7 Best Europe Travel Insurance Plans for US Citizens in 2022

Updated on by Matthew H. Nash – Licensed Insurance Agent

Every year millions of Americans flock to Europe for their dream vacations. Whether it’s visiting the Eiffel Tower, sunning themselves on a Greek beach, sampling the best beer the Czech Republic has to offer or skiing in the Alps, Americans love vacationing in Europe. Since there is so much uncertainty around travel these days and an increased potential for trip delays and cancellations, emergencies, luggage issues and more, having the best European travel insurance policy is essential. Below, I explain how much you can expect to pay, the level of coverage you may need and the distinctions between top policies. Read more about our unbiased ranking methodology and advertiser disclosure.

4.9
  • SwiftScore
      Our SwiftScore is a unique and proprietary insurance ranking system objectively comparing key metrics which are most important to Europe travelers. Learn more at the end of this page.

STARTING PRICE
FOR 2-WEEK TRIP TO THE EUROPE

$91.18

CAN YOU CANCEL YOUR TRIP FOR ANY REASON? 

Yes

BEST
 WEBSITE
FOR

Comparing Policies

  • Compare dozens of the best Europe travel insurance policies from all the major providers in one place
  • Easily filter for the features you want and get support from their award-winning customer service team
  • Founded in 2013, TravelInsurance.com has helped hundreds of thousands of travelers find affordable insurance coverage
4.8
  • SwiftScore
      Our SwiftScore is a unique and proprietary insurance ranking system objectively comparing key metrics which are most important to travelers. Learn more at the end of this page.

STARTING PRICE
FOR 2-WEEK TRIP TO THE EUROPE

$145.41

CAN YOU CANCEL YOUR TRIP FOR ANY REASON? 

Yes

BEST
POLICY
FOR

Travelers Aged 55+

  • Pre-existing medical conditions are covered for a reasonable fee and they offer “cancel for any reason” as an add-on
  • $2,000 COVID quarantine coverage available w/ Safe Travels Voyager plan
  • Founded in 1998 and underwritten by Nationwide and GBG Insurance
squaremouth
4.8
  • SwiftScore
      Our SwiftScore is a unique and proprietary insurance ranking system objectively comparing key metrics which are most important to travelers. Learn more at the end of this page.

STARTING PRICE
FOR 2-WEEK TRIP TO THE EUROPE

$76.44

CAN YOU CANCEL YOUR TRIP FOR ANY REASON? 

Yes

BEST
WEBSITE
FOR

Filtering Plans

  • This comparison website has the most comprehensive filters especially for Covid-19 which helps you search for the specific benefits you need
  • They have “Zero Complaint Guarantee” which promises a fair claims process
  • Established in 2003, Squaremouth has consistently been recognized for it’s exceptional customer service
4.7
  • SwiftScore
      Our SwiftScore is a unique and proprietary insurance ranking system objectively comparing key metrics which are most important to travelers. Learn more at the end of this page.

STARTING PRICE
FOR 2-WEEK TRIP TO THE EUROPE

$88.00

CAN YOU CANCEL YOUR TRIP FOR ANY REASON? 

Yes

BEST
POLICY
FROM

An Established Brand

  • Well rounded, inexpensive travel insurance plans from an established and top rated global insurance company
  • AXA has plans that cover pre-existing conditions and their “Platinum” plan covers “cancel for any reason” with an optional add-on. They also offer helpful 24/7 Worldwide Travel Assistance Services
  • Founded in 1959 and underwritten by Nationwide
4.7
  • SwiftScore
      Our SwiftScore is a unique and proprietary insurance ranking system objectively comparing key metrics which are most important to travelers. Learn more at the end of this page.

STARTING PRICE
FOR 2-WEEK TRIP TO THE EUROPE

$78.80

CAN YOU CANCEL YOUR TRIP FOR ANY REASON? 

No

BEST
POLICY
FOR

Adventure Travel

  • Covers almost all adventure activities for a reasonable price for U.S. residents up to age 70 (worldwide up to age 65)
  • Can insure up to 9 people in one family and the signup process is super easy
  • Founded in 2002 and underwritten for U.S. travelers by Nationwide Insurance
4.2
  • SwiftScore
      Our SwiftScore is a unique and proprietary insurance ranking system objectively comparing key metrics which are most important to travelers. Learn more at the end of this page.

