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Travel insurance for France
Compare the best France travel insurance in 2021.
Oh, Paris — we swoon at the thought of it. But France has so much to offer beyond the City of Lights. Before you leave for its world-class museums, sweeping landscapes and regional delicacies, protect your adventure — and your wallet — with a travel insurance policy.
What's changed in 2021?
The US government has issued a Level 4 travel advisory for France as of April 2021. Read the fine print of your travel insurance policy to learn whether it covers emergencies, evacuations, interruptions or cancellations for your France trip during the pandemic. Learn more about restrictions and requirements for US travelers by country.
*Be aware that most travel insurance policies don’t offer COVID-19 coverage. To find one that does, have a look at travel insurance policies that cover the coronavirus.*
Compare travel insurance for France
Sort through travel insurance plans for France by trip cancellation, emergency medical expenses, baggage coverage and trip delay. Or choose the Go to site button for more information about each policy.
More often, your risks will involve limited room in your stomach for the food and drink that abounds. Situations for travelers to keep an eye out for include:
- Terrorist threats. Terrorism is an escalating concern across the globe, and France has seen its share of incidents in recent years. If you need to cancel your trip after a violent incident, travel insurance can reimburse you.
- Civil unrest. Protests and demonstrations are common in France, but they can also turn violent. Tourists should avoid such gatherings, particularly at night and in outlying Paris suburbs. If your trip is delayed or cut short because of civil unrest, your insurer can reimburse you.
- Petty crime. Pickpockets are widespread in France, particularly in large cities that attract tourists. Be vigilant on public transportation, don’t leave belongings or rental vehicles unattended and use ATMs in protected spaces, like banks and malls. If your valuables are stolen, travel insurance can reimburse you.
What should I consider extra coverage for?
You can adventure to your heart’s content in France, but your standard policy may exclude the more heart-pounding among them. Look for extra coverage if you’re considering:
- Hiking. Popular nature getaways can reward you with breathtaking mountain trails to explore.
- Climbing. Home to the majestic Pyrenees, France offers mountain climbing as sport.
- Cycling. France hosts more than 30,000 miles of beautiful bike paths.
- Skiing and snowboarding. The best skiing is in the Alps, where you can take part in downhill, cross-country and snowboarding.
- Water sports. Indulge yourself with sailing, fishing, diving and jet skiing across the Mediterranean.
- Motorcycling. While popular, you could find yourself hung up in chaotic traffic conditions, requiring extra vigilance.
- Adventure sports. Go hang gliding, paragliding and spelunking for a different perspective on France.
Cycling in Paris
Cycling is a popular means of getting around in Paris, which hosts 400 miles of dedicated routes. So many cyclists on the roads combined with infamously erratic Parisian motorists can spell danger if you don’t know what you’re doing. Cycling around the Arc de Triomphe is particularly perilous, with traffic coming from all directions and no one willing to concede right of way.
If you plan to cycle in Paris, make sure it’s covered by your travel insurance. Carefully read your policy for exclusions. And read up on the road rules for cyclists to avoid inadvertently voiding your coverage.
Common scams in France
It’s not just France: Scammers all over the world fair consider tourists fair game for tricks that part them from their money. To avoid falling prey to a scam, carry your money securely in a money belt or internal pocket, and be on the lookout for pickpockets, thieves and scam artists, particularly around major tourist attractions such as the Eiffel Tower.
Popular scams to look out for include:
- The gold ring. A person “finds” a gold ring and gives it to you. If you take it, they demand their share of its value.
- The string trick. A magician shows you a trick by tying a piece of string around your finger. While your arm is disabled, an accomplice steals your wallet.
- The clumsy jogger. A jogger “accidentally” bumps into you and then steals your wallet while helping you to your feet.
If you’re the victim of a scam, contact your travel insurance company immediately.
If you encounter an emergency while traveling in France, you aren’t alone:
- Friends and family. Especially if you need emergency cash.
- Your insurer’s 24/7 emergency hotline. Most insurers offer overseas support.
- French police. Call the national emergency line at 112 if you’re the victim of a crime.
- Embassies or consulates. Get help with lost passports or getting home in a crisis.
France is the ultimate vacation destination for romantic getaways, thrill seeking and jaw-dropping vistas and landscapes. A travel insurance policy can make sure you come home with memories to brag about and pictures to post, rather than looming medical bills or missing electronics you can’t afford to replace.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need a visa to visit France?
No, Americans can visit France for up to 90 days without a visa.
When is the best time to visit France?
It depends on your travel plans. If you’re planning to sun yourself along the Mediterranean coastline, plan your trip in the summer to avoid wet, unpredictable weather.
If you’re looking for vistas unmarred by other tourists, avoid the main French vacationing periods from mid-July to the end of August. Also avoid school breaks in Paris around Easter and in the ski fields in February, when tourism numbers — and prices — skyrocket.
How can I access my money in France?
If your bank partners with an associate bank in France, you’ll likely be able to withdraw money from an ATM at a reasonable exchange rate and with minimal fees. Smaller purchases and rural areas tend to require cash in small bills.
Credit cards are widely accepted in major cities and towns, although some businesses accept only French credit cards. You can exchange US dollars for euros at most post offices, while banks, airports, ferry ports and train stations tend to offer poor exchange rates.
One way to carry money in France is on a prepaid travel card that you can purchase before leaving home. The better travel money cards don’t charge a conversion fee or withdrawal fee and reward you with bonus points on your spending.Back to top
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