Many take precautions when planning a trip abroad to take out travel insurance. In some cases, subscribing to such coverage is mandatory under the penalty of not obtaining a Visa or being refused entry into the territory. It will then be necessary to provide a travel insurance certificate that meets the expectations of the consular authorities. So how do you get this travel insurance certificate? What points to pay attention to? Is it mandatory? What are the guarantees included, and how to choose them? We will tell you everything!
What is a travel insurance certificate for?
The travel insurance certificate proves that you have taken out individual cover (or a group travel insurance contract). Regardless of the entity issuing it to you, the travel insurer, or the bank, this document specifies the scope of your cover, the period of validity of the latter, or the destination(s) for which you will be covered.
When you sign up for your travel insurance online, you normally pay the premium electronically and securely. This allows you to be covered immediately or certain that you will be covered abroad on the date of departure. Your certificate will be sent to you by email or in a paper version by post.
In principle, your nominative travel insurance certificate is given to you as soon as the subscription to the contract is finalized, whether in an agency or online. It is also possible that you can freely download your travel insurance certificate on your personal space.
It is possible to obtain certain Visas, and a physical and original certificate will be requested. If necessary, do it in advance: a lack of certification will be equivalent, for certain countries, to a refusal of a Visa. Likewise, if you send it too late, the Visa will not be granted in time, and you may not be able to leave on the scheduled date.
The certificate will normally be available in several languages (French, English, Spanish, etc.). In the event of a particular problem in this regard, contact your insurer.
How do I request a Visa or MasterCard travel insurance certificate?
High-end bank cards (Visa, American Express, and MasterCard) have guarantees similar to travel insurance. Although the exact extent of coverage depends on the card (and the bank), we generally find:
Insurance guarantees (payment of medical and hospitalization expenses abroad, disability-death insurance, civil liability guarantee, etc.); Assistance guarantees (repatriation assistance, for example).
We advise you to take out travel insurance with a specialized organization. But you are free to settle for the coverage provided by your credit card. It should be noted, however, that the latter’s protection will be more limited in terms of guarantees, the compensation ceilings will be lower, and the cases of exclusion more numerous. In addition, deductibles may also be payable by you.
The easiest way to obtain a Visa, MasterCard, or American Express travel insurance certificate is to apply online, most often by going to your personal space. In principle, you can download it in 2 minutes. Other actions will be possible via your account: you can, for example, consult the guarantees granted according to the card range, declare a claim, or even request a refund.
Remember that the travel insurance certificate from your credit card may not be sufficient for some consular authorities when you apply for a Visa. Indeed, several consulates/embassies require that the traveler take out the travel insurance personally with an approved insurer or expect a minimum level of coverage which may be higher than the ceilings set by the card.
How do I get a travel insurance certificate?
The best practice in 2022 is to put several quotes in competition to find the contract with the best guarantee/price ratio. Don’t settle for your tour operator’s offers; otherwise, you’ll miss out on better coverage elsewhere! Reassure me offers its travel insurance comparator. It is free, non-binding, and anonymous. Furthermore, as a 100% independent digital broker, we have no interest in promoting one offer over another.
Some tool analyzes the best contracts on the market based on your profile and your needs. It presents an objective selection of the most suitable, specific criteria such as the level of guarantee, the coverage ceilings, or any deductibles.
Read also: Assist card travel insurance
What is the essential information of the travel insurance certificate?
The travel insurance certificate must include several essential pieces of information. If something is missing, the risk is seeing you refused the Visa or losing precious time.
Initially, the certificate must be personalized and nominative for all the participants in the trip. Then, it will generally have to mention (because of the requirements of the majority of countries issuing Visas):
- Your surname and first name (as indicated on the passport);
- References from the insurance company;
- The policy number;
- The validity period of the travel cover (which must correspond to your dates of stay);
- Guarantees and coverage ceiling (death, medical expenses & hospitalization, repatriation);
- The destination(s) covered.