STARTING PRICE
FOR 2-WEEK TRIP TO THE EUROPE

$139.00

CAN YOU CANCEL YOUR TRIP FOR ANY REASON? 

Yes

BEST
POLICY
FOR

Family Travel

  • Their “Trip Interruption for any Reason” feature allows you to get a 75% reimbursement for any additional expenses if you decide to go home early from your trip
  • They have a variety of insurance products to suit any travel needs
  • Founded in 1993 and underwritten by Nationwide Insurance
3.6
  • SwiftScore
      Our SwiftScore is a unique and proprietary insurance ranking system objectively comparing key metrics which are most important to travelers. Learn more at the end of this page.

STARTING PRICE
FOR 2-WEEK TRIP TO THE EUROPE

$22.50

CAN YOU CANCEL YOUR TRIP FOR ANY REASON? 

No

BEST
POLICY
FOR

Long-term Travel

  • Ideal for digital nomads and long-term travel, available to anyone anywhere
  • Scored lower because short-term travel coverage isn’t as robust as competitors
  • Founded in 2018 and is underwritten by Lloyds of London

travel insurance
4.9
  • SwiftScore
      Our SwiftScore is a unique and proprietary insurance ranking system objectively comparing key metrics which are most important to travelers. Learn more at the end of this page.

STARTING PRICE
FOR 2-WEEK TRIP TO THE EUROPE

$91.18

CAN YOU CANCEL YOUR TRIP FOR ANY REASON?

Yes

BEST
WEBSITE
FOR

Comparing Policies

  • Compare dozens of travel insurance policies from all the major providers in one place
  • Easily filter for the features you want and get support from their award-winning customer service team
  • Founded in 2013, TravelInsurance.com has helped hundreds of thousands of travelers find affordable insurance coverage

Europe travel insurance FAQs

What is not covered by travel insurance?

You can expect your Europe travel insurance coverage to protect against a number of incidents, particularly those that are unforeseen and unexpected. However, several things may not fall under coverage, especially trip changes or cancellations due to personal preferences or whims. One example may be that you have a falling out with your travel companion and no longer want to go together. Another may be that you get swamped with work right before your trip and decide you shouldn’t leave on vacation after all. If you want more flexibility with your plans, the optional Seven Corners Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) upgrade that would make your trip eligible for reimbursement. Seven Corners also has Trip Interruption coverage to protect you financially should your trip get cut short due to covered emergencies.

Furthermore, standard travel insurance plans do not cover pre-existing medical conditions. Still, most providers have optional packages you can purchase if this concerns you or your travel companions. Every insurance provider has different requirements, but most only give you 14-21 days after paying the deposit on your trip to add this upgrade to your plan.

Does travel insurance cover adventure sports and extreme activities?

Opportunities to participate in adventure sports or extreme activities abound in Europe. Whether you decide to go surfing in Portugal, skiing in Chamonix, bungee jumping in the Swiss Alps or white water rafting in Slovenia, or something completely different, Europe will not disappoint. And you will be even more pleased to know that many travel insurance providers will cover these outdoor excursions.

I recommend using SquareMouth.com and choosing the “Sports & Activities” filter. It will allow you to enter any extreme sport or activity you’re interested in while on your European vacation and then show you all of the standard insurance policies that cover them. Remember to read the policy details before purchasing any travel insurance plan.

What to do if you’re in an emergency in Europe?

In an emergency in any European Union (EU) country, dial 112 from any phone. For other European countries that are not part of the EU, you may want to consult this list of European emergency phone numbers.

Should you or another traveler insured by your policy experience a medical emergency, be sure to contact your travel insurance’s customer support line. They will coordinate transportation to a hospital that is up to US standards so that you can receive the best treatment possible.

Does travel insurance cover cancellation due to Covid or other communicable diseases?

Travel insurance companies are constantly adapting to the pandemic. As a result, many standard travel plans cover COVID-19 related cancellations or medical treatments. You can use a comparison website such as TravelInsurance.com to find the best new policies. I recommend choosing a plan with at least $50,000 in emergency medical coverage and $100,000 for medical evacuation. If you have already purchased a plan, check with your provider whether they have a policy rider that will cover trip cancellations due to communicable diseases.

It is important to highlight that some aspects of travel may be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic but not covered by insurance. These may include border closures, quarantine restrictions, negative test requirements, fear of travel due to new outbreaks, etc. If you think any of these issues may alter your travel plans, buying a Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) upgrade will give you added peace of mind.

