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France Travel Insurance Advice

France - Travel Insurance

Safety Advice Travel Insurance for Visitors to France

France is a leading travel destination for world travelers. It is the 4th most popular destination in the world for American students studying abroad (IIE). And the capital city, Paris, is the third most visited spot in the world. With cosmopolitan cities, medieval villages, and legendary wine regions, France is one of the most popular expat destinations in the world. On the other hand, according to the Global Peace Index , France is ranked 51 out of 163 countries and has the lowest rating of all countries in Europe.  So before you run away to a lavender field in Provence,  take a moment to review important safety tips and travel insurance advice for visitors to France .

French System and Travel Insurance Options

France has excellent public services. It is first in the world in the World Health Organization’s ranking of healthcare efficiency. The country operates on a system of universal cover funded by taxation on salaries. Services are not limited to French citizens. As of 2016, anyone who has resided in France as an expat in a “stable and regular manner” for three months and intends to legally remain in France on a permanent basis is eligible to apply for public coverage. As a result, there is now a new application process for expats.

Read: Healthcare System in France

Travel Insurance for Visitors to France

As stated above, France has both excellent medical facilities and, at the same time, is one of the riskier places to visit in Europe due to the above-average crime and risk of terrorism. A good travel insurance plan for visitors to France will include coverage for trip cancellation, terror, and lost or stolen items. For a list of recommended providers, see our list of the best travel insurance companies .

For most applicants the Atlas Travel Insurance plan is an excellent option, providing affordable coverage and a wide range of benefits.

WorldTrips Atlas travel insurance

  • Emergency medical, evacuation, repatriation benefits
  • Choose between the basic and more extensive coverage
  • Meets Schengen visa insurance requirements
  • 24/7 worldwide travel and emergency medical assistance

Travel Insurance for US Citizens Traveling to France

We recommend the Seven Corners trip cancellation plan to US citizens traveling abroad. An alternative option would be the GeoBlue Voyager plan which offers comprehensive travel medical benefits but does not include trip cancellation benefits.

Seven Corners Insurance

Seven Corners Trip Protection Insurance

  • Comprehensive trip protection for U.S. residents traveling abroad.
  • Optional rental car collision coverage available.
  • Optional Cancel for Any Reason coverage available (if eligible).

BCBS Travel Insurance

GeoBlue Voyager Plan

  • For U.S. citizens up to age 95
  • Includes pregnancy coverage, baggage loss, trip interruption & more
  • 24/7/365 service and assistance

Vaccines Required of Visitors to France

There are no mandatory vaccinations for travel to France. All travelers should travel with updated  routine vaccinations , including measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and a yearly flu shot.

Rabies is present in France. Adventure travelers who plan on exploring French caves should speak with their doctor about a preventative vaccine.

Food and water safety standards in France are similarly high as in other developed nations. Tap water is safe to drink. Pregnant women should speak with a physician to see if there are any restrictions for consuming French unpasteurized cheese.

Emergency Travel Assistance

Hotel Dieu : Adjacent to the Notre Dame Basilica in central Paris, this easy-to-find hospital is well-regarded and has experience treating tourists.

The American Hospital , on the outskirts of Western Paris, is a private bilingual facility. It is more expensive than other providers in Paris, but their familiarity with American health insurance procedures may make you feel more comfortable.

Hôpital Necker – Enfants Malades , Paris’ leading pediatric hospital, is a teaching facility affiliated with the University of Paris. It is the oldest pediatric hospital in the world.

The University Hospital of Bordeaux  receives top marks as the best French hospital. Rounding out the top 5 are CHU Lille, CHU Toulouse, Strasbourg University Hospital, and the Pitié-Salpêtrière in Paris.

Furthermore, the service  SOS Médecins provides house visits with a doctor for 50-70 Euros, 24 hours a day. This means you don’t have to leave your house when you’re feeling unwell. It is perfect for non-life-threatening emergencies.

Finally, in French pharmacies, staff can treat minor medical concerns. They can also provide extra help, such as requesting an ambulance. The staff can also recommend a number of assistance programs, including:

  • Protection Civile Paris (List of French emergency services, in French)
  • SOS Help (English-speaking listening & counseling line)

Insurance Coverage for Internationals Living in France

France does provide coverage to its citizens and to foreigners after a certain period of residency. Many citizens and foreigners choose to supplement their local coverage with a global insurance plan.

Read: French Health Insurance for Expats in France

Extra Travel Insurance Considerations

France currently operates on a reimbursement program. Therefore, you pay for the cost of your treatment and then apply for reimbursement. A regular doctor’s visit is just 23 Euros and typically 70% of that cost will be returned to you. This system is being phased out. As a result, by the end of 2017, most doctors will bill the government or insurer directly.

If you need global coverage, your application is rejected, or if your time in France will amount to less than 50% of the year, you will require privately held international health insurance to cover your needs.

Embrace The French Lifestyle

People in France rank 10th among all nations for life expectancy. Thus, for ex-pats looking for a permanent relocation, you couldn’t ask for a healthier spot to enjoy the finer things in life. Make the most of your new home-away-from-home and embrace the French joie de vivre!

  • American Travel Insurance for visits to the USA
  • Canada Travel Insurance for Visitors to Canada
  • China Travel Insurance Plans

Get a fast, free, international insurance quote.

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Health insurance of a foreigner in france.

Verified 15 February 2024 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden

Are you a foreigner and are you planning to settle in France? Health insurance rights differ if you are a citizen of a European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Switzerland, the United Kingdom or another country. The rules applicable and the steps to be taken depend on your status (employee, pensioner, student, jobseeker). Here are the rules to know.

European (European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland)

United kingdom, other country.

It's not the same whether you have the EHIC or not.

Répondez aux questions successives et les réponses s’afficheront automatiquement

You have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or a temporary replacement certificate

You got it from the social welfare agency from your country of origin an EHIC.

You can receive reimbursement for your medically necessary care in France under the same conditions as if you were in your country.

Your card must be valid at least until the end of the current academic year.

You do not have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or a temporary replacement certificate

You must register on the website student-foreigner.ameli.fr.

Registration of a foreigner student to Social Security

The approach differs depending on whether or not you receive unemployment benefits from your last State of affiliation.

You receive unemployment benefits from the last State of affiliation

For care, you present to the health insurance fund in France your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) .

You do not receive unemployment benefits from the last State of affiliation

Before you leave , you will request from your health insurance organization a certificate of transfer of the rights to benefits from the health insurance in case a continuation of the right of this plan would be provided for:

  • EHIC or the certificate in its place
  • Or the S1 portable document

If there is no provision for legal maintenance, you contact the health insurance of your place of residence in France to determine under what conditions you may be eligible for social insurance.

The approach is not the same whether you are expatriate or seconded.

If you are an expatriate

If you come to work and reside in France as an expatriate, you are insured in France (with exceptions, for example, if you are a public servant).

You are no longer insured in your country of origin and must contribute to the French social security system.

Under the universal health protection (Puma) , you shall be entitled to the payment of your health costs without waiting period. You don't have to have worked a certain number of hours.

It is up to your employer to take the steps to open your rights with the French Health Insurance.

Before you leave for France , you must obtain form E 104 from your sponsoring organization. It is a certificate that totals, in your previous country, periods:

  • Or residence

It must be returned to your French health insurance fund.

These periods are taken into account as French insurance periods for the opening of your rights to sickness insurance benefits in France.

If they have been residing in France with you since more than 3 months , your family members are covered by the French Health Insurance and are reimbursed for health care, medical treatment and hospitalization.

If they remain resident in your country of origin , you request the form S1 provided by your French Health Insurance.

Your family members' health insurance in the State of residence will check whether they are family members under local law. If so, this form will allow your family members to benefit in their country of residence from health insurance benefits.

If you're detached

If you are temporarily posted by your employer ( Maximum 24 months unless derogated) in France and you reside there, you continue to be covered by the social security scheme of your country of origin.

In order to benefit from the care that will be provided to you in France as if you were affiliated to it, you must register for the French Social Security system.

For that, you must, before you leave , request document S1. You should ask the health insurance organization you report to in your country of origin.

Once in France However, it must be handed over to the health insurance fund of your home. You will then benefit from the support for expenses in France.

You will continue to benefit from your health insurance for all care received in your country of origin.

Your family members who accompany you to France can also benefit, under certain conditions, from the reimbursement of the care provided to them in France.

Please note

You are posted to France from Switzerland  ? If you transfer your residence to France for a long time, you can choose between French health insurance and Swiss health insurance.

If you are a public servant

If you are an official of another European country, sent to France (e.g. diplomatic staff), you remain subject to the social protection scheme of the country to which your administration belongs.

In order to receive reimbursement for your medical treatment in France, you must first ask your affiliation organization on S1 document (registration for health insurance coverage).

You must then present this document to the competent health insurance fund in France.

You can transfer your rights to Health Insurance.

General case

If you are retired from another European country and come to live your retirement in France, you can transfer your rights French Health Insurance.

You have to ask to the fund of the country in which your pension is due document S1 (registration for health insurance coverage).

It is this fund that sends the document to your health insurance fund in France.

This document allows your attachment to the French social security system.

Your family members accompanying you to France must also apply for the S1 document.


If you hold a pension exclusively from the Swiss scheme and you reside in France, you benefit from a right of option.

You must apply for a long-stay student visa to come and study in France.

You have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), a replacement certificate or a Global Health Insurance Card

You have a s1 portable document, we don't have any of those documents.

There are no international texts allowing you to benefit from the services of your country of origin in France.

You can get closer to France Travail (formerly Pôle emploi) to find out if you can benefit from French services.

Who shall I contact

  • France Travail (formerly Pôle emploi)

Expat worker

Under the universal health protection (Puma) , you are entitled to be reimbursed for your health costs without waiting period (it is not necessary to have completed a minimum of working hours).

You must register on the site dedicated to the reception of students, in order to benefit from the coverage of your health expenses upon your arrival in France.

Health insurance: registration of a foreigner student

Ask France Travail (formerly Pôle emploi) if you can benefit from French services.

If you are an expatriate or seconded, it is recommended to contact the Cleiss. If you are a civil servant and sent to the embassy, you keep your Health Insurance.

You can get in touch with the Cleiss to find out the conditions for reimbursing your health expenses.

"Numéro d'urgence:" Center for European and International Social Security Liaison (Cleiss) Center for European and International Social Security Liaison (Cleiss)

General information on social security abroad and assistance in the application of individuals

By telephone

+33 (0) 1 45 26 33 41

  • Monday from 9 am to 12:30 pm
  • Tuesday from 1.30pm to 4.30pm
  • Wednesday from 9 am to 12:30 pm
  • Thursday from 1:30pm to 4:30pm
  • Friday from 1:30pm to 4:30pm

Access to contact form

Access to site

The conditions of your secondment are defined by the social security convention which your country of origin has signed with France.

