Did you know that there are states in Europe that have no passport or border controls on their mutual borders and visitors to these states can travel in any of them with just one visa!?
The region covering these states is known as the Schengen region and it comprises of 26 countries namely Austria, Hungary, Norway, Belgium, Iceland, Poland, Portugal, Italy, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands, Malta, Germany and Greece. The visa issued is also referred to as a Schengen visa.
However, United Kingdom countries such as England and Scotland do not lie in the Schengen region and therefore travellers to these countries must acquire separate visas at the embassy in their local countries.
In Kenya, one can apply for a Schengen visa at VFS Global processing center which processes visas for many of the Schengen consulates and embassies in the country. The center is located in Westlands, Nairobi. For a complete breakdown of the process involved, costs and requirements, please verify with the local embassy/consular page of the country you are travelling to.
Among the important requirements to be met when applying for a Schengen visa, Kenyan travellers need to have in place a Schengen travel insurance cover, return air ticket, proof of accommodation during their stay in Schengen and invitation letter if travelling say to visit relatives.
The travel insurance cover must cover emergency medical services with a minimum of 30,000 Euros and the cost of the cover is based on number of days of travel period and coverage needed. If travelling around the world and in need of more coverage, the cover will be expensive than if the converse were true.
Travel insurance also covers other risks such as loss of baggage, flight delays and cancellations, hijack among others. A traveller should thus look for a cover that is not only cheap but one that provides adequate coverage as well. Therefore when shopping for travel insurance online, it is important to
Kenyan travellers can compare insurance online and get discounts when shopping for travel insurance cover to the Schengen region. The cheapest options are offered by the below insurers;
Compare 10 travel insurance quotes online!
1. FIRST ASSURANCE TRAVEL COVER
First assurance offers a basic travel cover known as Europe Low Cost as well as Europe Plus travel insurance. The insurance cover is underwritten by MapFree assistencia and covers emergency medical expenses up to a limit of 30,000 Euros. In the event of death, the cover also caters for repatriation costs of mortal remains . It also covers the loss of in checked baggage and loss of any travel / ID documents and delays unlike most of the other basic covers on the market. Europe Plus option offers added benefits for the death or personal disablement of the insured and will pay out up USD 25,000 if a claim is lodged.
Pricing: Starts from USD 30 per person for journeys of up to 32 days
2. OCCIDENTAL EUROPE EXTRA INSURANCE
This is one of the most recent products introduced in the market still provided by the Spanish company MAPFRE. Occidental travel insurance is undoubtedly the cheapest travel insurance on the market introduced after the successful rebranding of the company to its white and green colors.
Occidental has 3 travel plans for Europe, namely the Basic, Plus and Extra. The most recommended option is the Extra option, which offers up to USD 100,000 emergency medical expenses limit.
Price: From USD 15 for travel up to 7 days
3. AIG KENYA
Being an international insurance company, AIG Kenya travel insurance is very popular owing to its brand. It covers medical expenses and offers travel guard benefits up to USD 75,000 each. AIG also offers some of the best assistance and rescue solutions due to its international status and worldwide network.
Pricing: Starts from USD 25 per person
4. CIC BUDGET TRAVEL INSURANCE
CIC Kenya offers 5 world international travel insurances all underwritten by Specialty Assistance. The CIC Budget International travel cover is most suitable for travellers to the Schengen region and it covers emergency medical expenses up to a limit of USD 50,000.
Pricing starts from $20 per person for trips up to 8 days
5. JUBILEE TRAVEL COVER
Jubilee insurance offers one of the cheapest rates for travel insurance with the cost of the policy being $1.10 per person per day. This means, instead of charging the premium payable for a block of days, the rate is charged per each day of travel. This is different from all the other providers in the market that charge for a block of days usually with a minimum of 7 days.
The Jubilee Express travel insurance is the most suitable package for travellers to the Schengen region. It covers emergency medical expenses to a USD 45,000 limit, loss of baggage, flight delays and cancellations among others.
Pricing: USD 1.10 per person per day
6. UAP OLD MUTUAL
Old Mutual UAP is an insurance powerhouse in East Africa, established after the merger of UAP and Old Mutual, the giant in financial services globally. UAP Old Mutual is partnered with AXA worldwide to offer these international travel insurance covers to consumers in Kenya. Inter Partner Assistance offers Payment Of Medical Bills Abroad, Emergency evacuation and repatriation, In hospital monitoring, Emergency information and assistant, Return of mortal remains, Legal assistance. The Schengen travel insurance option offers an emergency limit of up to USD 80,000 but does not offer cover for travel delays and cancellations and also baggage loss and delays.
Price: Starts from USD 25 for trips of up to 8 days
It is prudent to note that travel insurance policies cover flight delays and cancellations that are occasioned by the airline or due to acts of terrorism among others. For such a claim to be admissible there must be evidence of the airline admitting the same. If one misses a flight for any other reason that the airline is not party to, then the claim may not be admissible.
If you are in Kenya and in need of a travel insurance cover for a Schengen visa application, check out this page https://www.pesabazaar.com/insurance/travel-insurance for a comparison online travel insurance quotes. You could save up to 40% on your travel cover