We recommend buying travel insurance before your trip to Poland. Get a policy that covers any medical costs you incur while away, as well as lost luggage, and unexpected hotel or plane cancellations.
The view from Kanonicza Street
Medical Care For Foreigners In Poland
One of the most important reasons for travel insurance is to cover medical costs should you become ill or have an accident when you’re in Poland. This is not because medical care is expensive here. In fact, the country has become a destination for medical tourism, because the high standards of treatment can be significantly cheaper than in the UK, US, or Germany. However, if you need hospitalisation, surgery, or emergency transportation home, the costs will quickly add up. A good insurance policy can potentially save you a lot of cash.
Citizens of the European Union are entitled to the same state treatment as Polish nationals provided they have a valid EHIC card. However, coverage is limited and not at all specific to the needs or dangers unique to travellers, and it should never be considered a replacement for travel insurance.
Proof Of Insurance Required
You will need to prove you have valid insurance if you need access to care at a clinic or hospital in Poland. Without it, you risk being denied treatment, however life-threatening. Proof of insurance is usually enough to overcome any reluctance on the treatment centre to give care.
Certain nationalities will also need to prove they have comprehensive travel health insurance to apply for a visa for the Schengen group of countries.
What To Look For in a Travel Insurance Policy
Before you buy a policy for travel insurance, check the following:
Valid in Poland: Obviously, the plan you purchase must be valid in Poland. This is highly unlikely but it should always be the first thing you check.
Cancellation coverage: Make sure that the policy will cover any hotel reservations and plane tickets in the event of cancellation. You should also consider any particularly expensive excursions or tours.
Full medical coverage and evacuation coverage: The plan should cover all potential medical expenses (less the deductible or excess), including ambulance transport, in- and outpatient care, hospitalisation and, where necessary, evacuation back to your home country.
Lost, stolen or damaged gear or luggage: Make sure the plan covers all your equipment. Although most travellers will never see it, Poland has crime, just like anywhere. And things are easily lost or damaged everywhere. This is especially important if you’re travelling with expensive items like computers and cameras. Consider your cellphone as well.
Dangerous activity coverage or exclusion: If you plan to ski, rock or mountain climb, trek, ride a motorcycle, or similar while in Poland, make sure the plan does not exclude coverage for accidents incurred while taking part in these activities.
Proof of insurance: Make sure your plan provides you a hardcopy proof of insurance. As mentioned above, if you seek care at a hospital or clinic, having a physical document showing that you are insured can mean the difference between receiving treatment and being turned away.
You can find practical information about what to do in a number of emergency situations on our Kraków Basics page.
Things To Do In Krakow
Start Planning Your Kraków Trip Now!
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:: Need inspiration? Check our Kraków Itineraries for two-day, three-day, and four-day trips, as well as our Things To Do In Kraków guide for ideas of where to do and what to do.