If you are sent by your administration to an embassy, consulate or other official body, you will still be covered by your country's health insurance.

Who can help me?

Find who can answer your questions in your region

  • Primary health insurance fund (CPAM)

Statute and miscellaneous references

Regulation No 883/2004 of 29 April 2004 on the coordination of social security systems

Regulation No 987/2009 of 16 September 2009 on the coordination of social security systems

What is Universal Health Protection (UHC)?

Additional topics

Form S1 - Registration for sickness insurance benefits

Center for European and International Social Security Liaison (Cleiss)

Information concerning the S1 form and its use

Welcome to France: personalized information for your installation in France

Business France

French social protection scheme for employed persons

Presentation of the coordination of European social security systems

Coordination of social security in the European Union

European Commission

Reside in France on a stable and regular basis

Solidarity Health Complementary Fund

You come to study in France

National Health Insurance Fund (Cnam)

Student: your support

Countries under a social security convention

You are a pensioner of the only Swiss scheme and come to live your retirement in France

Social security and international mobility

You come to France to work as a detached from Switzerland

Access to Healthcare while visiting France


English speakers? If you need information about your French health insurance rights, call the special Advice Line provided by Ameli :

  • 09 74 75 36 46 from France
  • 0033 974 75 36 46 from other countries.
  • If you are a citizen/resident of an EU Member State, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland
  • If you come from another country not listed above

I. If you are a citizen/resident of an EU Member State, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland

If you are insured (or a beneficiary of the insured) under the social security system of an EU member state, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland, you may be covered for any medically necessary healthcare you receive while visiting France, regardless of whether you are working, unemployed, a resident or a retiree.

A. Entitlement to medical treatment in France with the European Health Insurance Card*

* Or GHIC for people insured in the UK.

Before your departure, you should apply for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with your local health insurance fund.

The card will ensure that you have access to healthcare in France without having to complete any formalities with the local French authorities. As regards the services provided, you will be treated in the same manner as anyone covered under the French state system .

If your EHIC is lost or stolen while you are abroad, or if your card hasn't been issued by the time you leave for France, your local health insurance fund can issue you an "EHIC Provisional Replacement Certificate" (PRC). This document provides the same cover as the EHIC, but for a limited period of time.

Using the EHIC in France

Benefits in kind include medical care, medicines, dental care and prosthetics, hospitalisation, laboratory analyses and examinations, or transportation.

Medical and Dental Care

Before making an appointment with a doctor or dentist, make sure that they are conventionné . Conventionné practitioners fall into one of 2 categories:

  • Conventionné secteur 1 : The practitioner fully adheres to the national agreement between practitioners and the French social security system and charges the official social security rate.
  • Conventionné secteur 2 : The practitioner adheres to the national agreement between practitioners and the French social security system except with regard to fees and is free to set his/her own rates.

In both cases, the local CPAM (or CGSS) will reimburse a fixed portion of the official social security rate.

  • You can find a healthcare professional in the area you are staying by consulting the website Annuaire santé .

As a non-resident insured in another state, you are not subject to French "healthcare pathway" ( parcours de soins ) laws that require patients to appoint a médecin traitant (primary care physician) from whom they must obtain a referral before seeing a specialist. To prove that the healthcare pathway isn't applicable to you and avoid paying any additional charges, you should show the doctor (whether a general practitioner or specialist) your European Health Insurance Card or Provisional Replacement Certificate.

You pay the doctor directly and the latter will fill out a feuille de soins (treatment form) and a prescription if necessary.

As the parcours de soins doesn't apply to non-residents, you can consult a specialist directly without getting a prescription from a general practitioner.

Paramedical services provided by allied health professionals (nurses, physiotherapists, etc.) are covered if prescribed by a doctor.

You can obtain your medication from any chemist ( pharmacie ) on presenting the feuille de soins and the doctor's prescription ( ordonnance ). The price of the medicine will be printed on the feuille de soins that the chemist will give back to you with the prescription. You pay the chemist directly.


If you have to travel to receive medical treatment, the health insurance system will in some cases cover the cost of transport prescribed by a doctor.


If you are admitted to hospital in an emergency you should present your European Health Insurance Card or Provisional Replacement Certificate to the hospital admissions department. You may also be asked to show your passport or other valid identity document.

Outside of emergency hospitalizations, you may seek treatment at the public or private facility of your choice.

If you see a doctor prior to being hospitalized, your practitioner can recommend a facility that will meet your needs, with consideration for quality of care.

You are advised to check the rates of the hospital you are considering as well as the amounts you will be reimbursed as some facilities charge extra fees that are not covered by the French social security system. Please also be aware that there are a few clinics that are not conventionné ; i.e. that do not adhere to the national agreement between practitioners and the national health care system. You can check the website Annuaire santé to locate a facility and find information on its rates.

As a general rule, the Caisse will directly cover 80% of your hospital expenses (100% in some situations). In this case, and if you showed your EHIC or a provisional replacement certificate when you were admitted, you will not have to pay upfront. You will only be responsible for the copayment, which is 20% if you have 80% coverage, plus an €20 fee for each day you were hospitalized. If you have 100% coverage, you will have to pay the €20 daily fee. If you do pay upfront, you will need to apply for reimbursement by submitting your bulletin de sortie (proof of hospitalization which you will receive upon discharge) to the local health insurance fund ( caisse d'assurance maladie ) that covers the geographic area in which you were hospitalized.

Whatever your rate of coverage, any optional extras (private room, telephone, television, etc.) will not be reimbursed by the French health care system.

Extensive medical treatment costing €120 or more, or procedures assigned a coefficient of 60 or above, are reimbursed 100%. However, you will need to pay an €24 flat-rate charge for one or more procedures performed by the same practitioner during a single visit, whatever the actual cost of the procedure. This €24 co-payment applies whether the procedure is performed in a doctor's office or at a hospital.

Some people with 100% coverage may be exempted from paying either or both of these flat fees (patients with a long-term illness, a work-related illness, or an occupational accident injury, and pregnant women from the 6th month of pregnancy).

If you are admitted to a hospital's psychiatric ward, the hospital fee is €15 per day.

Emergency patient flat fee ( forfait patient urgences / FPU): as of 1st January 2022, visits to the emergency room that do not result in hospitalization are charged at a rate of €19.61.

Daily hospital fees are not reimbursed by the French health insurance system. However, they may be covered by your mutuelle or other supplementary insurance.

Chronic or pre-existing illnesses

If you will be needing kidney dialysis or oxygen therapy during your stay, you should make an appointment with a local specialist centre before you come to France ( check the website Annuaire santé ).

B. Reimbursement

Once you have dated and signed the feuille de soins , you should send the form to the local CPAM (or CGSS), together with the prescription and a copy of your European Health Insurance Card or Provisional Replacement Certificate. You should also fill in the feuille de soins with your permanent address and give your bank details (name of bank, address, SWIFT code, account number and IBAN or BIC).

You can determine which CPAM or CGSS (for the overseas departments) to apply to for your reimbursement by doing a department-by-department search on the Ameli website .

The French health system does not usually cover the entire cost of treatment. Part of the cost, known as the ticket modérateur , is borne by the patient themselves. Various other charges are also at your expense:

  • A €1 co-payment for a visit to, or procedure performed by a general practitioner or specialist, as well as for X-ray examinations and laboratory tests (youths under age 18 and women in their 6th month or more of pregnancy are exempt). These charges may not total more than €4 per practitioner or laboratory in any one day.
  • €0.5 per item of medicine
  • €0.50 per paramedical procedure up to a maximum charge of €2 for any one day for any one health professional
  • €2 for transportation for medical treatment up to a daily maximum of €4 per day and per transportation provider*.

*These out-of-pocket charges may not total more than €50 in any given calendar year. You should keep the statements of reimbursement of medical costs to request an exemption from payment of any amount exceeding the €50 annual limit over the course of the calendar year. Any co-payments are also capped at €50 for year for all eligible procedures and services.

For extensive medical or surgical procedures costing upwards of €120, the reimbursement rate is 100%, with an €24 flat-rate charge ( ticket modérateur ) borne by the patient. This co-payment applies regardless of the cost of the procedure and whether it's performed in a doctor's surgery or a hospital.

Doctors' and dentists' fees are reimbursed at 70% of the official social security rate. For information purposes, the official social security rate is €25 for an appointment with a general practitioner or a specialist. For a visit to a general practitioner for example, the Fund will reimburse €16.50 and you will cover the remaining €8.50. The amount reimbursed as shown on the statement of reimbursement is the amount payable after deduction of the ticket modérateur and €1 charge.

The cost of laboratory tests and analyses is reimbursed at 60% of the official social security rate. A €1 charge per laboratory procedure (up to €4 per day and per laboratory) will be deducted from the total amount reimbursed.

The fees charged by allied health professionals are reimbursed at 60% of the official social security rate. A €0.5 charge per paramedical procedure (up to a daily maximum of €2 for services provided for the same patient by the same health professional) will be deducted from the total amount reimbursed.

For transportation for medical care and treatment, 65% of the cost is reimbursed. A €2 charge per journey (up to a maximum of €4 per day and per transportation provider) will be deducted from the total amount reimbursed.

  • The different reimbursement rates are given on the Ameli website .

Medicines are reimbursed when prescribed by a doctor and included in the positive list of reimbursable pharmaceutical products. Reimbursement rates are 15%, 30%, 65% or 100% of the sales price, or of the reference price for medicines included in reference-priced generic groups:

  • 100% for medicines considered to be not substitutable for serious and incapacitating conditions,
  • 65% for medicines of high or significant therapeutic value (SMR),
  • 30% for medicines of moderate therapeutic value (SMR),
  • 15% for medicines of low therapeutic value (SMR).

The €0.50 charge per item of medicine will be deducted from the amount reimbursed.

C. If you are prescribed medical leave during your stay in France

If you become incapacitated for work while on holiday in France, you should obtain a 3- sheet medical leave form from a doctor registered in France. After filling out the medical leave form, you should send the first 2 sheets to the competent institution in your country and the third one to your employer or to the employment services to advise them of your incapacity.

If you are admitted to hospital, the hospital admissions department will hand you a bulletin de situation (status report) that will double as a medical leave certificate. When you are discharged from hospital, their administrative department will give you a bon de sortie (discharge authorization) and the medical leave ( bulletin de situation ) will no longer be valid. If necessary, the hospital doctor or the general practitioner will deliver a new sick leave certificate.

