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​​Do I need travel insurance for a trip to Europe?

Aerial view of Paris streets and Eiffel Tower at sunset, France
Europe has generally been one of the top travel destinations for Americans. Alexandr Spatari / Getty Images

With warmer months ahead and vacation season fast approaching, now is the time to nail down your vacation plans. It appears travel is already making a comeback, with spending totaling $92 billion in December — 3% above 2019 levels, according to U.S. Travel Association.

Europe is a popular destination for summer vacations. In 2022, travel insurance marketplace SquareMouth estimated the average cost of a summer trip to Europe racked up more than $7,800, roughly $1,000 more than in previous years before the pandemic hit.

Searches for international flights are up 64% so far this year, Kayak says, reiterating the return of traveling abroad is real. As you crunch the numbers on your vacation, booking flights, hotels and excursions, you'll likely want to consider buying travel insurance.  The majority of insured travelers — 90%, to be precise — are traveling to overseas destinations, a 2022 travel study by SquareMouth stated.

If you're planning a European trip, then enter your trip and traveler information to view a list of dozens of travel insurance policies available to you. You can sort them by the cheapest options.

Do I really need travel insurance for Europe?

Europe has generally been one of the top travel destinations for Americans, accounting for nearly half of SquareMouth's sales before the pandemic hit. So, if you're like most Americans, you may be thinking about visiting some European countries in the near future.

As you start booking your 2023 travel, make sure you do your research. Travel insurance, which typically costs anywhere between 5% to 10% of your total trip expenses, could be a small price to pay for added financial protection and peace of mind. Here are some questions you should ask as you consider purchasing travel insurance:

  • Does my destination have any insurance requirements?
  • Will my current health insurance plan cover me overseas?
  • Do I have any pre-existing conditions or health issues that will increase the likelihood I need travel insurance with medical benefits?
  • Am I planning to travel for a long period of time or participate in high-risk activities, increasing the chances that I may need travel insurance?
  • How much is my total trip cost, and what are the potential savings travel insurance could give me if there's an interruption, delay, cancellation or lost items?
  • What does travel insurance cover, and are there any perks I may want?

To learn more about the benefits of travel insurance, and why many people traveling internationally are more likely to obtain coverage, head to SquareMouth now!

There are many reasons to buy travel insurance, particularly as travelers flock to airports and long TSA lines return, increasing the chances of a hiccup with the scheduling of your flight.

"Travelers today are growing more cautious following mounting airline-related mishaps, including widespread cancellations, staffing shortages, system outages and the looming threat of strikes," travel insurance marketplace SquareMouth said in a news release.

In general, travelers who are paying significant sums for trips, non-refundable trips or tour deposits and those who want to ensure they have proper medical coverage overseas are urged to obtain a comprehensive travel insurance plan. 

The U.S. State Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) point out that Medicare and Medicaid benefits won't work outside of the U.S. If you have private health care, you should check with your provider to see what's covered and what's not.

Bottom line

If you're traveling internationally, it's a good idea to get comprehensive travel insurance that includes medical benefits. International trips tend to be pricier than traveling locally, so the potential loss in investment and time could be greater. There are numerous ways travel insurance can help you, but the main benefits include: Covering emergency medical treatments, protection against mishaps or inconveniences and last-minute cancellations.

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