Do I need travel insurance to go to France?

France remains one of the most famous tourist destinations on the planet today. Its capital — i.e., the iconically romantic city of Paris — is, of course, its most popular among tourists. But along with the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Champs Elysees, and Disneyland, France has plenty more to offer — both within and beyond Paris. For example, the pristine beaches of the French Riviera. The first-class ski slopes of The French Alps. The high-speed action of the Tour de France. Some of the world’s best vineyards and wines. The most Michelin-starred restaurants in the world. And much, much more.

In other words, if you plan to be one of the dozens of millions of visitors France welcomes each year, prepare to be pleasantly surprised. It will definitely be the trip of a lifetime. And, as such, it’s never a bad idea to have it insured.

Who needs travel insurance to visit France?

France is definitely universally famous for having an exquisite culture, an unwavering charm, and — well, that certain je ne sais quoi. But it also happens to have a very rich and unique history. And part of that unique history is that it is one of the five original member countries of the Schengen area (along with Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg).

So if you plan to visit France (and/or any other of the 29 countries currently in the Schengen zone) — depending on your nationality and country of origin, you might need a Schengen visa. And to be granted a Schengen Visa, it is mandatory that you have the proper travel insurance.

Which travelers are required to apply for a Schengen visa (and, therefore, travel insurance) to visit France?

You will need a Schengen visa to visit France if you are a national of a country that has not signed a visa waiver agreement with the European Union. This includes several countries from the Maghreb, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Russia, India, and others.

Citizens of these countries will need both a Schengen visa and the appropriate travel insurance to enter France’s borders.

What are the travel insurance requirements for obtaining a Schengen visa?

To be granted a Schengen visa for France (or anywhere else in the Schengen zone), your insurance must meet the following criteria:

  • Guarantee minimum coverage for at least €30,000 in medical expenses
  • Cover any expenses which might arise in connection with repatriation for medical reasons
  • Cover you in all member states of the Schengen Area (not just France)
  • Cover you during the entire duration of your trip and stay in France (and/or the rest of Schengen area).

If you’re not sure whether you need a Schengen visa to enter France or not, you can learn more here.

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What if I don’t need a Schengen visa (and, therefore, travel insurance) to visit France?

If you happen to be a national of one of the 29 countries within the Schengen zone, you obviously don’t need to apply for a Schengen visa to visit France. Moreover, countries like the U.S, U.K., Canada, and Australia have visa-free travel agreements with the Schengen area. So if you are a citizen of one (or more) of the above, you don’t need to apply for a visa either — that is if you are spending no more than 90 days in France and/or the other Schengen states. And if you don’t need a Schengen visa, then whether or not you get travel insurance is up to you.

That said, opting for comprehensive travel insurance for your journey is still highly recommended — both by the French authorities and by the embassies of most countries around the world.

For example, if adventure is on your itinerary, you can never be too prepared. Because whether you’re boating or scuba-diving along the French Riviera or hiking or skiing in the Pyrenees, accidents might happen.

And even if your vacation is more of the laid-back variety, travel insurance is still a safe bet. Whether you’re basking in the French Riviera sun, tasting some of that amazing French wine and/or food, or taking that mandatory selfie or three with the Eiffel Tower — you still never know what might go wrong.

Moreover, while France is world-famous for having a great healthcare system (along with one of the highest life expectancies in the world), medical costs for foreigners can still be relatively high. And this is especially true if you need to pay for specific medications and/or prescriptions.

In short, no trip is ever 100% risk-free. And as you discover France and its many wonders, having your potential medical expenses covered will mean one less thing to worry about. Not only that, but it may end up saving you thousands of euros/dollars — not to mention unnecessary stress, worry, and overall health — if something does go wrong.

Why choose AXA Schengen Travel Insurance for France?

