Earlier this summer, Greece made headlines by becoming one of the first countries to open to vaccinated tourists. Understandably, a record number of visitors are opting to get travel insurance for Greece to add peace of mind in times of a global health crisis.
I’ve been what I call a “professional traveler” for five years now, after leaving a job in corporate law to start this travel site. I’ve encountered more than a few hiccups along the way – from being robbed in Belize to getting trapped in Argentina when they closed their borders during the global outbreak of Covid-19. Based on my experiences, I personally always choose to get travel insurance. But, of course, you have to know where to find it in the first place, as well as what the specific situation is in Greece.
In this guide, I’ll quickly explain everything you need to know about travel insurance when you visit Greece:
- 🚢 Do I need travel insurance for Greece?
- ✔️ Why get Greece insurance
- 👉 Best sites for Greece travel insurance
- 👮 Travel safety in Greece
If you’re just looking for the best sites to search, here’s a quick summary my current favorites for finding travel insurance for Greece:
Do I Need Travel Insurance for Greece?
Travelers to Greece are not legally required to purchase travel insurance for travel to Greece. Despite not being a requirement for entry to Greece, it may nonetheless be advisable for many travelers. The U.S. Embassy in Greece, for example, warns American travelers that the U.S. government does not cover medical bills overseas and recommends that travelers “should purchase insurance before you travel.”
Why Should I Get Greece Travel Insurance?
Whether or not you need travel insurance for Greece is a personal choice, but I have always chosen to cover my travels to Greece with trip insurance. That was true even before the pandemic, but it’s especially true these days.
Personally I use World Nomads for my own travel insurance policies, but there are many providers out there. You can use either Aardy or TravelInsurance.com to compare quotes from hundreds of sites (they’re both search engines that work pretty well). If you’re a senior citizen or have a pre-existing condition that otherwise makes getting a quote hard, I’d suggest checking out Insure My Trip as they tend to provide quotes where other insurers won’t.
Here’s why I chose to insure my travel to Greece:
Greece’s Covid-19 Pandemic
Many European countries, including Greece, are making great strides against Covid-19. However, the pandemic continues to affect international travel, and probably will for at least the next year or more.
As of late July, 2021, Greece is currently in the middle of yet another surge thanks to the highly contagious Delta variant [Source: CNBC]. Even if you are vaccinated, quarantine rules, lockdowns, and travel restrictions can easily disrupt travel plans. With travel insurance for Greece, I would personally feel more comfortable traveling during a pandemic.
Now, it’s important to note that there are a lot of losses you can suffer due to pandemic (ranging from having a flight cancelled to getting covid yourself). Insurers vary a lot in what exactly they cover and do not cover with respect to covid-19, so read the terms of your policy carefully before buying.
Travel Is Full of Unexpected Plot Twists
I’ve learned that no matter how well you plan, international travel can go sideways – even when there is not a global crisis to content with. Among other misadventures, I have contracted dengue fever in Thailand, been trapped by pandemic-related border closures in Argentina, surrounded by protestors in the Bolivian desert, burglarized on a trip to Austin, and caught up in a severe hurricane in Puerto Rico.
Here are a few of the benefits of travel insurance many travelers appreciate:
✈️ Trip Cancellation Protection
- What It Is: Trip cancellation protection can kick in if your trip gets canceled due to an event covered by your insurance. When it applies, this coverage can help you get reimbursed for any non-refundable cost.
- Why It Matters: Whether it’s multiple annual trips or a single trip, travel is often out of our control. Personal or family illness, natural disasters, or hotel and flight issues can all affect your trip. Depending on the terms of your policy, travel insurance can help cover any cost or losses.
💉 Emergency Medical Coverage
- What It Is: If you get hurt or sick while traveling, emergency medical coverage may help cover medical bills like hospitalization, x-rays, prescriptions, or outpatient care.