How long does an insurance claim take?

After completing a claim with all necessary documentation, expect reimbursements to take 6 to 8 weeks. This time frame may vary from one provider to another, though.

What happens if my travel insurance claim is rejected?

If your claim was rejected, there are several potential reasons why: the policy did not cover the claim, required procedures were not followed, pre-existing medical conditions were not disclosed or costs were not accurately reported. If you believe your claim is valid, but the insurer rejects it, they will notify you of the available follow-up steps.

Does travel insurance cover emergency dental work?

Travel insurance policies tend to cover a minimal amount of dental work, ranging from $100-$750, and only for natural teeth. Bridges, crowns and false teeth do not fall under coverage, and neither do routine cleanings and exams. Trip insurance plans also limit when covered dental work can be performed. Review the full details for any plan you intend to purchase and ask the provider for clarification if you are unclear about its benefits.

Does travel insurance cover the death of a relative?

The answer to this question differs between policies. Suppose a relative of yours dies from a pre-existing health condition or suicide, you may not be eligible for bereavement benefits if you bought the cheapest travel insurance plan available. However, some policies with higher premiums will reimburse you regardless of the cause of death. It’s essential to read the policy details in full for relevant specifics.

Another aspect to consider is who each provider deems “covered relatives” are. Do in-laws count? Siblings? Pets? Cousins? Grandparents? Again, there is no one-size-fits-all answer as it varies from one insurance plan to the next.

Most common problems while traveling in Europe and how to avoid them:

Illnesses

When traveling in Europe, there are far fewer illnesses one has to worry about than in more exotic, tropical destinations. The most typical illness people experience is food poisoning, which is no more common than it is in the US.

That said, if you’re traveling through some of the southern European countries in the peak of summer, be mindful of the potential for sunstroke (aka heatstroke). Symptoms include vomiting, nausea, high fever, nausea and the possible loss of consciousness. If you suspect that you have sunstroke, consult a medical doctor immediately.

Accidents

When it comes to accidents in Europe, the ones involving tourists are rather run-of-the-mill, such as trips and falls, car accidents or those involving sports or outdoor activities. For the latter, always ensure that you book your activities through reputable companies with a solid safety track record.

Another common accident amongst Americans in Europe is from driving mopeds. If you do not know how to operate one properly, be sure to ask for advice and instructions before setting off on any grand adventures. And once you do, take your time and stay alert.

Muggings

Muggings and pickpocketing are most common in tourist-packed cities like Florence, Paris, Barcelona, Belgrade, Marseille and Sofia. Be mindful of your possessions when in large crowds and alert to your surroundings whenever you’re out exploring, especially at night. It’s also vital to remain alert whenever you take public transport to reduce your risk of being a victim. Remember that pickpockets often work in teams, in which one distracts you while the other steals your valuables.

Emergency resources for Europe

Phone numbers

If you are in a European Union country, dial 112 from any phone in the event of an emergency. For countries in Europe that are not part of the EU, refer to this list for each country’s specific emergency hotline number.

US embassy or consulate details

There is at least one US Embassy or Consulate General in each European country. Use this list to locate the embassy or consulate nearest to your vacation destination. Each city/country’s webpage will have its phone number, address, hours of operation, and other essential information regarding citizen services.

Travelers who wish to play it safe can register their trip with the closest US Embassy or Consulate through the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. A significant benefit of the program is that it sends you travel advisories specific to your destinations within Europe. Listing your trip also allows them to communicate with you and your family should an emergency occur.

Other local knowledge that is helpful for travelers

Communication

Using your American mobile phone in Europe adds up quickly. To avoid spending a small fortune on mobile phone service, take advantage of the free Wi-Fi available in most cafés, fast-food restaurants, and some hotels. Sending emails and texts via messaging apps or making Wi-Fi calls are also great ways to save money. Remember to switch all of your phone’s app updates to manual instead of automatic since data charges can add up quickly.

However, if you want to be constantly accessible, upgrade to an international calling plan with your US mobile phone carrier before leaving home. Your other option would be to purchase a European SIM card as a more affordable way to stay connected. If you prefer the latter, contact your US mobile phone carrier for more information, as they will need to unlock your phone from their network before you leave for vacation. Prepaid credit for calls, messages and data is relatively affordable in Europe, and unlike in the US, you can still receive calls even if you run out of credit within a given country.