Well, first off, AXA happens to be a local! That is, we are a French firm that has been delivering affordable, comprehensive insurance coverage for over 20 years (and counting). As such, when it comes to experience and expertise, we’ve established a longstanding international reputation both within and outside of France. Not to mention a thorough knowledge and understanding of local culture all over the world. But if knowing a well-established and internationally experienced local is not enough, here are a few more reasons why AXA got your back:

  • Our plans meet all the necessary requirements for obtaining a Schengen Visa for France.
  • If you’re planning a multi-country Eurotrip, our plans cover not only France but all 29 Schengen territories and all 27 European Union countries (as well as the United Kingdom, depending on the chosen insurance)
  • Getting an AXA plan is quick, easy, and affordable (starting at just 22€/week). And it can be done online in a matter of minutes.
  • We offer up to €100,000 coverage in medical expenses, and up to 180 days of coverage
  • We provide 24/7 medical assistance (in English or French) in case of an emergency
  • We offer zero deductible (which will allow you to avoid some upfront and early costs with your claim)
  • There are no age restrictions with AXA’s plans.
  • Once you’ve purchased your AXA plan, you can download (and/or print) the official travel insurance certificate online instantly.
  • The AXA insurance certificate is accepted at all Schengen embassies and consulates
  • If your Schengen visa for France is denied, AXA’s Travel Insurance plans are refundable in most cases. You’ll just need to provide the appropriate documentation (i.e., an official explanation as to why your visa was refused by the relevant embassy, consulate, or visa application center).

Which AXA plan suits my needs best?

Which plan you choose will depend on the particular nature of your trip. Are you going to France for business, pleasure, or both? Are you traveling solo or with family? How far are you going, how long do you plan to stay, and how adventurous do you plan to be? Whatever the case, AXA offers three comprehensible options for you to choose from — one of which is more than likely to meet all your travel needs:

  • Our Low Cost plan provides our most basic coverage and starts from as little as €22 per week. It’s perfect for those going to France on a budget but still hoping to be covered for most basic medical needs. It covers medical expenses of up to €30,000 (in France and the rest of the Schengen Zone), meets all the requirements necessary for obtaining a Schengen Visa, and offers coverage in case of hospitalization or repatriation.
  • AXA’s Europe Travel starts at €33 per week, meets all Schengen Visa requirements, and covers medical expenses of up to €100,000. One major bonus is that Europe Travel covers not only France and all 29 Schengen countries but also all 27 EU countries, the European microstates of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City, and the UK. The plan also covers you in case of the loss of documents and/or valuables, as well as a number of other problems you might run into during your stay: search and rescue costs, assistance for the insured party traveling alone (hotel for a friend or relative), and so on. Europe Travel is a comprehensive travel insurance policy perfectly designed for those planning to visit as many European countries as possible.
  • Our most comprehensive plan — Multi-Trip — starts at €328 for a full year’s coverage. It’s perfect for business travelers and anyone else planning to travel to France and the Schengen area regularly. It offers the same comprehensive coverage as Europe Travel throughout all the Schengen and EU countries, as well as Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City, and the U.K. And it’s ideal for multiple-entry visa holders.

Which insurance plans to consider?

 Coverage durationMax.
Countries CoveredAverage price 
Europe TravelUp to 180 days €100,000
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom
33€ per week
(approx. US$ 35)
Multi Trip Illimited number of stays of 90 days max.
during 1 year 
€100,000328€ per year
approx. US$ 349)
Low CostUp to 180 days €30,000
Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland
22 € per week
(approx. US$ 23)

COVID Restrictions for entering France

A COVID certificate, negative test result, and/or reason for travel are no longer required to enter France (or its overseas territories) — regardless of where you’re coming from.

Masks are still highly recommended in places like hospitals and retirement homes. But they are also no longer mandatory.

But the rules can still change, so be sure to check the latest info on the official Re-Open EU page.

