Is Iceland in Europe for travel insurance?
Is Iceland in Europe for travel insurance?
We answer the key question everyone asks (spoiler – yes, Iceland is in Europe) and provide you with all the hints and tips you need to get suitable travel insurance for Iceland.
So, is Iceland in Europe for travel insurance?
Yes, it is. While Iceland isn’t part of the main European continental landmass, or a member of the European Union (EU), it’s classed as part of Europe for the purposes of taking out travel insurance.
Iceland is part of the European Economic Area (EEA), which has a couple of other benefits for Brits:
You have some access to state-provided healthcare if you get an EHIC card (though this isn’t a substitute for travel insurance).
You can drive in Iceland using your UK driving licence.
On 4 April 2020, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advised against all non-essential travel overseas for an indefinite period. In this unprecedented time, we are temporarily not providing travel insurance comparisons for trips outside the UK, until we have complete confidence we can get you a policy to meet your needs.
As of 23rd March 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.
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.
Do I need travel insurance for Iceland?
Yes – while it’s not compulsory, it’s very much recommended that you buy travel insurance for your trip to Iceland.
While you can access some state medical care, your EHIC card won’t cover getting you home in an emergency. You’ll also need cover in case of lost baggage, cancellations and even theft. Iceland does not have a high crime rate, but petty crime and theft can occur anywhere, especially in urban areas.
Iceland experiences extreme weather and much of the country is remote. It’s easy to have your plans changed due to storms or other disruptions. Travel insurance is there to give you peace of mind that you can claim back surprise expenses.
Does travel insurance cover volcanic ash disruption?
After the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in 2010 caused 100,000 flight cancellations, we’re all aware of how volcanic ash can affect your travel plans. While it’s unusual to have an ash cloud that affects so much of Europe, ash is a common problem in Iceland – the country has 35 active volcanoes.
So will you be covered if your Iceland holiday is disrupted by ash? Not always – it depends on your insurance provider. If you’re going to Iceland, always check the policy details to see if volcanic ash is covered before you buy. You might be able to add the cover to your policy for an additional premium.
Find out more: Travel insurance that covers volcanic ash
What else should I think about when I compare Iceland travel insurance?
Here are a few things to keep particularly in mind:
- Adventure sports. If you’re in Iceland for outdoor pursuits, such as hiking, climbing or skiing, make sure your travel insurance includes the activities you have planned – otherwise, if you’re injured, your medical costs and flights home might not be covered. You can find a list of insured activities in your policy documents. Find out more about adventure sports travel insurance.
- Cancellation cover: Iceland’s weather can be severe at any time of the year. While a tour operator will usually refund you if they cancel because of bad weather, they don’t have to do so if you can’t get to them because of cancelled buses. You should read the small print and see what your policy offers in terms of holiday cancellation insurance.
- Baggage cover: It’s important to think about exactly how much it would cost to replace your baggage if you lost it. This is easy to misjudge, especially if you’re going for outdoor pursuits. The gear you’ve accumulated over the years could cost a great deal to replace all at once.
Do I need a visa for Iceland?
No. For stays of up to three months you don’t need a visa to visit Iceland. Just make sure your passport is valid at least until you come home.
Any other tips for visiting Iceland?
Here are a few things it’s nice to know before you go.
Language: The official language is Icelandic, but English is widely spoken.
Currency: Icelandic króna. ATMs are plentiful and you’ll be able to pay by card in most places.
Tipping: It’s rarely expected that you’ll tip in Iceland. Restaurant bills usually have a service charge included – though if not you can tip around 10%. Hotel staff, tour guides and taxi drivers won’t expect a tip either, but if you’ve received exceptional service, feel free to tip.
Vaccinations: You’re unlikely to need any specific vaccinations to visit Iceland, but you should speak to your doctor 4-6 weeks before you leave just to be sure.
Compare Iceland travel insurance
It’s easy to find and compare Iceland travel insurance with Compare the Market. Just fill in a few details and we’ll show you a range of great-value quotes to choose from.