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Compare travel insurance for Europe

Compare travel insurance for Europe

With its contrasting cultures, history, stunning landscapes and easy accessibility, it's no wonder that Europe is the largest travel destination for UK holidaymakers.

But even though you're relatively close to home, it's still important to have the right travel insurance in place before you go.

Patrick Ikhena
From the Travel team
minute read
posted 29 JANUARY 2020

Is travel insurance essential for Europe?

Being so close to home, you may not think travel insurance is as important for Europe as it is for long haul destinations.

But even on the most sedate holidays, things can go wrong. Flights can get cancelled, luggage gets lost and phones and tablets get stolen. And no one wants to think about being injured or falling ill on holiday. But accidents can happen, wherever you are.

Travel insurance could give you the reassurance and peace of mind that if something does go wrong, you're covered.


As of 23rd Match 2020, the UK Government announced a series of restrictions to travel, public spaces and gatherings. For a minimum of three weeks, people are being instructed to stay at home whenever possible. For this reason, travel insurance policies purchased from this date, for trips within the UK with a start date before 13th April 2020, will not be valid.
The UK Government also instructed all British tourists and travellers, that are currently abroad, to return to the UK as soon as possible.
As of 17th March 2020, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have advised against all non-essential travel abroad for an initial period of 30 days. This means that any travel insurance purchased from this date, for trips outside of the UK with a start date before 16th April 2020, will not be covered by the provider.
Coronavirus was declared a pandemic on 11th March 2020, so this may also affect your policy, particularly those taken out on or after that date. Please check any existing policies carefully, to find out what you’re covered for.
For more information please see our coronavirus and travel insurance page.

Do I need travel insurance for Europe if I have an EHIC card?

Ideally, you should have both. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is indispensable should you need emergency medical treatment when visiting an EU country or Switzerland.

UK residents can use their EHIC after the 31 January during the transition phase of the UK leaving the EU. This means that the EHIC can continued to be used in the same way until the 31 December 2020. What happens to the status of the EHIC after the transition phase will be decided as part of the negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship.

The EHIC gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare across Europe on the same terms as a local resident, which means at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free. This includes treatment of a pre-existing medical condition and routine maternity care. The UK Government has proposed a similar scheme to the EHIC in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal. 

The EHIC will only cover you for necessary medical treatment:

  • treatment if you're taken to a private hospital in the event of an emergency
  • mountain rescue costs if you're injured while skiing
  • repatriation costs if you need to be flown home
  • cruise holidays

And even though you're in Europe, medical costs can still hit the roof if you're not properly insured. Claims for skiing accidents can reach as high as £90,000, and an air ambulance can add further £10,000 to the bill.

So, while it makes sense to get a free EHIC card for travelling in Europe, travel insurance could give you the extra protection you need, and more comprehensive cover should the worst happen

What could European travel insurance cover?

  • Medical coverage – check your policy carefully as the level of cover in standard polices tends to differ between different insurance providers, depending on your circumstances and intended activities. If you're pregnant, have a pre-existing medical condition, or want specific sports cover, it may be worth asking your insurance provider about extra cover or seeking out specialist travel insurance to ensure you're properly covered
  • Belongings – check to see if your policy covers loss, theft or damage of your luggage. Ensure the level is high enough to cover the cost of valuables such as your phone or laptop
  • Travel issues – cancelled flights, missed flights and delays. Check the conditions carefully as only valid reasons set by the insurance provider are covered
  • Personal liability – cover in case you injure someone else and they sue you for damages

Compare travel insurance for Europe

Europe has some amazing destinations to explore. For peace of mind on your trip we can help you compare quotes and find the right travel insurance to cover all of your needs on your European holiday.

Compare travel insurance quotes in a matter of minutes and start planning your exciting European adventure today.

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