You may download the medical leave form -the first or an extension (prolongation)- along with the instructions , on the CNAM's website (Ameli).

Any sickness benefits to which you are entitled will be determined and paid directly by the fund to which you belong in your country of residence.

II. If your home country has signed a bilateral social security agreement with France

Algeria • Andorra • Benin • Bosnia Herzegovina • Cape Verde • Gabon • Jersey • Macedonia • Mali • Morocco • Monaco • Montenegro • Niger • New Caledonia • French Polynesia • Quebec • Serbia • Togo • Tunisia • Turkey

III. If you come from a country not listed above

Ask your home country's social security system whether and to what extent it covers health care costs incurred abroad. Visitors are advised to take out a private insurance policy to cover any health care costs you may incur while in France. A private health insurance policy is required for tourist visa applicants.

For more information

  • The French Social Security System
  • Soins et remboursements, ce qui est à votre charge
  • Adresses & tarifs des professionnels de santé
  • Adresses des CPAM
  • English speakers: your special Advice Line
  • NHS website: Accessing healthcare in France
  • European Commission: Medical treatment abroad - France

Centre des Liaisons Européennes et Internationales de Sécurité Sociale 11 rue de la tour des Dames - 75436 Paris cedex 09 Tél. : +33(0)1 45 26 33 41

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Do Americans need travel insurance for France?

Best france travel insurance plans according to us, how much is travel insurance for france, what does france travel insurance cover, what does france travel insurance not cover, tips for choosing the best travel insurance for france, france travel information & requirements, tips for visiting france, france travel insurance faqs, related topics.

Best Travel Insurance for France Vacations in 2024

Alana Luna (Musselman)

  • Travel insurance is not required for France unless your trip is over than 3 months. (See Schengen travel visa requirements for more info).
  • France almost never accepts U.S. health insurance. Therefore, medical travel insurance is a must to cover you for medical emergencies.
  • Based on our research, the best travel insurance for France comes from: Tin Leg, Travel Insured International, Generali, Nationwide, Cat70, & Seven Corners ( skip ahead to see these plans ) .
  • Expect travel delays, disruptions, and heightened crowds as France hosts the 2024 Summer Olympics this year (July 26th to August 11th).
  • Comprehensive travel insurance can cover travel delays and disruptions including delays from French transportation strikes, public train/transport failures, congestion caused by the recent prohibition of many domestic flights, and more.
  • If you plan to stay in France for more than 90 days , you’ll need to obtain a Schengen travel visa , which requires a minimum amount of insurance coverage for medical expenses and repatriation.
  • We recommend using an online comparison tool to get quotes from multiple travel insurance providers at once.

Whether you’re in the mood for art museums or world-class beaches, France has something for everyone. If you have a trip coming up, it’s important to purchase the best travel insurance beforehand, as there’s always a chance that you’ll have an emergency while you’re overseas.

We created this guide to help you learn more about the best travel insurance for France, such as:

  • Do you need travel insurance for France?
  • How much travel insurance costs for France
  • What travel insurance includes (and what not)

Here is a quick recap of the best travel insurance plans we recommend for France.

Our top picks for the best france travel insurance

  • Tin Leg: Best Rated Travel Insurance
  • Travel Insured International: Best for Medical Evacutation Coverage
  • Generali Global Assistance: Best Value Travel Insurance
  • Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company: Best for Claims Reiumbursement
  • Cat 70: Best for Plans for Pre-Exisitng Conditions
  • Seven Corners: Best Comprehensive Travel Insurance Plan

Our selection of the best travel insurance for France

Tin Leg

Travel Insured International

Generali global assistance.

Travel insurance is not a legal requirement for traveling to France unless you plan to stay for longer than 90 days, but it’s highly recommended.

Most U.S. health insurance won’t cover you while abroad. Therefore, at a minimum, we recommended you opt for medical travel insurance when visiting France. Comprehensive travel insurance can also cover other trip costs in case you run into any travel mishaps such as delays or cancellations.

Here are some of the reasons Americans should get travel insurance for visiting France:

The 2024 Summer Olympics

Between the 26th of July and the 11th of August 2024, Paris will host the 33rd Summer Olympic Games . Expect delays, cancellations, and interruptions if visiting France during this period. With over 11,000 competitors and 10 million tickets set to go on sale , the increase in visitors is set to put an added strain on the transportation infrastructure of both Paris and France as a whole.

According to French news outlets , extra security will be a top priority for the game’s organizers and French officials, yet nothing can be wholly guaranteed.

Travel Insurance can cover you for missed connections and travel delays due to reasons out of your control.

Risk of terrorism

Check France’s Current Terror Alert Level Here

Despite the overall chances of attacks being relevantly rare, the US State Department notes there is a risk of terrorism while traveling throughout France’s major cities. Terrorist organizations continue to plan possible attacks on major events and cities across France and other nations. Possible targets often include tourist locations, busy shopping districts, places of worship, and many other public places.

In light of the 2024 Olympics and the recent Moscow attacks by IS, France has raised its terror alert to the highest level. According to the French government,   “this threat has never been so strong, France is taking action at every level”  to prevent terrorist attacks in France.

Travel insurance often allows reimbursements for cancellations or interruptions to your trip brought on by terrorist threats or attacks.

Risk of pickpockets & robbery

Americans are often targeted abroad by thieves and pickpockets. In France, where English sticks out like a sore thumb, Americans are at higher risk for having valuables stolen. Made world-famous by the Kim Kardashian armed robbery incident frequently visited cities such as Paris are often hubs for rings of thieves that target tourists . Less aggressive actions such as pickpocketing is a common occurrence in France around tourist hotspots and crowded areas like airports, train stations, and subways. It is therefore essential that you follow the US embassy’s advice and keep your valuables secure and out of sight, ensuring you are well aware of your surroundings at all times.

Travel insurance can reimburse you for stolen, lost, or damaged personal items while you are traveling.

France’s recent ban on short domestic flights

As we can see across US media outlets , in 2022, France initiated a legal ban on some short domestic flights . This legislation states that there is a ban on flights where journeys are possible in less than two-and-a-half hours by train. This being the case, it is important that you are aware of your travel plans and selected routes beforehand. The increase in travelers using the rail network to make their journey may also increase train delays.

Travel insurance can cover you if you are delayed or miss your connections due to force mayeur.

French workers’ strikes

As the LA Times has frequently documented , France is famous worldwide for its strikes. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it can leave you in a predicament if your transportation is interrupted or canceled due to a strike. Travel insurance can easily cover delays, missed connections, or cancellations and interruptions to your travel itinerary. Highlighted by Euronews , workers at the state-owned public transport company have announced a seven-month strike notice from February to September, 2024 . This is highly likely to affect those traveling via France’s bus and metro network.

Travel insurance can reimburse you and help you rebook or reroute if your trip is affected by strikes, such as having your flight cancelled due to a pilot strike.

That said, here are some of our recommendations for the best travel insurance for France.

Best Rated Travel Insurance

Why we like it.

Editor's take

Seen as one of the best-rated travel insurance providers on the market, all of Tin Leg’s policies have an A- rating or higher and are particularly praised for their financial strength. One of the most highly-rated policies is the Gold policy. Tin Leg’s Gold policy comes with both trip cancellation and interruption coverage for a myriad of medical instances.

Tin Leg’s Gold policy offers $500,000 coverage for both emergency medical expense protection and emergency medical evacuation, covering you should the worst happen during your French vacation. Gold policyholders may also qualify for travel delay protection and baggage insurance coverage.

Read our full review

  • Excellent primary coverage for medical expenses
  • High limit for emergency evacuation coverage
  • Optional cancel for any reason (CFAR) coverage available
  • Comes with coverage for hurricanes and inclement weather
  • Coverage for pre-existing conditions is available if purchased within 14 days of the trip deposit
  • Baggage delay coverage requires a 24-hour waiting period
  • Low coverage limits for baggage and personal effects

Best for Medical Evacutation Coverage

Travel Insured International’s Worldwide Trip Protector is one of the best plans offered by this provider. This plan’s top highlight is its $1 million worth of evacuation coverage and $150,000 worth of non-medical evacuation coverage - covering you for nearly any evacuation scenario you will find yourself in during your trip to France. Along with its top medivac coverage, the Worldwide Trip Protector plan also includes $100,000 worth of secondary medical coverage.

This plan offers 100% coverage when it comes to trip cancellation and 150% coverage for any trip interrupted. Further added bonuses include $1,500 for trip delays and $500 for baggage delays after just a three-hour delay.

  • Travel delay coverage kicks in after just six hours
  • Generous $150,000 non-medical evacuation coverage
  • 24/7 emergency travel assistance included
  • CFAR and IFAR coverage not included
  • Baggage delay coverage only kicks in after 12 hours
  • No rental car coverage

Best Value Travel Insurance

Generali Global Assistance’s Standard plan offers some of the best value insurance coverage on our list. This plan provides 100% coverage for trip cancellations and 125% of the insured trip cost for trip interruption. For those worried about loss of baggage during their France vacation, the Standard plan comes with $1,000 per person in baggage coverage.

When it comes to the medical side of travel insurance, Generali Global Assistance’s Standard plan provides up to $50,000 in medical coverage and $250,000 in medical evacuation coverage. All this can be purchased with confidence due to Generali Global Assistance’s A rating from AM Best.

  • Lowest cost of all Generali Global Assistance plans
  • Telemedicine included
  • Lower coverage than other Generali plans
  • Pre-existing conditions are not covered by the Standard plan
  • No coverage for accidental death and dismemberment during on-land travel

Best for Claims Reiumbursement

Nationwide mutual insurance company.

Nationwide’s Essential plan is a popular travel insurance coverage plan for those who want bare-bones travel insurance protection, with a relatively low overall cost This plan comes with up to $250,000 in emergency evacuation coverage and 75,000 in emergency medical coverage. For any trip delays you experience during your France trip, Nationwide’s Essential plan will pay out $150 per day.

Both trip cancellation and trip interruption are covered in the Essential plan, offering 100% worth of trip cancelation coverage and 125% in coverage for trip interruptions. Any losses of baggage and personal effects will also be covered, up to a value of $600.

  • Comes with a 10-day review period
  • Relatively high limits for medical expenses and emergency evacuation
  • The lowest cost for comprehensive coverage across providers we compared
  • Lower coverage limits than other plans we compared
  • Emergency medical coverage is secondary to your own insurance (when applicable)

Best for Plans for Pre-Exisitng Conditions

Cat 70

The Cat 70 Travel Plan is another plan on our list that offers a high rate for medical coverage, ideal for traveling outside of the US. This plan comes with $500,000 in coverage for emergency medical expenses and up to $500,000 in insurance for emergency medical evacuation. Further benefits include trip cancellation coverage, baggage insurance, travel delay coverage, protection for missed connections, and more.