- Why It Matters: Medical insurance is one of the main reasons I seek out travel insurance. Medical expenses can add up, so I like to cover the cost with insurance. And, as mentioned above, emergency medical coverage is specifically recommended by the U.S. Embassy in Greece.
🚗 Rental Car Protection
- What It Is: Greece, like almost every country, requires drivers to have some form of insurance coverage to get behind the wheel. Many travel insurance policies include these coverages, but be sure to check if yours does.
- Why It Matters: Greece is known for its gorgeous mountainous landscape, but that also means narrow roads and hairpin turns! Renting a car is an excellent way to get around, but obviously accidents and roadside issues can happen anywhere.
🚁 Emergency Medical Evacuation
- What It Is: Emergency medical evacuation coverage can help cover expenses for serious medical issues requiring evacuation. Depending upon the specific terms of the policy involved, it can help cover the cost of transportation to a hospital and cover the travel of family members or a dependent.
- Why It Matters: I hope to never have such a severe injury or illness that I would require an extended hospital stay or evacuation. But serious medical issues are possible, and I personally prefer to purchase insurance than risk racking up thousands in medical expenses for something that might have been covered.
💻 Lost Luggage and Gear Theft Protection
- What It Is: Lost luggage protection is a part of travel insurance that may help you recoup your cost if someone steals any of your luggage or other gear. You’ll want to sift through your policy to make sure you are covered for everything you need, and double check the policy limits.
- Why It Matters: Unfortunately, every country has its pickpockets! I prefer to use travel insurance to cover my more valuable items like cell phone, laptop, camera, or expensive athletic gear.
📞 Emergency Assistance
- What It Is: Most travel insurance coverage will offer an emergency assistant line – where you can access help 24/7 by phone. This is important, because problems on the road rarely happen during the 9 am to 5 pm period in the United States.
- Why It Matters: When I’m in a tough spot on a trip, I appreciate having someone to call at any time.
Of course, travel insurance policies vary depending on what you need, and these are just a few of the benefits of travel insurance for Greece. Make sure you read through your policies thoroughly and understand your coverage based on the trip you’ve planned.
Best Sites to Compare Travel Insurance for Greece
Another important decision is finding trip travel insurance that fits your holiday or travel plans. But how do you find the right coverage? Let’s look at a few of the options for covering your trip to Greece.
World Nomads is the insurance plan I personally used on my last trip to Greece.
Here are a few reasons why I personally love World Nomads for my travel insurance:
- 🌎 By Travelers, For Travelers – What first drew me to World Nomads was that the owners are extensive travelers themselves. They understand the perspective of frequent travelers like me, and have created a great experience that makes it easy to buy insurance and get on with your trip planning.
- 😀 Extensive & Flexible Options – Depending upon the plan you choose and your country, World Nomads offers coverage for up to 200 different types of activities. The upgraded Explorer Plan covers more adventure activities than the Standard Plan, so be sure to consider your specific needs. You can also extend your trip last minute and soak up a bit more Mykonos sun before you leave.
- ☎️ 24 Hour Emergency Help Line – You can call for assistance any time of the day or night if you end up in a tight spot when visiting Greece.
Of course, World Nomads won’t necessarily be a fit for everyone. The most notable downside is that World Nomads doesn’t sell travel insurance to travelers over age 70 in the USA, or over age 65 in other countries.
The TravelInsurance.com search site makes makes it easy to compare different travel or health insurance providers, price, and policies if you’re still trying to find the best travel insurance policy for your trip. You can easily enter your trip details to pull up comparisons, and then securely purchase insurance directly through the site. I found quotes from hundreds of companies for travel insurance to Greece. They also show customer reviews to the side to get an idea of how reputable each company is.
This is a comparison site that works pretty similarly to the previous suggestion. Just answer a few questions here, provide your email, and in a few minutes Aardy will send over a number of different quotes. I especially like that they are super transparent when it comes to covid-19 coverages. They clearly highlight what is covered with respect to the pandemic, which is helpful for quickly picking a policy and getting on with planning your trip.