NOTE: AXA’s plans will cover your medical costs related to coronavirus — provided you haven't traveled against World Health Organization advice, personal medical advice from your doctor, or any other government body’s advice in your home country or the country you are traveling to. In this case, emergency and additional travel costs are also covered.

Furthermore, all electronic certificates purchased and issued on the AXA Schengen site include the following disclaimer: “Medical fees related to COVID-19 are covered in the terms, conditions & exclusions established in the insurance policy”. This will satisfy any embassy rules that state you must get an insurance certificate with COVID protection.

What should I do if I am injured or ill while in France?

Don’t worry - AXA’s Schengen Insurance is here to guide, help, and protect you. In case of a medical emergency, you should contact the AXA Schengen call center at the number provided on your insurance policy. Our medical assistance professionals will answer your questions and advise you 24/7. They’ll also help you find the medical center closest to your location and best suited to your situation.

When you call, be sure to have the following information on hand:

  • The number of your policy (which begins with “SCH”).
  • The address and telephone number at which you can be reached (and the details of the people that can be contacted locally on your behalf).
  • Your dossier number (which is communicated at the time of the first call).

IMPORTANT: Remember to always keep any bills/invoices and enclose them with your file.

What else should I know when preparing my trip to France?


The capital of France is Paris (aka the City of Light, the City of Love, and the Capital of Fashion).


France is a member of the Eurozone; hence, the official currency throughout France — as of January 1st, 2002 — is the Euro (€).


France is generally safe — especially outside of its larger cities. However, you should still take sensible precautions against possible street and/or car crime. For example, don’t keep your passport, credit cards, and other valuables in the same place. Use inside compartments in bags whenever possible, and keep your belongings close to you in restaurants and bars. Stay alert around tourist attractions and cash points. Thieves and pickpockets particularly operate on the Paris metro, and you should be careful when visiting the Stade de France — as gangs are known to operate in the area and violent assaults have occurred nearby.

Public transport:

Public transport in France is of a superb standard, so it’s relatively easy to get around the whole country without a car. Paris has an extensive Metro network, with Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Rennes, and Toulouse also boasting their own rapid transit systems. Most major cities in France have connections to the high-speed network, making this the most popular and efficient mode of French public transportation. Buses and coaches are also good ways to traverse the country — especially for connections from air or rail to mountainous areas. And France also has excellent rail and road links with its Schengen and EU neighbors.

Opening hours:

The standard shopping day in France, from Monday to Saturday, starts at 9 a.m. and finishes at 7 p.m. Most large stores and shopping malls will remain open all day, but smaller establishments often close between 12 and 2 pm for lunch (and this can include shops, banks, and offices). This may be extended during the summer months — particularly in the south (due to the heat).

Driving license:

Your license should be recognized in France for as long as it is valid — but you should check the expiry date just in case. However, in certain cases, your driver’s license may have to be accompanied by an official translation in French (or an international driving license).


As sometimes shops and services close down for lunchtime, restaurants open up. Most restaurants offer service between 12pm and 2.30pm, and 7.30pm and 9.30pm. In cities, however, you may find restaurants remain open later.


Is France part of the Schengen Zone?

Yes. France is one of the 29 Schengen member states (and it’s also one of 27 members of the European Union).

Where can I apply for a Schengen visa for France?

You can apply for a Schengen visa for France at the French consular authorities, embassies, and/or visa application centers in your country of residence. You can also learn more on the Official visa website for France.

How much does a Schengen visa for France cost?

The cost of a Schengen visa is universal. A Schengen visa for France, therefore, costs 80€ for adults, 40€ for children between the ages of 6 and 12, and is free for children under 6yo.

Does AXA’s Schengen travel insurance cover French overseas territories?

It does not, as they are not in the Schengen Area. Overseas French territorial communities include Martinique, Guadeloupe, Guyane, Reunion Island, Mayotte, Saint-Barthélemy, Saint-Martin, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, the Wallis and Futuna Islands, and French Polynesia.