What makes the Cat 70 Travel Plan stand out from the others on our list is the coverage provided for a pre-existing condition. This pre-existing condition coverage is granted to the policyholder if it is purchased within 14 days of the trip deposit.

  • High limits for emergency medical expenses
  • Affordable travel insurance with high limits for medical evacuation
  • Includes extras like trip cancellation coverage & baggage insurance
  • Not available in all destinations

Best Comprehensive Travel Insurance Plan

Seven corners.

According to official sales data from Squaremouth , travel insurance for France averages at around $326.90

Based on our own official sales figures over the past year, our customers paid, on average, $187.31 for France travel insurance.

Travel insurance for France can cost as little as $1 per day, depending on the type of plan you choose and other trip factors. Medical-only coverage is always the cheapest travel insurance option, but comprehensive plans with cancellation benefits can also work out to be quite affordable.

As an example, we got several quotes for a month long French vacation set for August 2024, and the average cost was $11.14 per day for comprehensive travel insurance for France .

The table below shows four examples of plans we found using travel parameters for a 35-year-old traveler living in California, who spent a total of $6,000 on their trip, and plans to spend 29 days in France in August 2024

The average cost of travel insurance for France based on this example is $11.14 per day. At this price, you would receive comprehensive coverage for medical emergencies, trip cancellation, trip interruption, and more.

Please note that these numbers are for example purposes only. Actual plan costs will vary depending on your unique travel parameters and could be cheaper or more expensive.

Is travel insurance necessary for france?

“As a French native, I always advise my foreign friends to consider travel insurance when visiting France. While France is a safe country to visit, you need to be mindful of pickpockets, transportation strikes or demonstrations that happen often.

Since the Charlie Hebdo and Bataclan terrorist attacks in 2015, the country is also on high alert with a plan called “ vigipirate ” in place. So, I recommend travel insurance just to protect you in case you need to cancel due to these events.

While health care is almost free to French citizens, it does not currently apply to tourists. I recommend taking out a medical health plan. My friend broke his ankle while hiking with us in the Alps, with his travel health coverage he did not have to pay a cent!

Stay safe and enjoy your trip to France :)”  – Kathia Gorius

Travel insurance covers you for any unforeseen circumstances that occur during your trip to France.

To obtain a visa, you’ll need coverage for medical expenses and repatriation costs. Many companies also offer coverage for trip cancellations, trip delays, trip interruptions, lost/damaged baggage, and other problems.

Trip cancellation insurance

Trip cancellation insurance is a type of insurance that protects you in case you have to cancel a trip due to unforeseen circumstances. This type of travel insurance reimburses you for prepaid trip expenses, such as airline tickets and prepaid hotel bookings. It doesn’t reimburse you for expenses you haven’t yet incurred.

Some policies may also provide you with cancel for any reason (CFAR) insurance . With this type of coverage, you can cancel your trip for any reason and get back between 50% and 70% of your prepaid travel expenses.

Trip delay insurance

Trip delay insurance reimburses you for certain expenses associated with travel delays. This insurance only kicks in if you’re delayed while traveling via a common carrier. To qualify as a common carrier, the company must offer its services to the public. Therefore, airlines, bus companies, passenger railways, and ferries all count as common carriers.

If a delay occurs, this type of travel insurance may reimburse you for toiletries, medications, hotel accommodation, meals, and transportation to and from your hotel.

Trip interruption insurance

Trip interruption insurance reimburses you for any unused, prepaid expenses if you have to end your trip early for a covered reason. For example, if you arrive as planned, enjoy a few days in Paris, and then have to leave early due to an emergency evacuation, your travel insurance will cover the unused, nonrefundable hotel fees.

This type of insurance doesn’t reimburse you for refundable expenses, so if you can get a hotel or a travel vendor to issue a refund, your policy won’t reimburse you a second time.

Covered reasons include terrorist attacks, serious illnesses, and injuries, natural disasters, required quarantines, and medical evacuations.

Travel medical coverage

Health insurance is the most important part of your travel insurance policy. To get a visa for this zone, you must have insurance that covers at least €30,000 in medical expenses. Your travel health insurance must also cover the cost of repatriation to the United States if you develop a serious illness or injury during your trip.

Regardless of whether you are staying for 90 days or two, medical problems can appear unexpectedly at any time. Unfortunately, you can’t use your American health insurance in France. This is why it’s really important to purchase a travel medical insurance plan .

Let’s say you break your leg after tripping over your beach towel at Antibes. This type of health insurance will cover X-rays, casting, and other related expenses.

This type of medical insurance covers many illnesses and injuries, including heart attacks, broken bones, and strokes. What it doesn’t cover are pre-existing conditions, which are health problems that developed before you purchased your policy.

Medical evacuation insurance

Medical evacuation insurance covers the cost of transporting you to the nearest adequate medical facility. For example, if you’re visiting Castelnou, a remote village known for its idyllic countryside, you may need to be transported to a hospital several hours away.

If necessary, this type of travel insurance may pay for you to return to the United States for continuing medical treatment, for a family member to come to France to be with you while you’re sick, or for a medical escort to accompany you on your return flight.

Baggage insurance

Even if you make it to your destination as planned, your luggage may not make it with you. Or if it does, it may not be in one piece. Baggage insurance gives you extra peace of mind in these situations. If your policy covers lost baggage, you will be reimbursed for the cost of your missing belongings. If your policy covers damaged baggage, it will cover the cost of replacing covered items. This type of insurance usually has coverage limits, so your policy may limit you to $500 per lost bag or $1,000 for replacing your damaged belongings.

Travel insurance typically doesn’t cover the following:

  • Cancellation due to a foreseeable event, such as severe storms.
  • Restrictions implemented by government agencies, such as restricted travel due to the threat of a terrorist attack.
  • Dangerous activities, such as skydiving.
  • As noted above, travel insurance doesn’t cover pre-existing medical conditions. Elderly travelers should look into travel insurance for seniors .

If you have a European vacation coming up, follow these tips for finding the best travel insurance plan.

Use a comparison tool

Comparison tools allow you to view multiple plans and prices before enrolling. You may be able to get comprehensive coverage for a much lower price than if you buy direct.

Decide how much flexibility you need

Some travel insurance plans allow optional add-ons which can allow you more flexibility when you travel. For example, you can often buy Cancel For Any Reason coverage or Interruption For Any Reason coverage which can allow you to to cancel or interrupt your trip whenever necessary and be reimbursed. A comprehensive plan gives you more freedom, but also costs a good bit extra.

Choose your transportation methods carefully

Some travel insurance policies won’t cover trip delays unless you’re traveling via a common carrier. Therefore, if you are delayed while traveling in a rental car or private car, you may not be reimbursed.

Adventure sports may not be covered

You may not be covered for many common adventure sports such as hiking or snorkeling. Review your itinerary to determine if there are any adventure sports planned and be sure to check your plan to see if it covers these.

The table below provides an overview of entry requirements and travel information for your trip to France from the United States.

COVID-19 restrictions for entering France

France instated a health check system early during the COVID-19 pandemic. That  system was removed  on August 1, 2022, so you no longer need to provide proof of vaccination, take a COVID-19 test upon your arrival in France, or give authorities a compelling reason for your travel plans.

Reports from the CDC show COVID cases on the rise, therefore you may want to consider having a COVID travel insurance policy lined up in case you or a travel companion falls ill.

Do I need a visa or passport to travel to France?

If you plan to stay in France for longer than 90 days, you’ll need a long-stay Schengen visa. This visa works in France and 26 other countries in the Schengen Zone .

Is France in the Schengen?

Yes. France belongs to the Schengen Area. Under the Schengen Agreement and the Schengen Convention, countries in this zone allow their citizens to  cross internal borders  without going through border checks. This means you can pass from France to Italy easily, for example. If you plan to visit more than one destination throughout the year, consider an annual travel insurance plan.

Do I need to speak French to visit France?

Although French is the official language of the country, France is a popular tourist destination and is accustomed to hosting travelers from all over the world. English is spoken by many, especially in major cities and at popular tourist spots. This being said it is always advisable to make an attempt to learn some French. This will both adhere you to the local population and make your trip run far more smoothly.

Is it worth getting travel insurance for France?

Yes, it’s worth getting travel insurance before you travel to any country in the Schengen area. If you want to stay in this zone for more than 90 days, you’ll need to apply for a Schengen visa , which requires you to purchase travel insurance. Although you don’t need a Schengen visa for trips lasting 90 days or less, it’s still helpful to have insurance coverage for medical emergencies and other unforeseen events.

Am I required to have travel insurance to visit France?

You don’t need travel insurance for trips of 90 days or less. You are required to have travel insurance if you plan to visit a Schengen country for more than 90 days.

Will my U.S. health insurance cover me in France?

U.S. health insurance, including Medicare, doesn’t cover medical costs incurred in other countries. That’s why it’s so important to purchase an insurance policy before your trip.

Can Americans get free healthcare in France?

According to InterNations , you may qualify for coverage through the French national health care system if you plan to stay in France in a “stable and regular manner” for at least 6 months during the year. Otherwise, Americans don’t qualify for free health insurance in France.

Alana Luna (Musselman)

Alana Luna (Musselman) is a versatile storyteller with over a decade of writing experience. She is passionate about helping people build their business through unique and engaging content. Some examples of her current freelance projects include building content strategies for small businesses, completing industry research to build case studies, crafting buyer guides and more.

She has a passion and keen ability to simplify complex ideas through storytelling to make it easier for readers to understand hard-to-digest information. As such, Alana’s writing holds strong three principles – content that educates, engages and entertains.

Apart from her contributions to LA Times Compare, Alana has freelanced and ghostwritten for large publications and prestigious brands such as Orbitz, Groupon, Amazon, JCPenney, Walmart and more.

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health insurance travel to france

Top Three Options for Travel Insurance to France

Byron Mühlberg, writer at Monito.com

Byron Mühlberg

Monito's Managing Editor, Byron has spent several years writing extensively about financial- and migration-related topics.

Jarrod Suda

health insurance travel to france

A writer and editor at Monito, Jarrod is passionate about helping people apply today’s powerful finance technologies to their lives. He brings his background in international affairs and his experiences living in Japan to provide readers with comprehensive information that also acknowledges the local context.

Links on this page, including products and brands featured on ‘Sponsored’ content, may earn us an affiliate commission. This does not affect the opinions and recommendations of our editors.

