Compare travel insurance for France

Because France is only a couple of hours away on the train from London, it almost doesn’t feel like going abroad to some. But that’s no excuse to skip travel insurance. Here’s why you’ll need it for your trip.

Because France is only a couple of hours away on the train from London, it almost doesn’t feel like going abroad to some. But that’s no excuse to skip travel insurance. Here’s why you’ll need it for your trip.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: please check the latest government travel advice that sets out what you need to do, if anything, before you travel abroad and before you return home. You should also check the latest travel advice and entry requirements for each country you visit or transit through. Travel rules can change at short notice, so check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for the latest information.

Josh Daniels
Travel Insurance expert
minute read
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Last Updated 9 FEBRUARY 2022

Do I need travel insurance for France? 

It’s not compulsory, but travel insurance for France offers cover if you have an accident or fall ill while you’re away, or lose your luggage or have your passport stolen, for example.

Although we all hope a holiday will be trouble-free, travel insurance gives you peace of mind if something does go wrong.

Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions

If you have a serious health condition, the price you pay for travel insurance is likely to be more expensive. However, there are still many providers out there and you should be able to find affordable cover. Whatever happens, don’t be tempted to lie to an insurance provider, because if you do and then need to make a claim, it could be rejected.

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.

How much is travel insurance for France? 

How much you pay for your policy will depend on a number of factors, including your age, medical history and how you plan on spending your trip. If you’re going skiing or mountain climbing, for example, you’ll probably need to pay a bit more.

What will France travel insurance cover? 

Here’s what to look for when you compare France travel insurance: 

  • Medical care
    Your policy should cover the cost of any medical treatment if you have an accident or fall seriously ill. It should also cover the cost of repatriation to the UK if you need it.
  • Holiday cancellation
    If there’s a valid reason you can’t go on your trip – such as illness – cancellation cover means you’ll be able to claim back your costs. Make sure you’ve got enough cover not to leave you out of pocket – add up the cost of flights, ferry or train tickets and hotels, as well as any pre-booked activities.
  • Flight cancellation
    Some travel insurance policies will cover you if your flight is cancelled, but you may find there are conditions attached.
  • Damage, loss or theft of your luggage
    If you had to replace the contents of your suitcase, the cost would quickly add up once you factor in your tech, jewellery, toiletries and clothes. Make sure your policy has enough baggage cover to reimburse you if you need to replace it all.
  • Coronavirus cover
    When you get a travel insurance quote with us, it’s easy to compare levels of COVID-19 cover. Just use the ‘more details’ option on the quote results page. 

What won’t my French travel insurance cover? 

There’s a few things your travel insurance is unlikely to cover, including: 

  • Pre-existing medical conditions that you haven’t told your insurance provider about. You’ll need to declare any pre-existing conditions, and the provider will decide whether to offer you cover and on what basis.
  • Natural disasters
    You’d have to be pretty unlucky to experience an event like flooding, earthquakes or wildfire during your trip to France, but it’s unlikely that your travel insurance would cover you if you did. 
  • Terrorism
    France has been the focus of terrorist attacks in the past. Take a look at our information on terrorism and travel insurance.
  • Drugs or alcohol
    If something happens and you’re found to be under the influence of drugs or excessive amounts of alcohol, it’s unlikely that your policy will cover you.

What else should I consider when I choose my travel insurance? 

Think about how you’re planning to spend your trip. Depending on what you’re doing, you may need to add extra cover for: 

Winter sports
If you’re hitting the Alps for a spot of skiing or snowboarding, be aware that most insurance providers consider these sports high-risk activities. A standard travel insurance policy won’t usually cover them, so you’ll have to bolt on an extra layer of protection in the form of winter sports cover.

Extreme sports
Planning on trying a spot of bungee jumping or rock climbing while you’re in France? If so, make sure you have extreme sport insurance.

Water sports
If you’d like to try surfing or paddle-boarding while you’re in France, you’ll probably need to add water sports cover to your travel insurance policy.

Do I need a visa for France?

If you’re a British citizen, you can stay in France without a visa for up to three months. If you’re there for any longer, you’ll need to apply for a visa at the French Embassy. 

Don’t forget to check that your passport has at least three months to run after your intended departure date. 

More details about the entry requirements for France can be found on the GOV.UK website, including rules on COVID-19 vaccines and testing.

Any other tips for travel to France? 

Fortunately, there isn’t too much to worry about when visiting one of our closest neighbours, but here’s a few things to know.

Currency: the euro. Check in with your bank and find out about any ATM and overseas card charges before you go.

Language: French, naturellement. English is widely spoken in big cities but if you speak some French, your effort will be appreciated.

Vaccines: if you’re up to date with your jabs, you should be okay.

Tipping: restaurants and bars include a 15% service charge, so there’s no need to leave more. But if your service was especially good, tips are very welcome.

Train travel: train tickets in France are usually cheapest when they first go on sale, around three months before the departure date.

Where can I compare travel insurance quotes?

Just tell us what you need and we’ll compare a wide range of travel insurance providers to make sure you get the right level of cover for your trip. Bon voyage!

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Frequently asked questions

I'm driving to France. What other insurance cover do I need?

If you’re taking your own car to France, you'll need the right car insurance in place. All UK car insurance policies provide you with third party cover for driving in Europe, but may limit how long you’re covered for – 90 days in a year, for example. See more on European driving insurance.

You may also want to consider breakdown cover. Check your policy details and make sure it includes roadside assistance. There are other features you might want to consider too. For example, do you want your vehicle brought back to the UK if it can't be repaired?

Do I still need travel insurance if I have an EHIC/GHIC?

If you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), you’ll be able to get state-provided medical treatment in France, should you need it. But in an emergency, you could be transferred to a private hospital, which your EHIC or GHIC won’t cover. It also won’t cover you if you need to be repatriated home. 

Now Britain has left the European Union, you can no longer apply for an EHIC, but if you already have one, it’s still valid until it expires. 

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, which should arrive within 10 days. The GHIC offers the same cover as the EHIC did in EU countries.

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