Insure My Trip came to me through reader recommendations. Travelers over age 70 or with pre-existing medical conditions loved the support. Insure My Trip is an aggregator to help you compare prices and find coverage for pre-existing conditions. They also have a program called “Anytime Advocates” where they assign a representative to advocate for their clients who are submitting a claim to the underlying insurer.
👉 Pro tip: Remember to read all terms and conditions and get familiar with whatever policy you eventually choose! Good research will ensure you have the best travel insurance for your needs.
Travel Safety in Greece
Greece is one of the safest destinations for global tourism. However, it’s always wise to stay updated on travel advisories and advice on European and global trends before your trip. Before traveling to Greece, check for advisories from the US State Department and the UK FCDO.
Crime in Greece
Crime in Greece is relatively low, and the country is considered very safe for tourists. The most significant risk you’ll face is petty nonviolent crimes like pickpocketing, similar to the risks involved in travel to places like Spain and Ireland.
Follow these tips to avoid petty crime:
- 👜 Keep an eye on your belongings to avoid pickpockets, especially in crowded cities like Athens.
- 👉 If you’re concerned about pickpockets, consider a money belt or slash-proof bag.
- 💳 Keep your essential items like credit cards, ID, and passport separate. Keep a backup payment option separate as well.
Above all, don’t stress too much! Follow sensible precautions, keep your bags zipped, and enjoy Athens, the Greek Islands, or wherever you’re going.
Greece’s Healthcare System
Greece has an excellent standard of healthcare for its citizens, though it can vary on the islands.
Like many European countries, Greece has a national healthcare system (ESY) free for Greek citizens. Citizens from EU countries can use a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from a registered office. This card provides coverage for some medical expenses if you travel to Greece.
For anyone else without the EHIC, like citizens of the USA, travel insurance is your best option.
Health Insurance in Greece
National healthcare services cover Greek citizens. If you are thinking of moving to Greece, you can also choose an international private medical insurance (iPMI) option available in many countries.
Greece Travel Tips
- 🗺️ Where to Go: Athens, Thessaloniki, Mykonos, Milos, or many other Greek Islands. Santorini is also popular, though I personally think it’s massively overrated.
- 📆 Best Time to Visit: Greece’s weather is best during spring (April – June) and autumn (September – October) so you avoid the windy season. See my article on the best times to visit Europe for more info..
- 💶 Currency: Greece uses the Euro
- 🗨️ Language: Greek is the national language, but most Greeks speak English as well.
To learn more travel and holiday tips for visiting Greece, check out my comprehensive Greece Travel Guide.
Frequently Asked Questions
Check out a few quick answers to travelers’ most burning questions about Greece travel insurance:
How much does travel insurance cost for Greece?
For about a week-long trip to Greece, most travelers can expect to pay between $50 to $150 USD for a travel insurance policy. The average cost for Greece travel insurance will vary based on several factors like your age, the time of year, the length of the trip, and the activities you want to cover. It will also depend upon the specific insurer you select, as well as your desired policy limits.
Which travel insurance is best for a Schengen visa?
For travelers going to Greece with a Schengen Visa, medical insurance must meet the following requirements: 1) A minimum coverage of 30,000 EUR, 2) cover all Schengen Area member states, and 3) cover expenses related to repatriation for medical reasons, urgent health issues, or emergency hospitalization or death.
Will travel insurance cover Greece?
Most travel insurance companies will offer coverage for trips to Greece, but you will need to purchase travel insurance specifically for your trip to Greece. You can easily find coverage for a Greek vacation by reviewing our list above of the best websites to find quotes.
We’ve covered everything you need to know about travel insurance in Greece and the Greek islands. Don’t forget to thoroughly read through the terms and conditions of any insurance policy and seek advice from a licensed broker if you have any questions or concerns.
Be sure to check out all my Greece travel guides as you plan your trip, and safe travels!
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