Home to fine food, charming cities and landscapes, the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, and countless local treasures, France is a country that's captured the imaginations of tourists and expats for decades. It should come as little surprise then that France frequently ranks as the most visited country on the globe. —

However, for tourists and expats, healthcare costs in France can be surprisingly high and can add up quickly. As a result, it's always best to visit the country with health insurance under your belt to cover your bases.

Luckily for you, global insurance platforms (or 'insurtechs') offer cost-savvy travel insurance to France and other countries worldwide. In our list below, we explore the four that we think offer the best deals for younger travellers, adventurers, everyday holidaymakers, and longer-term expats looking for wide but affordable coverage.

Heading to France soon? Don't forget to check the following list before you travel:

  • 💳 Eager to dodge high FX fees? See our picks for the best travel cards in 2023.
  • 🛂 Need a visa? Let iVisa take care of it for you.
  • ✈ Looking for flights? Compare on Skyscanner !
  • 💬 Want to learn some French? Babbel and italki are two excellent apps to think about.
  • 💻 Want a VPN? ExpressVPN is the market leader for anonymous and secure browsing.
  • 🍷 Going to Paris? See the best months to travel .

Top Three Travel Insurances for France

  • 01. Best for medical coverage: VisitorsCoverage scroll down
  • 02. Best coverage for youth: SafetyWing scroll down
  • 03. Best all-round travel and medical coverage: Insured Nomads scroll down
  • 04. FAQ about travel insurance for France scroll down

Best Overall: VisitorsCoverage

Among the internet's best-known insurance platforms,  VisitorsCoverage  is a pioneering Silicon Valley insurtech company that offers comprehensive coverage for travellers going abroad to France. It lets you choose between various plans tailored to meet the specific needs of your trip to France, including coverage for medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and travel disruptions. With its easy online purchase process and 24/7 live chat support, VisitorsCoverage is a reliable and convenient option if you want good value and peace of mind while travelling abroad.

Get a quote

  • Coverage 9.0
  • Quality of Service 9.0
  • Pricing 7.6
  • Credibility 9.5

VisitorsCoverage offers a large variety of policies and depending on your needs and preferences, you'll need to compare and explore their full catalogue of plans for yourself. However, we've chosen a few highlights for their travel insurance for France:

  • Policy names: Varies
  • Medical coverage: Very good. Includes coverage for doctor and hospital visits, pre-existing conditions, repatriation, mental health-related conditions, and many others.
  • Trip coverage: Excellent, but only available to US customers. Includes coverage for trip cancellation and interruption, lost or stolen luggage, adventure and sports activities, and many others.
  • Customer support: FAQ, live chat and phone support
  • Pricing range: USD 25 to USD 150 /traveller /month
  • Insurance underwriter: Lloyd's, Petersen, and others
  • Best for: Value for money and overall travel and medical coverage

Best for Youth: SafetyWing

France attracts tourists of all ages, young and old alike. However, when it comes to travel insurance, young people are the least likely age group to take out a policy before travelling — usually because young people are healthier and travel more frugally, and therefore aren't always convinced they should pay additional money for travel insurance.

Fortunately, not all travel and travel insurance providers are expensive, and some, such as SafetyWing , are geared toward a younger age group altogether. Known for its focus on insuring nomads and remote teams, SafetyWing is an online insurance provider offering some of the best pricing for international travel insurance on the market. It offers decent coverage at a very affordable rate, which makes it stand out as an excellent choice for travel insurance in France ⁠— no matter where you're travelling from!

Get a quote

  • Coverage 7.0
  • Quality of Service 8.0
  • Pricing 6.3
  • Credibility 7.3

SafetyWing offers one standard plan for international travellers, though the pricing differs by age group. Below, we focus only on the youth category (18 to 39 years old) as we believe this is where SafetyWing's offer is most interesting.

  • Policy names: Nomad Insurance, Remote Health
  • Medical coverage: Decent. Includes coverage for doctor and hospital visits, repatriation, and many others.
  • Travel coverage: Decent. Includes attractive coverage for lost or stolen belongings, adventure and sports activities, transport cancellation, and many others.
  • Customer support: FAQ, live chat, phone support
  • Pricing range: USD 45 to USD 160 /traveller /month
  • Insurance underwriter: Tokyo Marine HCC
  • Best for: Digital nomads, youth, long-term travellers

Best Overall Coverage: Insured Nomads

By far and away the most popular charms of France is its grandiose streets, quaint cafés, fine food and wine, and abundance of historical sites and museums. Therefore, the country attracts millions of tourists every year who are neither young people looking for fun nor outdoor sports enthusiasts. —

Aimed at travellers, remote workers, and globetrotters alike, Insured Nomads is another savvy insurtech platform offering travel insurance for France that's ideal for extensive medical- and travel-related coverage. Founded and run by expats around the globe, Insured Nomads offers an impressive range of travel insurances, including a larger scope of medical-related coverages than the other providers in this article.

Get a quote

  • Coverage 7.8
  • Quality of Service 8.5
  • Pricing 7.4
  • Credibility 8.8

We go over Insured Nomads' basic plan below:

  • Policy names: World Explorer, World Explorer Multi, World Explorer Guardian
  • Medical coverage: Good. Includes coverage for doctor and hospital visits, pre-existing conditions, repatriation, and many others.
  • Travel coverage: Good. Includes coverage for trip cancellation and interruption, lost or stolen luggage (with limits), adventure and sports activities, and many others.
  • Pricing range: USD 80 to USD 420 /traveller /month
  • Insurance underwriter: David Shield Insurance Company Ltd.
  • Best for: Adventure seekers wanting comprehensive travel insurance

FAQ About Travel Insurance for France

No, you'll not be required to take out travel insurance for France. However, we strongly encourage you to do so anyway, because the cost of healthcare in France can be high, and taking out travel insurance will mitigate some or all of the risk of covering those costs yourself if you need medical attention during your stay.

Yes, medical travel insurance is almost always worth it, and we recommend taking out travel insurance whenever visiting a foreign country. Taking out travel insurance will mitigate some or all of the risk of having to cover those costs yourself in case you need medical attention during your stay.

Health insurance doesn't cover normal holiday expenses, such as flights and hotels, but in case you run into medical trouble while abroad, it may cover some or all of your doctor or hospital expenses while overseas. However, not all health insurance providers and plans offer coverage to customers while abroad, and that's why it's generally best to take out travel insurance whenever you travel.

Although there's overlap, health and travel insurance are not exactly the same. Health insurance covers some or all of the cost of medical expenses (e.g. emergency treatment, doctor's visits, etc.) while travel insurance covers costs that are commonly associated with travelling. This can (and usually does) include medical expenses, but it also often includes coverage for personal belongings, as well as other benefits.

See Our Other Travel Insurance Guides

health insurance travel to france

Looking for Travel Insurance to Another Country?

See our recommendations for travel insurance to other countries worldwide:

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health insurance travel to france

  • Passports, travel and living abroad
  • Travel abroad
  • Foreign travel advice

Before you travel check that:

  • your destination can provide the healthcare you may need
  • you have appropriate travel insurance for local treatment or unexpected medical evacuation

This is particularly important if you have a health condition or are pregnant.

Emergency medical number

Dial 112 and ask for an ambulance.

Contact your insurance or medical assistance company promptly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.

For more information, read guidance on healthcare when travelling in Europe .

Vaccinations and health risks

At least 8 weeks before your trip check:

  • the latest information on health risks and what vaccinations you need in TravelHealthPro’s France guide
  • where to get vaccines and whether you have to pay on the NHS travel vaccinations page

There have been cases of the mosquito-borne disease, dengue fever, in France. You should take appropriate precautions to  avoid being bitten by mosquitoes .

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or bought in the UK can be different in other countries.

TravelHealthPro explains best practice when travelling with medicines .

The NHS has information on whether you can take your medicine abroad .

Healthcare facilities in France

FCDO has a list of English-speaking doctors in France .

COVID-19 healthcare in France

The French government advises people with possible COVID-19 symptoms to take a COVID-19 test. You can buy PCR and self-administered rapid antigen tests from pharmacies. For more information on how to get COVID-19 tests, see the French government’s COVID-19 website .

If you test positive, the French authorities recommend you contact your doctor, follow basic hygiene rules, alert your direct contacts, work from home if possible and avoid contact with vulnerable people.

Health insurance cards

Apply for a free UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) or European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. If you already have an EHIC, it will still be valid as long as it remains in date.

The GHIC or EHIC entitles you to state-provided medical treatment necessary during your trip. Any treatment provided is on the same terms as French nationals. If you do not have your EHIC with you or you’ve lost it, contact the NHS Overseas Healthcare Team .

It’s important to take out appropriate travel insurance for your needs. A GHIC or EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance and you should have both before you travel. An EHIC or GHIC does not cover all health-related costs, for example, medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment and non-urgent treatment. Read more about what your travel insurance should cover .

EHIC and GHIC cover state healthcare only, not private treatment. You will be responsible for the cost of any treatment provided by a private doctor or private clinic.

Travel and mental health

Read FCDO guidance on travel and mental health . There is also mental health guidance on TravelHealthPro .

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Travel Insurance for a France Vacation (2024)

See how travel insurance for France can help protect you from financial loss due to trip cancellation, medical emergencies and other unexpected interruptions.

in under 2 minutes

Nicole Leigh West Photo

Nicole Leigh West is an experienced lifestyle journalist and writer for publications including Wanderlust, TripSavvy and Vacations & Travel. Along with roaming the globe and penning fiction novels, Nicole works for World Words as a sub-editor and writer.

Tori Addison Photo

Tori Addison is an editor who has worked in the digital marketing industry for over five years. Her experience includes communications and marketing work in the nonprofit, governmental and academic sectors. A journalist by trade, she started her career covering politics and news in New York’s Hudson Valley. Her work included coverage of local and state budgets, federal financial regulations and health care legislation.

When planning a trip to France, purchasing travel insurance can offer peace of mind if medical emergencies, travel interruptions or other unforeseen circumstances occur. Travel insurance for France can reimburse you for canceled flights, trip delays, lost baggage, medical coverage and more.

We at the MarketWatch Guides Team have reviewed the best travel insurance providers to help you find the right coverage for your vacation to France. Read on for France travel requirements and to learn the benefits and costs of travel insurance plans.

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Compare France Travel Insurance Companies

Use the chart below to compare pricing and included benefits from leading travel insurance carriers for your trip to France.

Why Trust MarketWatch Guides

Our editorial team follows a comprehensive methodology for rating and reviewing travel insurance companies. Advertisers have no effect on our rankings.

