Schengen travel insurance for U.K nationals
Do I need a Schengen Visa and travel insurance to travel from the U.K. to the Schengen Area?
If you are a U.K. citizen, you do not currently need a visa to travel to the Schengen Area if you plan on staying for fewer than 90 days, as the country currently has visa-free travel arrangements with the Schengen Zone of countries, despite Britain’s departure from the European Union (EU) and the end of its transition period at the end of 2020.
There are, however, some changes to arrangements with the EU. For example, most U.K. residents can no longer apply for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and must apply for the U.K.’s Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) to ensure they are covered for necessary medical treatment in Schengen states during their trip.
As such, travel and medical insurance is not a necessity for British citizens visiting the Schengen Area, but is recommended as a GHIC does not cover the costs of all medical treatment.
If you are living in the U.K. and are a citizen of a country without a visa-free travel arrangement with the Schengen Zone, you will need to apply for a Schengen Visa. To obtain a Schengen Visa you will need travel insurance covering you for medical and repatriation costs up to €30,000 that is valid in all 27 Schengen states. Taking out insurance is strongly advised - even if it is not a condition of obtaining your visa - to ensure you are covered for all eventualities during your holiday or business trip to the Schengen Area. AXA provides a number of insurance options tailored to meet these criteria that you can buy to ensure you are covered when applying for a Schengen Visa.
What are my options when buying Schengen travel insurance from AXA ?
For those on a tighter budget or who want basic coverage, AXA provides Low Cost Schengen Area travel insurance that meets your visa requirements from as little as €22 per week. This will cover you for medical expenses up to €30,000 in all Schengen countries and offer you coverage in case of repatriation. A certificate proving you are insured will be available immediately, meaning you can get on with your application.
As the number one brand for Schengen Visa insurance AXA also offers other options and tailor-made products. Other coverage available includes our Europe Travel insurance, costing €33 per week - this is perfect for those traveling with family as it covers children under 18, or for those planning more adventurous activities during their trip as it covers expenses up to €100,000. With this type of insurance, you are also covered for loss of documents or other important items, as well as other problems you might encounter during your trip.
Schengen Multi Trip insurance, perfect for regular travelers, is available for €328 for a year’s coverage and has the same benefits as Europe Travel but can be used throughout a year on multiple trips - perfect for business travelers who need comprehensive coverage to ensure their trips aren’t disrupted by any mishaps.
AXA’s travel insurance plans offer you peace of mind, allowing you to enjoy certain guarantees in the event of hospitalization: assistance for solo travelers, an extension of your stay, daily compensation, and much more.
Do I need to know anything else to apply for a Schengen Visa in the U.K.?
You will first need to work out which Schengen Visa you need, depending on the purpose and length of your trip and how many times you plan to visit. The standard Schengen Visa, for trips lasting up to 90 days, is a short-stay visa, with longer stays requiring a work or study visa. Multiple-entry visas are also available if you plan on traveling regularly to the Schengen Area. U.K. nationals were previously allowed to travel and work in any EU country, but having left the EU they will need to apply for a work or residency visa in each country - which will often require medical and travel insurance.
You must apply for your visa no more than six months, and no fewer than 15 days, before your trip. It is advised you apply at least three weeks before you leave, however, to allow for any delays in the processing of your application. Then, you need to fill out your application, obtain all the documents you need for your visa, and attend an interview at a consulate, embassy, or visa application center.
You need to apply at the embassy or consulate of the country where you plan to spend most of your visit, or, if spending an equal amount of time in two countries, the one which you will visit first. Often this will be via a third-party visa application center that acts on its behalf for the initial stages of visa processing, such as checking supporting documents and the collection of biometric data. For example, the firm VFS Global handles visa applications on behalf of Italy and many other countries, while France is represented by the firm TLScontact. You can also fill in your visa application form via their websites.
How much does a Schengen Visa cost from the U.K.?
A visa from the U.K. costs €80 for adults and €40 for minors. Visa fees are waived for children under six years of age. You will also need to pay for your insurance, should you require it, and prove you have enough funds to support yourself during your stay (an amount that varies from country to country), and the right travel and accommodation bookings or reservations to match the purpose and duration of your visit.
What documents do I need to apply for a U.K. Schengen Visa?
You can download a Schengen Visa application form here : https://www.axa-schengen.com/downloads/en_SCH_visa_form.pdf
During your application, you will need two recently taken passport-style photos and a British passport or other travel documents that are less than 10 years old and valid for at least three months after your departure date from the Schengen Area. In addition to your travel and medical insurance, you will need a cover letter stating your itinerary and the purpose of your visit, as well as a flight itinerary and proof of accommodation during your stay, proof of your civil status, like a marriage certificate, and proof you have means of subsistence during your stay. This will vary from country to country.