For example, if you are going to Russia, certain information will be required to obtain your Visa. For example, the terms “Russian Federation,” “certificate of insurance” (and not of assistance), etc., will have to appear clearly.
When you ask for a right of entry into a country where travel insurance is compulsory, you must be at least covered up to €30,000 for hospitalization costs abroad and benefit from repatriation assistance in case of emergency.
Is travel insurance compulsory?
Travel insurance is, in the vast majority of cases, not compulsory. It will only be for a few (rare) destinations. The consular authorities requesting a travel insurance certificate to grant a Visa do not all have the same requirements regarding the level of cover. Be very attentive to the conditions required before joining your contract.
Even if it is most often optional, travel insurance remains essential, regardless of:
- The length of your stay abroad;
- Its purpose;
- The destination;
- The number of people traveling with you;
- The cost of your stay.
Unfortunately, no one is immune to falling ill or having an accident while traveling. Because of medical and hospitalization costs in certain countries (North America, Asia, etc.), it is better to be well covered; otherwise, you will have to pay very large sums, as Social Security does not guarantee coverage. Supported outside Europe. Many French people have had to pay for medical repatriation without travel insurance! The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also regularly reminds us of the benefits of this insurance.
In particular, the Tourism Code obliges travel organizations to offer their customers dedicated coverage, even if the latter are free to join it or not.
In addition to the insurance and medical assistance guarantees found in this type of contract, consider the interest of additional guarantees, such as trip cancellation insurance or luggage cover. Failing this, it will again be up to you to bear the financial consequences in the event of an incident.
In which countries is the travel insurance certificate compulsory?
Travel insurance is compulsory if you go:
- In Algeria;
- In China;
- In Russia (since 1998);
- In Cuba (since 2010, for the tourist card).
You must provide a travel insurance certificate in support of your Visa application, regardless of the Visa requested: tourist, business, private. As an essential document in the file, an original may be requested. These States make travel coverage compulsory to no longer encounter the case of foreign nationals who cannot afford to pay the bill when admitted, for example, to a hospital establishment.
The embassy or consulate will verify the information contained in the document and ensure that you have the minimum level of coverage required, generally:
Repatriation assistance; Coverage of medical or hospitalization costs up to (at least) €30,000.
You should also know that the certificate may be requested when entering the territory. Remember to slip it into your suitcases.
In addition, nationals of certain countries must, if they go to or transit through the Schengen area, apply for a Schengen Visa from the State concerned, a request which will be conditional on the delivery of a certificate of Schengen travel insurance. Finally, it should be noted that the Working Holiday Visa (PVT: working holiday permit) can, in certain cases, make it compulsory to take out specific PVT travel insurance
(And therefore, the transmission of a valid certificate). The cover duration must at least correspond to the duration of the stay in the country concerned.
Travel insurance guarantees
All travel insurance is generally based on a common base of guarantees. The three basic guarantees found in the vast majority of cases are as follows:
Reimbursement by travel insurance of your medical expenses or hospitalization abroad (very often capped);
Coverage by travel insurance in the event of repatriation, if your State of health (following an accident, for example) requires an emergency return to France in the eyes of the insurer/doctors on site;
Civil Liability travel insurance cover abroad if you (or a person dependent on you) cause material, bodily or immaterial damage to others.
The cover can, of course, go beyond these three main guarantees. Everything will depend on the formula taken out, and the options chosen. Depending on your needs, you can, for example, complete your protection by subscribing to:
- Luggage cover (loss, theft, damage);
- Cancellation insurance;
- A guarantee for the loss of identity papers;
- An interruption of stay guarantee;
- Extreme sports guarantee
When choosing your contract, also pay attention to the assistance guarantees included. These are essential in case of trouble abroad.
It is, therefore, possible for you to take out a tailor-made travel cover perfectly suited to your real needs and at the best price. To do this, consider our online travel insurance comparator!