Companies Reviewed

Quotes Collected

Rating Factors

Do I Need Travel Insurance for France?

It is not mandatory to have travel insurance coverage to visit France — unless you are traveling from a country that requires a Schengen visa. U.S. citizens can enter France with a valid passport for up to 90 days, after which they must submit a visa application.

Although travel insurance is not required for American tourists , you may still choose to buy coverage. Travel insurance can reimburse you for prepaid, nonrefundable costs (subject to conditions) in the event of unexpected trip cancellations or delays. Most policies also protect your belongings, including your luggage, against theft, loss and damage.

The U.S. Department of State recommends you purchase travel insurance if you do not have health care coverage abroad. France does not offer free health coverage to tourists, and treatment may be expensive if you require medical treatment while on vacation. It’s a good idea to choose an insurance policy that covers sporting accidents and injuries if you’re participating in activities such as snow sports in the French Alps or water sports along the French Riviera.

Cancel for Any Reason Coverage

Cancel for any reason (CFAR) coverage is supplemental travel insurance for those who prefer flexibility when planning a trip. Standard travel insurance policy includes predetermined reasons for which you can claim reimbursement for travel cancellations, including medical emergencies, the death of a family member and legal obligations.

CFAR ensures you can cancel your travel plans at your discretion. Say you’re traveling to Paris for a wedding, but the wedding gets canceled, and you decide to visit Lyon instead. With CFAR coverage, your provider can reimburse part of your prepaid trip costs.

It’s important to note that CFAR coverage is subject to disclaimers, deductibles and restrictions. For example, many insurance companies include time restrictions for reimbursement, such as a clause to cancel within 48 or 72 hours of departure.

Gear Theft Protection

You may plan to take valuables with you for activities on your French vacation, from photographing the Eiffel Tower to rock climbing in Fontainebleau and cycling in Bordeaux. Gear theft protection is useful to help recoup the cost of lost or stolen goods. For a trip to France, you may wish to take the following:

  • Smartphone or tablet
  • Professional camera and equipment
  • Sports equipment, including snowboards

As general advice, trip insurance is subject to predetermined coverage limits and exclusions may apply. Your policy may not cover the full value of stolen or damaged items. For this reason, consider leaving irreplaceable items at home or in a locked hotel safe.

Medical Emergency Insurance and Emergency Medical Evacuation

France has a highly-ranked healthcare system , but the country does not extend coverage to tourists. And European health insurance cards (EHIC) are not available to residents of non-European Union countries without Schengen visa insurance.

Travel medical insurance is recommended for U.S. citizens as Medicare doesn’t apply overseas. However, you may have coverage if you have private insurance.

Medical costs may be significant if you require treatment for pre-existing conditions or emergencies in the absence of insurance. Travel insurance for medical emergencies can cover a range of expenses, including:

  • Hospital fees
  • Operating room charges and anesthesia
  • Dental emergencies
  • Lab tests and X-rays

Most travel health insurance plans include emergency medical evacuation and repatriation if local medical care is not available and you need to fly back to your home country.

Rental Car Protection

Though public transportation offers an easy way to explore France, you may prefer the freedom of renting a car. Car rental rates include unlimited liability and fire insurance coverage in France. Rental companies may also offer premium car insurance to further limit liabilities while on the road.

Premium insurance policies typically include the following safeguards:

  • Collision damage waiver and theft protection
  • Tire and windshield protection
  • Roadside protection
  • Personal effects coverage
  • Personal injury insurance

In addition to local car insurance, some travel insurance covers rental vehicles to help you recover losses if you’re liable for damaged or stolen cars.

Trip Cancellation Insurance

If your trip to Europe is canceled, travel insurance can help protect you against financial loss. Standard travel insurance generally offers reimbursement for nonrefundable and prepaid costs (like your flight or hotel) up to a predetermined limit.

As a general rule, standard travel insurance policies accept cancelation claims due to the following reasons:

  • Hospitalization or serious injury
  • Death of a family member
  • Severe weather conditions (excluding some natural disasters)
  • Jury duty or other legal obligation
  • Military orders
  • Acts of domestic or international terrorism

If you need more flexibility for a French vacation, opt for CFAR insurance.

How Much Does France Travel Insurance Cost?

Travel insurance premiums depend on your coverage preferences, destination and the overall cost of your trip to France. Many companies also allow you to choose from single-trip coverage or an annual multi-trip policy.

Be prepared with the following information to get an insurance quote:

  • Your home location
  • The number of travelers in your group
  • Destination country
  • Trip duration
  • Total trip price

We requested quotes from ten travel insurance companies for their most affordable plan for a trip to France. The below quotes are for a 30-year-old traveler from Florida, traveling to France for ten days in September 2024, with a total trip cost of $4,000. Policies include coverage for cancellations, interruptions, delays, medical care and evacuation.

These quotes were collected in April 2024 for a trip in September 2024.

We collected the above quotes from each company’s website in May 2023. Each international travel insurance plan covers trip cancellation, baggage loss or delay, emergency medical expenses and emergency evacuation.

If you are on a budget, you can also compare cheap travel insurance options .

How Do I Get Travel Insurance for France?

When planning a vacation to France, check if your credit cards or health insurance covers travel-related expenditures. For example, your credit card may include rental car coverage, and your health care might extend abroad. You may also be able to book comprehensive travel insurance through your airline to cover flights.

Compare policies and pricing from numerous travel insurance providers before making a decision. Consider personal factors, such as pre-existing medical conditions and what activities you’re planning, and ensure you find adequate coverage.

France Safety Tips

We compiled basic travel and safety tips for peace of mind during your French vacation.

Crime and Safety

The U.S. Department of State lists the France Travel Advisory at Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution. The advisory is due to an increased risk of terrorism and civil unrest. The State Department recommends you avoid demonstrations, protests or areas with significant police activity while in France.

In general, France is considered safe for tourists . However, it’s important to remain aware of your surroundings at popular tourist destinations due to pickpocketing and other petty crime.

Day Trips, Tours and Excursions

Tours are a great way to discover France, from exploring the Louvre to sightseeing in Marseille. You may also choose to take a day trip to Belgium or Switzerland or spend multiple days traveling around the Schengen area.

Always book excursions through reputable tour organizations, with recommendations from travel agents or hotel concierges. Find more information on the official France tourism site . If you opt for travel insurance, look for a policy that covers travel excursions, rental gear, or sporting events such as golf, snow skiing and scuba diving.

According to the government of France , the country has removed COVID-19 restrictions for international travelers. Check with local authorities regarding changes to local coronavirus policies.

The Bottom Line: Is Travel Insurance for a France Vacation Worth It?

If you are traveling from the U.S., you are not required to have travel insurance to visit France for a vacation. However, travel insurance can help cover unexpected medical costs and avoid financial loss due to trip cancellations. A policy can also reimburse the cost of damaged or stolen baggage , personal gear (like a camera) or even a rental car.

While it is ultimately up to you to decide if travel insurance is worth it , coverage can offer peace of mind knowing you are covered if unforeseen events occur.

Frequently Asked Questions About Travel Insurance for France

Can i claim flight compensation for a canceled trip to france.

Refunds for flights are subject to the airline and are not always guaranteed. However, an airline may compensate you if a flight gets canceled for a reason outside the company’s control or your trip becomes delayed. But travel insurance can provide additional protection against financial loss for canceled and delayed flights.

Do you need travel insurance to travel to France?

U.S. citizens do not need travel insurance for France vacations. However, you may require a visa and travel insurance if you stay in the country for longer than 90 days.

Does Medicare work in France?

Medicare and Medicaid don’t offer coverage outside the U.S. If you have private health insurance, check with your provider to see if you have coverage abroad.

How much is travel insurance for a trip to France?

Based on quotes we gathered, travel insurance for a two-week trip to France costs between $110 to $153. Your cost of insurance may vary depending on your age, coverage preferences and specific travel details.

If you have questions about this page, please reach out to our editors at [email protected] .

More Resources:

Portrait of happy girl in a hat with a backpack standing on background of mountains and sea.


France Travel Insurance

Travel insurance for france.

Welcome to France, where wine flows like poetry and cheese is an art form. This global hotspot has been seducing travelers for ages, and it's no wonder – from the iconic Eiffel Tower to the abundance of Michelin-starred restaurants and the art powerhouse that is the Louvre. Yet, before you embark on your French escapade, there's a vital detail to attend to: your travel insurance. This guide clues you in on everything you need to know about travel insurance for France. When those inevitable travel hiccups come knocking, just give them a nonchalant "C'est la vie" and let your reliable travel insurance work its magic.

What should your travel insurance cover for a trip to France?

How does travel insurance for france work.

  • Do I need Travel Insurance for France? 
  • How much does Travel Insurance cost for France? 

Our Suggested AXA Travel Protection Plan

  • What types of medical coverage does AXA Travel Protection plans offer?
  • Are There Any COVID-19 restrictions for Travelers to France?
  • Traveling with pre-existing Medical Conditions? 

At a minimum, your travel insurance to France should cover trip cancellation, trip interruption and emergency medical expenses. When it comes to international travel, the US Department of State outlines key components that should be included in your travel insurance coverage.  AXA Travel Protection plans are designed with these minimum recommended coverages in mind. 

  • Medical Coverage   – The top priority is making sure your health is in order. With AXA Travel Protection, you can have access to quality healthcare during your trip overseas in the event of unexpected medical emergencies.    
  • Trip Cancellation & Interruptions  – Assistance against unexpected trip disruptions can dampen the mood, AXA Travel Protection offers coverage against unforeseen events.   
  • Emergency Evacuations and Repatriation   – In situations where transportation is dire, AXA Travel Protection offers provisions for emergency evacuation and repatriation.   
  • Coverage for Personal Belongings  – AXA offers coverage for your belongings with assistance against lost or delayed baggage.   
  • Optional Cancel for Any Reason  – For added flexibility, AXA offers optional Cancel for Any Reason coverage, allowing you to cancel your trip for non-traditional reasons.  Exclusive to Platinum Plan holders. 

In just a few seconds, you can get a free quote and purchase the best travel insurance for France.

Imagine this: Say you're strolling through the streets of Montmartre, exploring local boutiques and art markets. Suddenly, you feel unwell. Those delightful pastries you tried may not have agreed with you, and suddenly, the allure of French cuisine loses its charm. AXA Travel Protection is your reliable ally in these unforeseen situations. From guiding you to the nearest medical facility to helping you navigate unexpected medical expenses, we've got your back. Travel mishaps can happen even in the City of Light, but with AXA Travel Protection, you can turn any unexpected twist into a well-managed tour de force. Here’s how travelers can benefit from an AXA Travel Protection Plan:

Medical Benefits: 

  • Emergency Medical Expenses: Should you fall ill or have an accident during your trip, your policy may offer coverage for medical expenses, including hospital stays and doctor's fees. 
  • Emergency Evacuation & Repatriation: In case of a serious medical emergency, your policy may include provisions for evacuation to the nearest appropriate medical facility or repatriation. 
  • Non-Emergency Evacuation & Repatriation : In non-medical crises (e.g., political unrest), your policy may cover evacuation or repatriation, subject to policy terms. 

