

Some people are getting their travel insurance months before their departure date. You could call these people ‘well prepared’. Most travel insurance companies will allow you to get your insurance while you’re already on the road. So, it’s an option to wait for a long time!

In general terms, you should get your travel insurance before you depart.


Your European Health Insurance Card only covers basic medical assistance. EHIC provides you with state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in another EU country.

An EHIC or European Health Insurance Card is a free card you can get as an EU resident. It gives you access to state provided healthcare during a temporary stay in another EU country. You’ll get the same access as locals will get. The conditions and cost should be similar to those in your home country. It’s only valid for unplanned healthcare.

Read again: during a temporary stay.

The EHIC card is personal. It’s valid for 1 year and you can get it with your local health insurance provider.

There’s a lot of stuff that’s not covered by the EHIC card.

You won’t have access to:

  • Helicopter rescue
  • Private healthcare is not covered (only public hospitals)
  • Planned treatments abroad
  • Repatriation is not included
  • Healthcare depends on local rules and laws

As a non EU-resident, you need to apply for a Schengen visa before entering the Schengen area. In order to obtain your visa, you’ll also need a compliant insurance policy.

Some of the providers we checked out, have a Schengen visa insurance policy, which is completely compliant for your visa application process.

First of all: get to a hospital and take all your legal documents with you. Make sure to have your passport and if you have it: your travel insurance card.

Then, make sure to let the doctor or nurse know about your insurance policy. The sooner they can connect you to your policy, the better.

In some cases, you’ll have to pay the cost of everything out of your pocket before filling in a claim. Make sure to have a decent travel card to pay for everything you need.

In other cases, your insurance company will take care of everything. Depending on the policy you have or the company you’re with, they will have guidelines to follow.

But always: the patient or victim needs to get help first. Payments and insurance come later.

Take pictures of all receipts you have during the time in and around the hospital. Those are not only hospital ills, but also bills for meals, drinks, transportation, and of course medical bills. Quite a few insurance providers will reimburse expenses you make at the hospital.

General information

Conclusion: best travel insurance for Europeans

There’s not just 1 perfect travel insurance which will fit the needs for every type of traveler. All depends on what you plan on doing, where you want to go, and for how long.

A family of 4 who want to travel to Greece for 14 days will need a completely different insurance than a 20 year old backpacker who isn’t even sure where to go just yet, a vanlife couple who want to slowly travel through Europe in their van or a lonely traveler exploring Europe by train. That’s why it’s so difficult to determine the perfect policy or plan.

We recommend checking out the companies we mentioned in this article. They all have their specialty and the right one is definitely somewhere out there.

One thing you should know, is that it will always cost you some money to cover the potentially dark days during your travels. We sincerely hope you never need to claim insurance, but you never know.

Plus: don’t forget to bring a good international travel card with you!

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