Like many other countries in Europe, Switzerland is a member of the Schengen area. Travelers from the U.S. can visit Switzerland without travel insurance. But even though travel insurance is optional, having good insurance is still important.
Switzerland offers traveling experiences like hiking around Lake Geneva and skiing in the Alps. European visitors enjoy these activities, but they pose a higher level of risk than a vacation full of sightseeing. If adventure turns to misadventure, travelers may discover the higher expense of medical care in Switzerland. They would receive help from having travel insurance that includes emergency medical expenses.
Adverse weather can also be a concern for travelers. The Alpine region is subject to avalanches, landslides and heavy snow. These conditions can affect a trip by causing baggage delays or grounded flights, making cancellation and trip interruption coverage a recommended purchase.
The following sections will take you through more coverage to consider including in your travel insurance policy.
Cancel for Any Reason Coverage
Sometimes things happen that are beyond our control, which sometimes causes travel plans to fall through. If you want assurances that you won’t lose money on a canceled or delayed Swiss vacation, cancel for any reason coverage (CFAR) is essential.
CFAR is optional insurance that you can add to travel policies, an added benefit allowing you to cancel your trip for reasons normally subject to exclusions. You can claim compensation for a canceled trip without worrying about whether the insurance company will confirm your claim.
Gear Theft Protection
Gear Theft Protection lets you file a reimbursement claim for lost or damaged baggage or valuables. The coverage protects you from having to replace your belongings with your own money.
However, this coverage has an upper limit, which may not cover the cost of multiple expensive items. If you’re taking a top-of-the-line camera on a hike to the Matterhorn, you might want to consider taking out a separate policy specifically for it.
Medical Emergency Insurance and Emergency Medical Evacuation
Travel medical insurance will cover any expenses incurred from receiving medical care while traveling through Switzerland. Coverage includes any healthcare you receive, such as prescriptions, scans, emergency medical aid and treatment. Medical coverage is important if you plan to take part in high-risk activities because healthcare can be expensive. Your regular health insurance policy won’t cover your medical treatment outside the U.S., leaving you to pay the bills yourself. By getting travel health insurance, you protect yourself from unexpected medical costs.
Emergency medical evacuation is coverage specifically for medical repatriation. You could return home for treatment if you fall extremely ill or incur a serious injury. Insurance would cover the cost. This may not apply to pre-existing conditions. You should declare them when you buy your travel insurance. Many providers offer extra coverage that includes pre-existing conditions, giving you full coverage.
Rental Car Protection
Rental car protection is usually add-on protection for a travel insurance policy, and it extends your coverage to include a rental car. Having this optional coverage is a good idea if you plan a road trip to multiple destinations like Zurich and Zermatt. Insurance benefits extending to a rental car within your policy could be much cheaper than buying coverage through the rental car provider.
Trip Cancellation Insurance
Trip cancellation insurance gives a reimbursement of the fully insured trip cost should one of the following occur before your trip:
- Death of a traveler or family member
- Unforeseen injury and illness
- Military or legal responsibilities
- Extreme weather or natural disasters in your country of residence or destination
Check your policy to see what constitutes a valid cancellation. The policy may also have a certain time window to cancel your trip and receive reimbursement. The time is typically 48 hours before your set departure time.