Currency

Not all countries in Europe use the euro (€), so I recommend checking in advance which currency each country you’ll be traveling to uses. To see which countries use the euro, visit the European Union’s website. Also, the World Atlas has a helpful chart that lists all European countries and their respective currencies (see bottom of the page).

Always have cash on hand while traveling through Europe to cover public transportation costs, tolls, parking garages, gas (petrol), tips, and other low-cost purchases you may make. To get the best exchange rates, withdraw cash from a local bank’s ATM upon arrival. In Europe, ATMs are known as cash machines. Be sure to steer clear of non-bank-owned cash machines such as Travelex, Cardpoint, etc., since they are more vulnerable to being hacked and charge significantly higher fees and exchange rates. Remember to alert your bank in the US of your exact travel dates and respective destinations, so they don’t block your card.

Also, note that if any business asks you whether you would like your purchase to be in the local currency or US dollars when using a credit or debit card, always choose the local currency. If you opt for USD, you will be charged an additional processing fee for the simple privilege of being told the price conversion!

Getting Around

Europe has excellent public transportation, including cross-border flights, trains and buses within the continent. If you prefer to travel between European countries via train, you might want to look into purchasing a Eurail pass. While there are various tiers you can opt for when buying such a pass, they all give you the freedom of not having to commit to specific destinations or dates. However, it will require you to complete all of your travel within a given time window. Buying individual tickets for each particular destination is also an option, and it may save you money if you are not planning to make more than 2 or 3 trips by train.

When it comes to flying, I recommend using a flight comparison site such as Kayak.com or SkyScanner.com. You can often find very reasonably-priced tickets with major airlines. It is important to note that budget airlines generally do not allow flight changes or cancellations and charge extra for luggage and food.

Bus networks within Europe are not as extensive as their rail equivalents, but they are much more affordable and more readily available. You can buy your tickets at station kiosks, onboard or online, and booking in advance online is always your best bet for securing a seat for your preferred date and time.

For those who wish to see Europe by car, it is always best to reserve your rental before leaving on vacation. One thing that catches many American visitors off-guard is that most rental cars in Europe come with manual transmissions. Therefore, if you prefer an automatic, you will need to filter for this when comparing various rental car offers. Keep in mind that cars with automatic transmissions will cost more per day than those with manuals.

Taxes

Throughout all of Europe, prices are inclusive of sales tax, known as a value-added tax (VAT), so you can expect to pay the price you see on menus and price tags.

For those of you who are traveling throughout the European Union, you may be able to reclaim some of the VAT you pay on larger purchases (the minimum amount varies from country to country). Please visit the European Union’s website Taxation and Customs Page to learn more about getting a VAT refund. For non-EU countries, you will need to inquire specifically with their customs agents at the local airports. Additional information is available at Global Blue. Should you wish to receive an on-the-spot refund, allow for an extra 45 minutes to 1 hour at your departure airport.

Tipping

Unlike in the US, tipping is not as standardized or costly. In some cases, it is not even expected. Tipping your taxi driver an extra €1 is adequate or a little more if they help you with your bags. No tipping is necessary in cafés or restaurants where you order at the counter. However, if you are receiving table service, look at your bill ––they don’t call it a check-in Europe––to see if a service charge has been included. If so, then tipping is not necessary. If not, then 10% is a good tip for quality service. Of course, you are welcome to tip more if you feel the service was outstanding. Other service providers that often get tipped are hotel housekeeping staff, room service staff, bellhops, and activity and tour guides.

What to pack for Europe

Apart from Travel Insurance, we recommend you bring the following items for maximum health, safety, and enjoyment of your trip to Europe.

A final note about travel insurance for Europe

I have spent dozens of hours researching travel insurance, including getting quotes and comparing coverage from all the most popular brands. Regardless of where you’re going I am confident that you will also find that TravelInsurance.com offers the best way to compare policies with the ideal combo of coverage and price.

I wish you and yours an incredible journey.

SwiftScore Ranking Methodology

  • Average price for a 2-week vacation based on a 35-year-old California resident traveling to the Europe with a $3,500 trip cost
  • Coronavirus coverage
  • Cancel for any reason (CFAR)
  • AM Best rating of the underwriter
  • Key policy details including cancellation, interruption, emergency medical evacuation, and baggage & personal effects
  • Ease of sign up
  • Policy language clarity
  • User reviews