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Travel insurance: ICELAND

Compare travel insurance for Iceland

published: 07 October 2021
Read time: 5 minutes

Taking out travel insurance will allow you to enjoy total peace of mind as you revel in Iceland’s natural splendour

Why do I need travel insurance for Iceland?

From losing your luggage to having to cancel your trip, the list of things that can go wrong when you go a holiday is long, so travel insurance for Iceland should be a vital part of your holiday checklist.

Travel insurance is a simple way to ensure you don’t lose out financially if your dream trip to Iceland goes off the rails. It’s particularly useful if you have a medical emergency, as the cost of treatment and/or repatriation where necessary can be extremely high. 

Green northern lights light up Iceland's skies

What type of travel insurance do I need for Iceland?

Iceland is not a member of the European Union, but it is in Europe, so a European travel insurance policy will provide the cover you need for a holiday there. 

However, if you’re planning other trips to destinations outside of Europe over the next 12 months, you can protect your trip to Iceland via an annual multi-trip policy offering worldwide cover.  

If your Iceland holiday is the only one you have planned, you can also choose to take out a single-trip travel insurance policy that is designed to cover that trip specifically.

And if you’re visiting Iceland as part of a multi-destination, backpacking trip, you can take out backpacker travel insurance to cover you for the entire time you are away. 

What should my travel insurance policy include for Iceland?

Your travel insurance policy for Iceland should include:

  • Travel delays and missed departures: Covers you if you miss your flight due to an event beyond your control (such as your car breaking down)

  • Baggage: Pays out if your belongings are lost or stolen during your trip. Just remember to check the single item limit as well as the overall limit, especially if you plan to travel with high-value items such as jewellery

  • Cash: Covers you if your money is lost or stolen while you’re away – generally up to a certain limit, say £300

  • Gadgets: Pays out if your mobile phone or laptop is stolen or damaged while you’re on holiday

  • Travel abandonment: Iceland is often hit by extreme weather conditions, so this type of cover is useful as it pays out if your trip becomes unfeasible. As the country is volcanically active, just remember to check if your policy covers disruption or abandonment due to volcanic ash (or if you can add cover for this for an extra premium)

  • Passport: Covers the costs if your passport is lost or stolen during your trip

  • Personal liability: Covers the costs if you you injure someone else by accident, or damage their possessions

Iceland travel insurance: Exclusions and what to watch out for

There are some common exclusions to be aware of when you buy travel insurance for Iceland. In many – but not all – cases, you can pay extra to add the cover you need to plug these gaps in your policy. 

Here are a few things to think about to ensure you have the protection you need for your trip to Iceland: 

  • Pre-existing condition travel insurance: If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you will only generally be covered for medical treatment related to it if you tell your insurer about your condition when you take out your policy. Treatment linked to undisclosed medical conditions is usually excluded, so while it may cost a bit more to take out insurance that includes your condition, it could save you facing a hefty medical bill further down the line.   

  • FCDO advice: It’s sensible to always check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office’s (FCDO) travel advice for your destination before you go on holiday, as your policy may become invalid if you travel against government advice. Worried about COVID-19 affecting your travel plans? Find out more with our guide on coronavirus and travel insurance.

  • Sports and activities: Outdoor pursuits are often a large part of trips to Iceland, so if you’re planning on participating in higher-risk activities, it’s important to check they are covered by your travel insurance, and to take out adventure cover if not. 

Is healthcare free in Iceland?

Iceland is part of the European Economic Area (EEA), so you will get some access to state-provided healthcare if you have a valid EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) or GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card).

However, you won’t be covered for treatment in private clinics, or for emergency repatriation back to the UK, so travel insurance is still the best way to ensure you aren’t hit with large medical bills.

Travelling to Iceland: Key Information

Language(s)

Icelandic, English

Currency

Icelandic krona - 

compare travel money

Dialling code

+354

Plug sockets

C & F

Emergency contact number

112

Embassy address

2A Hans St, London SW1X 0JE, United Kingdom

FCDO travel advice

Check the

Government website

Top tips for travelling to Iceland

Spectacular geysers, stunning natural spas, whale watching, and – if you’re lucky – the Northern lights… Iceland is a unique destination with way more than its fair share of iconic sights. History buffs will also enjoy learning about the nation’s Viking past, while culture vultures will love capital Reykjavik’s many attractions. 

Here are a few things to bear in mind when travelling in Iceland: 

When to visit: Iceland has very pronounced seasons, with daylight limited during the winter months, so when to go depends on what you hope to do while you’re there. For the Northern Lights, the best time to visit is between September and January. However, most people time their trip to Iceland to take advantage of the long days between June and August, which is also peak whale watching season. 

Getting around: Buses are one of the main ways of getting around Reykjavik and between different parts of the country, although it’s often easier to fly to further-flung places in the winter months due to difficult road conditions and fewer services. Within the capital, cycling is also a cheap and efficient way to see the sights.  

Be prepared: The weather in Iceland is extremely unpredictable, so it’s a good idea to pack clothes for everything from chilly, wet days to warm, sunny ones – even if you’re going in summer.  As many of the country’s most impressive natural attractions are a long way from the nearest hospital, it’s also wise to take a first-aid kit on any expeditions.

Watch your budget: Iceland is an expensive country, so you’ll need to prepare yourself mentally for prices to be higher than you’re used to! The good news is that you’re not generally expected to tip – unless you want to reward exceptional service of course.

Take to the open road: Renting a car or a camper van is a great way to explore Iceland outside of Reykjavik.

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