A simples guide

France travel insurance

France – where more than 17 million Brits go every year, whether it’s to enjoy the cultural delights of Paris, relaxing in the sunny south, flinging yourself down a mountain on skis or simply to pick up a bit of stinky cheese and some duty free. France is a destination with so many possibilities, but the one thing that all those possibilities have in common – travel insurance.

 

We know that you don’t want to spend your time finding the right travel insurance for France – it’s just a hop across the channel – what could possibly go wrong? But, like all good safety nets, your travel insurance is there, just in case – c’est la vie after all. 

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Do I need travel insurance for France?

You should always take out travel insurance that includes medical cover when you go overseas. And when travelling to the EU you should always carry a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you which means you’ll be able to get some state provided medical treatment should you need it. In an emergency you could be transferred to a private hospital in which case an EHIC card alone is not enough.

Some insurers may waive an excess fee if you have an EHIC in the event of a medical claim. If you need an EHIC card, you can apply for it for free online from the NHS website. Bear in mind though that your EHIC card will not cover all eventualities, such as emergency flights home, and it certainly doesn’t cover you for anything other than your medical needs; for that you’ll need a travel insurance policy.  

Eiffel tower

Is there anything I need to consider when choosing travel insurance for France?

You’ll need to consider a fair bit, so thinking caps (or should that be berets?) on – for example, what are you planning to do in France? That will have an impact on what your policy will need to include. You might want to think about:

Winter sports: If you’re hitting the French Alps for a spot of skiing or snowboarding you’ll need to make sure your travel insurance isn’t ‘off piste’. Most insurers consider these sports as high-risk activities and therefore they are not covered by a standard travel insurance policy. You’ll probably have to bolt-on an extra layer of protection, or you could consider getting a specialist Winter Sports insurance to make sure you’re fully covered.  

Catastrophe cover: Everyone likes a bit of drama but probably not when it could ruin your holiday. When you choose your policy it’s worth thinking about whether you’ll be covered in the event of a natural disaster or catastrophic event like an avalanche, hurricane or even earthquake.

Cancellation: What happens if you can’t go? Now – we’re not talking about cancelling because you don’t want to leave your kitten/puppy/budgie with the neighbours or anything like that. But what happens if you have a valid reason for not being able to go such as illness? Check if your insurance will pay out if something genuinely unpreventable stops you from going away.

Holiday protection: Sipping your coffee, croissant in hand, the sounds of Parisian life passing you by – what could possibly go wrong? How about your tour operator or holiday provider goes bust leaving you stranded (there’s only so many croissants you can eat). We’re not being overly dramatic, it can happen so on the off chance that your holiday isn’t ATOL protected, make sure your travel insurance has you covered. ATOL is a scheme that will ensure travellers are protected if their holiday provider fails to do so – look out for the ATOL logo when you book your trip.

Your worldly goods: Your suitcase and hand luggage contain thousands of pounds worth of goods, probably without you even realising it. How much is your phone worth, your tablet, jewellery, make up and clothes? What about the cost of replacing any documents like your passport? Always make sure you look at your belongings objectively, it’s easy to take them all for granted but if you had to replace them, how much would it set you back?

So, the lesson here is – always make sure you’re covered and just because you’re only hopping across the channel doesn’t mean you should scrimp on your travel insurance to France.

French alps

What else do I need to think about?

Apart from having a good time, there’s not too much to worry about if you decide to visit one of our closest neighbours, but here’s a checklist to make sure:

Visa: If you’re a British citizen you won’t need a visa to go to France. Your passport should be valid for as long as your stay and you can stay in France without a visa for up to three months. Anything more than that and you’ll need to apply to the French Embassy for a visa.

Currency: The Euro

Language: Français, naturellement but English is widely spoken.

Vaccines: If you’re up to date with your jabs, you should be ok but you should see your doctor at least four weeks before you go away, just to make sure you’re in tip top shape.

Tipping: All restaurants and bars include a 15% service charge so you don’t have to leave anything more. But if you thought your service was particularly good then tips are very welcome.

We love planning our own holidays and we’re sure you do to. To help you focus on planning the more exciting parts of your trip, we’ll do the boring travel insurance bit for you. Just tell us what you need and we’ll compare the market to make sure you get the right level of cover for you and your trip. Bon voyage!

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