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.

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.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - Please check the UK red list for the latest red list travel information. The red list will be reviewed every three weeks. You still need to check the latest travel advice and entry requirements for each country you visit or transit through as they can change at short notice, check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for the latest information or find out more here.

Josh Daniels
Head of Travel Insurance
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Posted 15 JANUARY 2021

Is travel insurance essential for Europe?

Being so close to home, you may not think travel insurance in Europe is as important 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.

Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions

When you declare medical conditions on our website, we’ll only show quotes from insurance providers who will cover all declared medical conditions, with no exclusions. 

MoneyHelper has launched a directory of insurance providers who may be able to provide quotes over the phone if you have more serious medical conditions. Find more information at MoneyHelper or by calling them on 0800 138 7777.

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.

After Brexit, and the UK officially left the EU with a deal in place, things have changed. You won’t be able to apply for an EHIC anymore, but, if you have one already, issued before the end of 2020, then it’ll still be valid until the expiry date.

However, the UK government has introduced a replacement called the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). If you don’t have an EHIC, or once yours expires, you can apply for a GHIC here, and it should arrive within 10 days.

The EHIC/GHIC 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 EHIC/GHIC 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 have a free EHIC/GHIC 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

Which countries does European travel insurance cover?

This can vary between travel insurance providers, but you should expect all members countries of the EU to be included. However, you’ll likely be covered in some European countries which aren’t in the European Union. These may include:

  • Andorra 
  • Iceland 
  • Liechtenstein 
  • Monaco 
  • Norway 
  • San Marino 
  • Switzerland 
  • Turkey

You might be surprised to learn that you may also be covered in countries that aren’t even in Europe. Some examples include:

  • Cape Verde 
  • Egypt 
  • Morocco 
  • Tunisia

As these can vary between travel insurance providers, it’s important that you check the policy wording carefully, before you take out cover, to avoid any nasty surprises.

Can I get multi trip or annual cover for travel in Europe?

If you travel regularly, then you might find that an annual travel insurance policy is best for you. As long as you get the right cover, you won’t need to arrange a new policy each time you go away. It can even save you some money, too. 
Annual or multi-trip policies can be tailored to suit your needs. If you only travel within Europe, then you can choose a policy that will cover you exclusively for that region. If you then decide you want to go further afield, you’ll either need to amend your existing policy, or take out a single-trip policy for that one journey.

What if I’m travelling to Europe for business?

If your work requires you to travel a lot, then a business travel insurance policy should offer all the cover you need. This will include cover for your business equipment, products or money, as well as any personal belongings you take with you. You can also be insured against flight disruptions or cancellations. 
Business travel insurance policies can cover you for both within the UK and abroad. If your business trips only operate within Europe, then you can get a policy which covers you for this region only, which may save you money compared to a worldwide policy.

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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