Travel insurance for Turkey
Travel insurance for Turkey
With 4,500 miles of coast and approximately 450 Blue Flag beaches, as well as the ancient and beautiful city of Istanbul, Turkey attracts around 3 million Brits every year. Before you jet off to this stunning holiday destination, here's what you need to know about Turkey travel insurance.
Do I need travel insurance for Turkey?
It's not compulsory, but it's a smart move – and travel insurance for Turkey is particularly important because your EHIC card isn't valid there, meaning you can't get free medical treatment. Without travel insurance, an accident or illness could leave you with a very hefty bill.
Generally, crime levels are low in Turkey, but you definitely need to look out for street robbery and pick-pocketing in the major tourist areas of Istanbul. Having insurance for your personal possessions and travel money could save your holiday from being ruined.
Double check that your travel insurance to Turkey includes ambulances and emergency flights home too.
On 7 September 2020, the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) updated the list of countries that are exempt from its ongoing advice against all non-essential international travel.
If you choose to travel overseas to a destination where the FCDO is advising against non-essential travel at the time of your departure, then your insurance policy will be invalid, and any claim likely to be rejected.
For domestic travel, please check the local public health rules for the destination you wish to travel to within the United Kingdom.
For more information, please see our coronavirus and travel insurance page.
What should I consider when I choose my travel insurance for Turkey?
It's not all about getting cheap travel insurance to Turkey. You need to find the cover that's right for your situation.
- Turkey is great for adventure sports – sea kayaking, white water rafting, diving and even skiing. It has 22 Blue Flag marinas too. You need to make sure your Turkey travel insurance covers all the activities you might do. Look for insurance add-ons such as water sports travel insurance, extreme sports travel insurance or winter sports travel insurance.
- There are certain risks to travelling in Turkey. While it's not nice to think about, and you'll generally be very safe, terrorist attacks do happen in the country. Be aware of your policy's exclusions – full terrorism cover is not offered with every policy. Remember to check the Government's foreign travel advice for Turkey before you go.
- You should consider all of the basics when buying cheap travel insurance for Turkey – for example, loss of baggage limits, cover for expensive gadgets like your laptop or tablet, and limits for cancellations. When you compare travel insurance for Turkey with us we'll show you the highlights of each policy and give you a link to the full policy documents so you can check the details.
Do I need a visa for Turkey?
From 2 March 2020, British travellers no longer need a visa for visits to Turkey, as long as they’re no longer than 90 days, within a 180-day period.
What should my travel insurance policy for Turkey include?
While your holiday to Turkey should be relaxing and enjoyable time, you should consider the following cover for peace of mind:
- Medical cover – you’d be surprised at the full cost of medical treatment in Turkey, with expenses which could run into the tens of thousands of pounds
- Lost, stolen or damaged luggage and passports – crime levels are considered low in Turkey, but you should take similar care as you would at home in the UK. However, petty street crime, such as robbery and pick-pocketing, is more common in tourist hotspots, so you should remain vigilant.
- Cancellations and delays – if your holiday is cancelled, delayed or shortened, you can claim for some expenses
- Repatriation – if there’s trouble with the airline, or you need special travel arrangements due to a medical requirement, these costs can be covered
What won’t be included in a travel insurance policy for Turkey?
While your insurance can provide cover for many types of claims, you should consider some of the exceptions to your policy, ahead of your trip to Turkey. Here are some of the things to check carefully for in your policy:
- Pre-existing medical conditions – if you require treatment for these, you’ll likely need to pay more on your premium. However, at Compare the Market, any medical conditions declared will be included in the policies shown to you.
- Injuries or accidents resulting from high-risk activities – Turkey’s mountain ranges offer great opportunities for adventure activities such as rock climbing, mountain biking and caving, while the long stretches of coastline make water sports such as surfing, paddle boarding and parasailing popular. If you’re travelling to Turkey on an adventure holiday, check your policy carefully and arrange extra cover if necessary.
- Incidents related to alcohol abuse – while it’s nice to have a few drinks on holiday, incident rates typically rise with greater alcohol consumption. Resorts in Turkey, such as Bodrum, Marmaris and Alanya are popular for their nightlife, but it’s important to be careful. If you’re injured or lose something whilst under the influence, your claim will likely be rejected
- Travel to regions which Foreign and Commonwealth Office have advised to avoid – this may be because of disease epidemics or terrorism threats. The FCO currently advises caution travelling to the regions close to Turkey’s border with Syria specifically, but most holidaymakers in Turkey enjoy a trouble-free experience. Many of the popular holiday resorts are hundreds of miles from the border with Syria. You should check for the latest updates ahead of travel.
- Act of God – this includes natural disasters. Turkey is susceptible to earthquakes, so you should check for information regarding safety procedures and local advice.
Is Turkey considered part of Europe?
Turkey is a transcontinental country, with territory in both Europe and Asia. A large portion of its history has roots in Asian culture, but European conquests have blurred the cultural lines. Turkey is currently an EU “candidate country”, and is integrating EU legislation into its national laws, which may lead to it becoming an official member of the European Union.
Any other tips for a trip to Turkey?
Here are a few more tips to help you on your way:
- Currency: the Turkish Lira (TL). Credit and debit cards are used in most tourist areas and cash machines are plentiful.
- Language: Turkish and Kurdish are widely spoken alongside several other dialects. Some English may be spoken.
- Vaccines: you should see your doctor at least one month before you go to Turkey just to check you're feeling 100%. You may also be advised to have Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Tetanus vaccines which are usually free on the NHS.
- ID: it’s a legal requirement to carry a form of photo ID in Turkey. Please be careful to carry your passport and a copy of your visa with you at all times.
- Dress code: dress appropriately and modestly if you are visiting religious sites and places of worship.
- Tipping: tipping is expected in restaurants (about 10-15% of the bill), hotel porters expect 3% of the room price and taxi drivers would welcome any rounding up of the fare.