Compare travel insurance for France

At a couple of hours away on the train, France might seem close by – but if you’re one of the 17 million Brits who visit every year, you should definitely consider getting travel insurance for your trip.

At a couple of hours away on the train, France might seem close by – but if you’re one of the 17 million Brits who visit every year, you should definitely consider getting travel insurance for your trip.

Josh Daniels
From the Travel team
2
minute read
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Posted 01 FEBRUARY 2021

Why do I need travel insurance for France?

France might be just a hop across the Channel, but you should always take out travel insurance that includes medical cover when you go overseas.

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

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 GHIC will offer the same cover as the EHIC did in EU countries.

Since the most common problem reported on holiday in France is pick-pocketing, you’ll also want cover for your cash and personal belongings.

Travel insurance usually includes these and much more. You could also be covered for things like:

  • lost luggage
  • emergency flights/train home
  • cancellations and delays
  • tour operators going bust

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

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 

The travel traffic light system currently states that trips to green and amber listed countries are legally permitted if you live in England and Scotland. If you live in Wales and Northern Ireland, you still need to follow the rules for your relevant government.

Please note: from 4am on 4 October 2021, the current traffic light system will be replaced by a single red list of countries.

Currently, if your destination of choice is on the green or amber list, you still need to check the latest travel advice and entry requirements for each country you visit or transit through. This is to ensure you are aware of any specific requirements relating to entry and ensure travellers from the UK are permitted. Countries can have their traffic light status changed with short notice and you should take this into consideration when looking to travel. Please check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for the latest information.

The FCDO currently advises against all but essential travel to red list countries. Most insurance policies purchased to cover a trip to a destination where the FCDO has instructed citizens not to travel to won’t be valid, however, some insurance providers may offer reduced cover if you’re travelling for essential purposes. Should you have any queries, please check the policy wording, or contact your chosen provider before purchasing, to ensure the cover meets your needs.

Travel within England, Scotland and Wales is permitted under the current guidelines. However, public health rules and lockdown restrictions continue to vary, including entry restrictions for Northern Ireland. Check the latest guidance from the official tourism boards for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland respectively.

Find out more here

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.

What should I consider when choosing travel insurance for France?

While a general European travel insurance policy will cover you for France, you’ll want to match it to your needs. Here are a few things to think about when you compare France travel insurance:

  • Winter sports: If you’re hitting the French Alps for a spot of skiing or snowboarding, be aware that most insurance providers consider these sports high-risk activities. They usually won’t be covered by a standard travel insurance policy. You’ll probably have to bolt-on an extra layer of protection. Find out more about winter sports cover.
  • Cancellation: If you have a valid reason for not being able to go on your trip – such as illness – you’ll be able to claim your costs back if you have cancellation cover for the full value of your break. Think about flights, ferry or train tickets, hotels and pre-booked activities when deciding how much cover you need.
  • Holiday protection: If your tour operator or holiday provider goes bust, leaving you stranded, make sure your travel insurance has you covered. If your holiday provider is with the ATOL scheme, you’ll have some protection if they go bust – but it’s not a substitute for travel insurance. Find out more about ATOL protection.
  • Baggage and belongings: Think about the contents of your suitcase, including your phone, tablet, jewellery, make up and clothes. It adds up quickly. Make sure your policy has enough baggage cover for all of it.

I'm driving to France – what other insurance cover do I need?

If you are taking your own car then you'll need car insurance to cover you. Some car insurance policies offering European cover have a limit on the number of days that you're covered for – it could be a continuous limit or an overall number of days in a year. If this isn't included then you'll need European driving insurance.

Drivers may also wish to consider breakdown cover in case they have car trouble. Check the policy details so it includes what you want in addition to roadside assistance. For example, do you want your vehicle to be brought back to the UK if it can't be repaired. See what you need to consider and compare European breakdown cover.

Does France travel insurance include terrorism cover?

It’s not nice to think about, but France has been the focus of terrorist attacks in the past. Particularly if you’re visiting Paris, you might want to take a quick look at our information on terrorism and travel insurance.

Do I need a visa to go to France?

If you’re a British citizen you can stay in France without a visa for up to three months – anything more than that and you’ll need to apply for one at the French Embassy.

Make sure your passport is valid for as long as your stay.

Any other tips for travelling in France?

There’s not too much to worry about if you decide to visit one of our closest neighbours, but here are a few things it’s nice to know.

Currency: The Euro (€). Check in with your bank and make sure you’re aware of ATM and card charges overseas before you go.

Language: French, of course! English is widely spoken in big cities, but if you speak some French people will appreciate you making the effort.

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.

Train travel: Train tickets in France are usually cheapest when they first go on sale, around three months before the departure date. Find out more about trains in France and how to book in advance with Trainline.

Compare France travel insurance

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! Compare travel insurance now

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