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I am planning to visit Europe this weekend. I received travel insurance on behalf of my Indian tour operator and has coverage like delay of checked in baggage, dental, medical, and a lot of other stuff.

My question is where exactly do I need to display the copy of travel insurance normally (not referring to while making any claim)

Is it checked by the airline desk or customs/immigration ?

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3 Answers 3

In general, in normal travel you will never be asked to actually show the documents, however there are exceptions :

  • Technically customs officials can ask to see proof of insurance if you are on a visa that requires you to have such insurance. It's unlikely that they will do so, but you will want to be prepared in case they do.

  • Some travel companies, especially packaged tours, will require you to have insurance and (in my experience) they will always ask for proof of coverage - not just to confirm that you are covered, but also to take a copy of the details in case they need them during the trip.

  • Rental car companies in some countries will ask to see proof of suitable insurance if you decline to take their insurance coverage for the vehicle you are renting.

It's also likely that you will be required to show proof of insurance in the event that you obtain any services that will require a claim to be made, such as being admitted to a hospital. Depending on the location, hospitals can refuse to carry out anything other than critically required services if they do not have confidence that they will be paid for such services - and that normally means insurance. In many cases they are also required to contact the insurance company before performing such services.

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In the Schengen area, the border guards could in principle ask about it but usually don't. I don't think the airlines care at all. It's mostly necessary if you need a visa because consulates do ask about it.

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Thx...I already have got a Schengen visa..and have the travel insurance as well..but was just wondering if it is a routine procedure to check travel insurance at either airports... –  testndtv Jan 25 at 11:20
    
It's also required if you want to claim on it! –  Gagravarr Jan 25 at 21:44
    
@Gagravarr Well, not necessarily, your insurance knows you have a contract with them, usually you just need to identify yourself over the phone, perhaps to give them a customer number but not to produce an actual contract… –  Relaxed Jan 25 at 22:04
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Hospitals will often want to see the certificate, and it's also handy for when you need to ring up the insurers as it has all the key details on it –  Gagravarr Jan 25 at 22:05
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I have visited 30+ countries in the last 11 years.
(Much of mainland Europe, UK, USA, quite lot of Asia, Australia.)

I have never been asked about my travel insurance by any official (or anyone else).
Which is not so say that your experience will be the same.

The closest I've come is when driving a 'Eurolease' car, which is fitted with telltale "I am a tourist" red number plates :-(, and entering Slovenia from Italy, the border guards / customs men said our vehicle insurance may not be valid and we had to wait while they checked elsewhere. Initially they 'put on a somewhat stern face', but once they had verified that the insurance was OK they were most friendly and cooperative.

In China I was bitten by a playful guard dog and had to have Rabies injections. They did not ask about travel insurance and I suspect that as the full charge for an initial anti-Rabies course was under $US10 they would have not been happy if I'd asked. (Next 3 required shots in following weeks and months in other countries cost $100s each.

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All experiences will not be the same. I've had to show proof of insurance at least 8 times whilst travelling... –  Doc Jan 26 at 2:47
    
@Doc - Yes. Experiences vary. Can you advise what countries asked for insurance proof, and what % of occasions this was. That is liable to be useful information for the OP and for others (and for me). When travelling non-buiness I have sometimes relied on "free" Gold VISA travellers insurance. You qualify for this by paying using the relevant VISA card or an associated bank account. There is NO specific documentation, NO confirmation of cover, NO way of being sure that you have not missed a loophole and are not covered. On one trip I did just that as I stupidly failed to realise that ... –  Russell McMahon Jan 26 at 21:31
    
... the insurance does not apply to business travel. I read all fine print but missed that !!!!. Needless to say I am "twitchy" about using such "open" insurance BUT have never been asked. –  Russell McMahon Jan 26 at 21:32
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