France : Do you need insurance ?

If you travel to a European Union country, you will need your European Health Insurance Card (which you can obtain from your National Insurance office, valid for one year). This card certifies your right to health insurance and covers your medical expenses if necessary during temporary stays in Europe, regardless of the reason for your travel (weekend break, holidays, studies, work placements or professional secondment), subject to your fulfilment of the formalities in effect in the country where you are staying:


  • Your certificate (registration) number.
  • Bills from doctors and medical institutions.
  • Original prescriptions and medical expense forms completed in the insured person’s name and containing the labels for the corresponding medications.
  • In the event of hospitalization, surgical operation, X-ray photography or medical treatment, ask for a medical certificate for your doctor to complete.

Links to a selection of insurance providers

Useful information sources: Insurance Documentation and Information Centre (CDIA) / French Federation of Insurance Companies (FFSA)

Differentiate between insurance and assistance. The first provides the insured person with financial compensation for a risk covered by the contract. Assistance helps the insured person in the case of difficulty and covers the associated expenses: medical, repatriation, technical support and legal aid. Unlike certain types of insurance, assistance contracts are never compulsory.

What are the required features of travel insurance?

  • This insurance can be taken out:
    - Either in the visa applicant’s country of residence;
    - Or by the host in France, in which case the hosting certificate must be completed.
  • Travel insurance must meet the following conditions:
    - Cover any repatriation expenses for medical reasons, emergency medical and/or hospital care up to at least €30,000;
    - Valid throughout the Schengen Area;
    - Valid for the duration of your stay;
    - Receipt of benefits in a Schengen State.
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