Baggage Benefits: 

  • Luggage Delay: If the airline delays your checked baggage, your policy might offer reimbursement for essential items like clothing and toiletries. 
  • Lost or Stolen Luggage: In the unfortunate event of permanent loss or theft of your luggage, your policy may offer reimbursement for its value, assisting you in replacing your belongings. 

Pre-Departure Travel Benefits: 

  • Trip Cancellation: You may be eligible for reimbursement if you cancel your trip due to a sudden illness or injury. 
  • COVID-19 Travel Insurance: Coverage is available for trip cancellation and medical expenses related to COVID-19, subject to policy terms and conditions. 
  • Trip Delay: If your flight faces delays due to unforeseen circumstances, you may have coverage for additional expenses such as meals and accommodations. 

Post-Departure Travel Benefits

  • Trip Interruption: In case of an unexpected event, you could be eligible for reimbursement for the unused portion of your trip.
  • Missed Connection: If you miss a connecting flight due to delays or cancellations, this coverage may help with expenses like rebooking fees and accommodations.

Additional Optional Travel Benefits:

  • Rental Car (Collision Damage Waiver): Exclusive to Gold & Platinum plan policy holders, this optional benefit gives travelers extra coverage on their rental car against damage and theft. 
  • Cancel for Any Reason: Exclusive to Platinum plan policy holders; this optional benefit gives travelers more flexibility to cancel their trip for any reason outside of their standard policy. 
  • Loss Skier Days: Exclusive to Platinum plan policy holders, this optional benefit offers reimbursement to mitigate some costs associated with pre-paid ski tickets that you or your traveling companion cannot use due to specified slope closures. 
  • Loss Golf Days: Exclusive to Platinum plan policy holders, this optional benefit offers reimbursement to mitigate the expenses linked to prepaid golf arrangements that you or your travel companion are unable to utilize due to specified golf closures. 

Do I need Travel Insurance for France?

Many travelers, depending on their nationality, are not required to secure travel insurance . However, there are scenarios where having travel insurance is required:

  • If you are applying for a short-stay visa to enter France: Travel insurance that covers the entire Schengen territory is required. Your French visa application may be rejected without one.
  • If your Schengen entry includes a country with travel insurance requirements: Some Schengen zone countries require travelers to show they have purchased travel insurance when they arrive at their entry point.

Why? There are several reasons:

Medical Emergencies: Your health is a top priority. If you face a sudden illness or injury in New York, travel insurance offers the means to receive prompt and quality medical care.

Lost Baggage: Airlines sometimes mishandle baggage, and the last thing you want is to be without your essentials in an unfamiliar place. Travel insurance offers to cover the cost of replacing necessary items, allowing you to continue.

Flight Delays: Travel disruptions like flight delays can happen. If you miss a connecting flight or incur additional expenses due to delays, travel insurance can help cover the costs.

How much does Travel Insurance cost for France?

In general, travel insurance costs about 3 – 10% of your total prepaid and non-refundable trip expenses. The cost of travel insurance depends on two factors for AXA Travel Protection plans: 

  • Total Trip cost:  The total non-prepaid and non-refundable costs you have already paid for your upcoming trip. This includes prepaid excursions, plane tickets, cruise costs, etc. 
  • Age:  Like any other insurance type, the correlation is rooted in increased health risks associated with older individuals. It's important to note that this doesn't make travel insurance unattainable for older individuals. 

With AXA Travel Protection, travelers to France will be offered three tiers of insurance:  Silver,   Gold  and  Platinum . Each provides varying levels of coverage to cater to individual's preferences and travel needs. 

AXA presents travelers with three travel plans – the  Silver Plan ,  Gold Plan , and  Platinum Plan , each offering different levels of coverage to suit individual needs. Given that France hospitals often do not accept U.S. health insurance or Medicare, we genuinely recommend travelers consider purchasing any of these plans, particularly for the crucial coverage they offer for emergency accident and sickness medical expenses.  

The Platinum Plan  is your go-to choice if you're looking for extra coverage aligned with the France’s experience. " Cancel for Any Reason " offers greater flexibility for those unexpected twists in your travel plans and the " Rental Car (Collision Damage Waiver) " offers assistance when you're out exploring France's stunning landscapes in a rental car. 

In case of a serious medical emergency, “Emergancy Evacuation and Repatriation” is crucial. It provides provisions for evacuation to the nearest appropriate medical facility or repatriation so you can receive the necessary medical care, especially if your condition requires specialized treatment. Finally, if you're skiing in the French Alp's world-renowned ski resorts, unpredictable factors such as adverse weather conditions or other unforeseen events can lead to the closure of ski slopes. The Platinum Plan’s "Lost Skier Days" benefit may offer coverage against expenses tied to unusable pre-paid ski tickets. This may ensure that even if your skiing plans face unexpected disruptions, you don't have to bear the full burden.

What types of medical coverage do AXA Travel Protection plans offer?

AXA covers three types of medical expenses:

  • Emergency Medical
  • Emergency evacuation & repatriation
  • Non-medical emergency evacuation & repatriation

Emergency medical: Addresses unforeseen situations, including but not limited to broken bones, burns, sudden illnesses, and allergic reactions. Emergency evacuation and repatriation: Can cover your immediate transportation home in the event of an accidental injury or illness. Non-medical emergency evacuation and repatriation: Offers assistance in leaving a destination promptly due to non-medical-related events. These events may include occurrences such as natural disasters or civil unrest.

Are there any COVID-19 restrictions for travelers to France?

No. France has dropped all COVID-19 restrictions for travelers from the United States.  

Traveling with pre-existing Medical Conditions?

Traveling with pre-existing medical conditions can complicate your plans, but with AXA Travel Protection, we're here to support you during your trip.  Our Gold and Platinum Plans offer coverage for pre-existing medical conditions. The Platinum plan, in particular, is our highest-offered choice for travelers who want our highest coverage limits and optional add-ons. What does this mean for you? If you've got a medical condition hanging around, you can qualify for coverage under our Gold and Platinum plan with a preexisting medical condition, so long as it’s within 14 days of placing your initial trip deposit and in our 60 day look back period. We're here to make sure you travel with ease, no matter your health situation.

1. Can you buy travel insurance after booking a flight?

You can buy travel insurance even after your flight is booked.

2. When should I buy Travel Insurance for France?

It's advisable to purchase travel insurance for your trip as soon as you have made your initial trip deposit (prepaid and non-refundable trip costs.) AXA Travel Protection offers coverage as soon as you purchase your protection plan. We can give coverage against unforeseen events before you leave for your trip.  Additionally, our policies offer coverage for pre-existing medical conditions and Cancel for Any Reason if you purchase your protection within 14-days of making your initial trip deposit.

3. Do Americans need travel insurance in France?

No, travel insurance is not required for U.S. citizens traveling to France.

4. What is needed to visit France from the USA?

U.S. citizens visiting France for tourism or business and staying for 90 days or less do not need a visa. However, a passport valid for at least three months beyond the planned date of departure from the Schengen area is required. Additionally, several documents such as proof of purpose of stay, evidence of sufficient funds, and onward/return ticket may be requested.  

5. What happens if a tourist gets sick in France?

If you become sick in France, travelers with AXA Travel protection can contact the AXA Assistance hotline at  855-327-1442 . Contact information is typically provided within the insurance documentation. Please ensure to read through your policy details and information.   

Disclaimer: It is important to note that Destination articles are for editorial purposes only and are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified professional. Specifics of travel coverage for your destination will depend on the plan selected, the date of purchase, and the state of residency. Customers are advised to carefully review the terms and conditions of their policy. Contact AXA Travel Insurance if you have any questions.  AXA Assistance USA, Inc.© 2023 All Rights Reserved.  

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Travel Guide

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Health and Insurance in France

General Availability of Healthcare

In general, France is a safe destination. You don't need shots, most food is safe, and the water is potable. It is easy to get a prescription filled, and nearly all destinations have English-speaking doctors at hospitals with well-trained staffs.

Contact the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers ( IAMAT; tel. 716/754-4883 or 416/652-0137 in Canada; www.iamat.org) for tips on travel and health concerns in the countries you're visiting, and for lists of local English-speaking doctors. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (tel. 800/311-3435 or 888/232-6348; www.cdc.gov) provides up-to-date information on health hazards by region or country and offers tips on food safety. Travel Health Online (www.tripprep.com), sponsored by a consortium of travel medicine practitioners, may also offer helpful advice on traveling abroad. You can find listings of reliable medical clinics overseas at the International Society of Travel Medicine (www.istm.org).

The following government websites offer up-to-date health-related travel advice:

  • Australia: www.smartraveller.gov.au
  • Canada: www.hc-sc.gc.ca
  • U.K.: www.nathnac.org
  • U.S.: www.cdc.gov/travel

What to Do If You Get Sick Away from Home -- For travel abroad, you may have to pay all medical costs upfront and be reimbursed later. Medicare and Medicaid do not provide coverage for medical costs outside the U.S. Before leaving home, find out what medical services your health insurance covers. To protect yourself, consider buying medical travel insurance.

U.K. nationals will need a European Health Insurance Card ( EHIC; tel. 0845/605-0707; www.ehic.org.uk) to receive free or reduced-costs health benefits during a visit to a European Economic Area (EEA) country (European Union countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway) or Switzerland.

If you suffer from a chronic illness, consult your doctor before your departure. Pack prescription medications in your carry-on luggage and carry them in their original containers, with pharmacy labels -- otherwise they won't make it through airport security. Carry the generic name of prescription medicines, in case a local pharmacist is unfamiliar with the brand name.

The most common menace, especially in large cities -- particularly Paris -- is the plague of pickpockets. Take precautions and be vigilant at all times: Don’t take more money with you than necessary, keep your passport in a concealed pouch or leave it at your hotel, and ensure that your bag is firmly closed at all times. In cafes, bars, and restaurants, it’s best not to leave your bag under the table, on the back of your chair, or on an empty chair beside you. Keep it between your legs or on your lap. Never leave valuables or luggage in a car, and never travel with your car unlocked.

In general, Paris is a safe city and it is safe to use the Métro late at night, though it is always best to not drawn attention to the fact you are foreign by speaking loudly in English. Use common sense when taking public transport at night.

Much of the country, particularly central France, the northeast, Normandy, and Brittany, remains relatively safe, although no place in the world is crime-free. Those intending to visit the south of France, especially the Riviera, should exercise caution; robberies and muggings are more likely to occur here than in other parts of the country. It's best to check your baggage into a hotel and then go sightseeing instead of leaving it unguarded in the trunk of a car, which can easily be broken into. Marseilles is among the most dangerous French cities.

Female travelers should not expect any more hassle than in other major cities, and the same precautions apply. Avoid walking alone at night and never get into an unmarked taxi. If you are approached in the street or on public transportation, it’s best to avoid entering into conversation, and walk into a well-lit, populated area.

If you take regular medication, pack it in its original pharmacy containers, along with a copy of your prescription.

Medical Insurance -- For travel overseas, most U.S. health plans (including Medicare and Medicaid) do not provide coverage, and the ones that do often require you to pay for services upfront and reimburse you only after you return home.

As a safety net, you may want to buy travel medical insurance, particularly if you're traveling to a remote or high-risk area where emergency evacuation might be necessary. If you require additional medical insurance, try MEDEX Assistance (tel. 410/453-6300; www.medexassist.com) or Travel Assistance International (tel. 800/821-2828; www.travelassistance.com; for general information on services, call the company's Worldwide Assistance Services, Inc. at tel. 800/777-8710; www.worldwideassistance.com).

Canadians should check with their provincial health plan offices or call Health Canada (tel. 866/225-0709; www.hc-sc.gc.ca) to find out the extent of their coverage and what documentation and receipts they must take home in case they are treated overseas.

Travelers from the U.K. should carry their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which replaced the E111 form as proof of entitlement to free/reduced cost medical treatment abroad (tel. 0845/605-0707; www.ehic.org.uk). Note, however, that the EHIC only covers "necessary medical treatment," and for repatriation costs, lost money, baggage, or cancellation, travel insurance from a reputable company should always be sought (www.travelinsuranceweb.com).

Travel Insurance -- The cost of travel insurance varies widely, depending on the destination, the cost and length of your trip, your age and health, and the type of trip you're taking, but expect to pay between 5% and 8% of the vacation itself. You can get estimates from various providers through InsureMyTrip.com (tel. 800/487-4722 ). Enter your trip cost and dates, your age, and other information, for prices from more than a dozen companies.

U.K. citizens and their families who make more than one trip abroad per year may find an annual travel insurance policy works out cheaper. Check www.moneysupermarket.com (tel. 0845/345-5708 ), which compares prices across a wide range of providers for single- and multitrip policies.

Most big travel agencies offer their own insurance and will probably try to sell you their package when you book a holiday. Think before you sign. Britain's Consumers' Association recommends that you insist on seeing the policy and reading the fine print before buying travel insurance. The Association of British Insurers (tel. 020/7600-3333; www.abi.org.uk) gives advice by phone and publishes Holiday Insurance, a free guide to policy provisions and prices. You might also shop around for better deals: Try Columbus Direct (tel. 0870/033-9988; www.columbusdirect.net).

Trip-Cancellation Insurance -- Trip-cancellation insurance will help retrieve your money if you have to back out of a trip or depart early, or if your travel supplier goes bankrupt. Trip cancellation traditionally covers such events as sickness, natural disasters, and State Department advisories. The latest news in trip-cancellation insurance is the availability of expanded hurricane coverage and the "any-reason" cancellation coverage -- which costs more but covers cancellations made for any reason. You won't get back 100% of your prepaid trip cost, but you'll be refunded a substantial portion. TravelSafe (tel. 888/885-7233; www.travelsafe.com) offers both types of coverage. Expedia also offers any-reason cancellation coverage for its air-hotel packages. For details, contact one of the following recommended insurers: Access America (tel. 866/284-8300; www.accessamerica.com); Travel Guard International (tel. 800/826-4919; www.travelguard.com); Travel Insured International (tel. 800/243-3174; www.travelinsured.com); and Travelex Insurance Services (tel. 800/228-4602; www.travelex-insurance.com).

Note : This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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Travel Insurance for Europe: 4 Best Options for 2024

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Allianz Travel Insurance »

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Travelex Insurance Services »

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Generali Global Assistance »

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Why Trust Us

U.S. News evaluates ratings, data and scores of more than 50 travel insurance companies from comparison websites like TravelInsurance.com, Squaremouth and InsureMyTrip, plus renowned credit rating agency AM Best, in addition to reviews and recommendations from top travel industry sources and consumers to determine the Best Travel Insurance for Europe.

Table of Contents

  • Allianz Travel Insurance
  • Travelex Insurance Services

You almost certainly will want travel insurance for Europe, mostly because the high cost for international trips is worth protecting against travel delays and trip cancellations. Since your U.S. medical coverage will not apply overseas, you also need international health insurance that covers surprise medical expenses and medical evacuation.

If you're searching for the best Europe travel insurance that money can buy, consider the following plans and all they have to offer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Most people need travel health insurance at a bare minimum when traveling to European destinations like France, Italy or Switzerland, as well as additional countries inside and outside of the Schengen area. After all, U.S. health insurance plans do not provide coverage for medical emergencies overseas, and the same is true for government health plans like Medicare. Check out our article on whether your health insurance covers international travel .

Other benefits built into Europe travel insurance plans can also protect the money that's been spent on airfare, hotel stays, Europe cruises and tours. For example, travelers can benefit from having coverage for trip cancellation, trip delays, lost or delayed baggage, and more.

Every travel insurance policy is unique, so you'll want to read over individual travel insurance plans to see what they protect against. That said, the bulk of travel insurance plans for trips to Europe provide the following coverages:

  • Trip cancellation
  • Trip interruption
  • Travel delays
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Baggage delay coverage
  • Medical expenses
  • Emergency medical evacuation
  • Rental car damage

Some travel insurance plans also offer additional or optional coverage for sports equipment or sports equipment delays, missed connections, accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D), adventure sports and more.

Some visitors to countries in the Schengen area are required to have a visa for short stays that can last for up to 90 days within a timeline of up to 180 days. However, this is not the case for American citizens, who can stay in Europe for up to 90 days at a time without meeting specific visa requirements.

The U.S. Department of State also notes that American citizens who want to stay in Europe for more than 90 days should reach out to the country they plan on visiting to inquire about their visa process.

If you live in a country that requires a Schengen visa, you are required to purchase Schengen visa insurance that pays for overseas medical expenses. This coverage must provide at least 30,000 euros in protection against medical expenses that result from hospitalization, emergency treatment and repatriation of remains in the case of accident or death.

  • Allianz Travel Insurance: Best Overall
  • Travelex Insurance Services: Best Cost
  • Generali Global Assistance: Best for Medical Emergencies
  • WorldTrips: Best for Groups

Optional cancel for any reason (CFAR) and preexisting medical conditions coverage available

Kids 17 and younger covered for free

Lower coverage amount for medical expenses than some providers

  • $100,000 per traveler in coverage for trip cancellation
  • $150,000 per traveler in coverage for trip interruptions
  • $500 in coverage for eligible trip changes
  • $50,000 in emergency medical coverage
  • $500,000 for emergency medical transportation
  • $1,000 toward baggage loss or damage
  • $300 in coverage for baggage delays of 12 hours or more
  • $800 in protection for travel delays (daily limit of $200 applies)
  • $100 per insured person per day in SmartBenefits coverage for eligible delays
  • 24-hour hotline assistance
  • Concierge services

Optional CFAR and preexisting medical conditions coverages available

Kids 17 and younger are covered for free

Many coverages cost extra

  • 100% of trip cost for trip cancellation (up to $50,000)
  • 150% of trip cost for trip interruption (up to $75,000)
  • $2,000 in coverage for trip delays of five hours or longer
  • $750 in coverage for missed connections
  • $50,000 in coverage for emergency medical expenses ($500 dental sublimit included)
  • $500,000 in coverage for emergency medical evacuation and repatriation
  • $1,000 in coverage for baggage and personal effects
  • $200 for baggage delays of 12 hours or longer
  • $200 for sporting equipment delays of 24 hours or longer
  • $25,000 for accidental death and dismemberment coverage
  • 24/7 travel assistance
  • 100% of the insured trip cost for financial default of a travel provider (maximum of $50,000)
  • Trip cancellation and interruption coverage for preexisting medical conditions (maximum of $50,000)
  • Cancel for work reasons coverage
  • CFAR insurance
  • Car rental coverage worth up to $35,000
  • $50,000 in additional emergency medical coverage
  • $500,000 in additional coverage for emergency medical evacuation and repatriation
  • Adventure sports exclusions waiver
  • $200,000 in coverage for flight accidental death and dismemberment

CFAR and preexisting medical conditions coverages available

High coverage limits for medical expenses and evacuation

CFAR coverage only reimburses at 60%

  • $1,000,000 coverage limit for emergency medical evacuation and transportation
  • $250,000 coverage limit for medical expenses ($500 limit for dental emergencies)
  • 100% of trip cost for trip cancellation
  • 175% of trip cost for trip interruption
  • $1,000 per person for travel delays ($300 per person daily limit applies)
  • $2,000 per person in coverage for baggage and $500 for baggage delays
  • $2,000 per person in coverage for sporting equipment and $500 for sporting equipment delays
  • $1,000 per person in coverage for missed connections
  • Air flight accident AD&D coverage worth $100,000 per person and $200,000 per plan
  • Travel accident AD&D coverage worth $50,000 per person and $100,000 per plan
  • $25,000 in coverage for rental cars
  • 24-hour travel support

Discounts for groups of five or more

Potential for high coverage limits for medical expenses

No coverage for trip cancellation

Available coverage limits vary by age

  • $5,000 for local burial or cremation
  • Up to $25,000 in AD&D coverage
  • $100,000 in coverage for emergency reunions
  • $10,000 in coverage for trip interruption
  • $1,000 for lost checked luggage
  • $100 in coverage for lost or stolen passports or visas
  • $100 in coverage per day for travel delays of at least 12 hours (two days of coverage maximum)
  • Up to $25,000 in personal liability coverage

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Holly Johnson is a travel writer who has created content about travel insurance, family travel, cruises, all-inclusive resorts and more for over a decade. She has visited more than 50 countries around the world and has an annual travel insurance plan of her own. Johnson also has experience navigating the claims process for travel insurance plans and has successfully filed several travel insurance claims for trip delays and trip cancellations over the years. Johnson works with her husband, Greg, who is licensed to sell travel insurance and owns the travel agency Travel Blue Book .

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