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Find tailored travel cover at the right price by comparing deals from the UK’s leading travel insurers.

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Do I need travel insurance for Europe?

Travel insurance helps cover financial losses associated with illness, injury, accidents, transport delays, crime and trip curtailment while on holiday. European holiday insurance is not a legal requirement but it’s definitely worth buying – for a few pounds you can be protected against hundreds of thousands of pounds of costs.

European travel insurance covers you if you travel to Europe. It might only be a couple of hours away, but things can still go wrong on a trip to the continent. According to Statista, Brits made more than 56 million trips to Europe in 2022.

The right cover gives you the peace of mind that you’re covered financially for a range of events that might happen while you’re on holiday. These include:

  • Medical costs due to accident or illness

  • Repatriation back to the UK

  • Delay, cancellation or trip curtailment

  • Theft or loss of your baggage, belongings or travel documents

Medical costs are a big benefit of holiday insurance for Europe. In some countries, treatment for common conditions or hospital stays can cost tens of thousands of pounds. Travel insurance gives you peace of mind that you’re covered for these costs.

Am I covered by my GHIC card?

While it is not a legal requirement to have travel insurance for Europe, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) recommends holidaymakers take out a policy, even if they also have the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).

The GHIC covers you for emergency healthcare in the European Union (EU) – but only in state-run medical facilities.

Some travel insurers insist you have a GHIC – or they won’t cover medical costs in Europe. Either way, a GHIC only covers medical treatment, so you still need insurance to cover things like repatriation or extra accommodation for you – and family members – if you were in hospital for a time and could not travel home. Travel insurance would also cover private treatment, if necessary.

As well as comprehensive medical cover, insurance would also cover for other eventualities – such as cancellation and loss of your belongings – that a GHIC doesn’t cover.

What countries fall under European travel insurance?

Insurers might differ slightly as to which countries are covered by their European travel insurance policies.

A European policy should cover travel to all 27 member states of the EU. These are:

    • Austria

    • Belgium

    • Bulgaria

    • Croatia

    • Republic of Cyprus

    • Czech Republic

    • Denmark

    • Estonia

    • Finland

    • France

    • Germany

    • Greece

    • Hungary

    • Ireland

    • Italy

    • Latvia

    • Lithuania

    • Luxembourg

    • Malta

    • Netherlands

    • Poland

    • Portugal

    • Romania

    • Slovakia

    • Slovenia

    • Spain

    • Sweden

How much is travel insurance to Europe?

With MoneySuperMarket, single trip policies can start at as little as £9.76ii. How much your travel insurance policy will cost, however, depends on a few key factors. These include:

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    Length of your trip

    If you choose a single trip policy, the length of your holiday will affect the cost of your travel insurance. 

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    Insurers charge more for travel to certain destinations, usually due to higher healthcare costs or greater risks.

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    Your age

    The cost of travel insurance increases as you get older due to the higher risk of claims, although it's still possible to find affordable travel cover for over 70s.

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    Your health

    You might pay more for travel insurance if you have a pre-existing health condition. This is because there is a higher risk of you making a claim.

What's covered by European travel insurance?

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    • Medical cover: Your insurance will cover the cost of emergency medical treatments as well as emergency transport if you need to return home to continue treatment

    • Stolen or damaged baggage: Travel insurance will cover your belongings if they are stolen or damaged. This is offered either as standard or as an optional cover

    • Holiday cancellation: European travel insurance will cover the cost of cancelling your holiday if you are no longer able to travel due to an emergency

    • Personal liability : This cover protects you in case something you do injures a third party, causes the loss of their possessions, or destroys something that belongs to them.

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    Not covered

    • Pre-existing conditions : Make sure you tell your insurer about any pre-existing medical conditions, or you risk them not being covered. Some common conditions will be covered as standard, while more serious ailments might be covered for an extra premium, or excluded altogether.

    • Drugs and alcohol: Any incidents relating to drugs or alcohol are unlikely to be covered by your insurance. This applies to all types of claims, including claims for medical cover

    • Missed departure : Travel insurance won't reimburse you if you miss your flight because you were late. You'll only be covered for missed departure in an emergency

    • High-risk activities: Some activities may be covered by optional adventure sports cover – check your policy before taking part.

Kate Hughes

Our expert says


It’s easy to be lulled into a false sense of security when travelling in Europe. Familiarity, proximity, and cheap or free emergency healthcare all play a part. But the truth is your GHIC card won’t help if your wallet is stolen, and you’ll still be out of pocket if the hotel screws up your booking.

Get travel insurance, wherever you’re heading, as soon as you start planning your trip.

- Kate Hughes, Money & Savings Expert

Policy Options: Save with annual travel insurance

You can choose between two types of travel insurance policies - one that covers a single holiday and the other which can cover multiple trips in a single year (known as multi-trip or annual travel insurance).

As a general rule of thumb, if you take more than two trips per year, an annual policy will work out cheaper.

Here's what you can expect from these options:

Single trip

Annual trips

Number of trips covered



Maximum trip length


Usually 31 days

Destinations covered

Agreed when taking out the policy

Europe/ worldwide/ worldwide excluding US, Canada & Caribbean

Upper age limit


Usually 75

Policy end date

At end of the trip

After one year

Tailored cover (e.g. winter sports)



Why Compare Travel Insurance with MoneySuperMarket?

At MoneySuperMarket, we’re here to make sure your holiday planning is a breeze. Here’s what you’ll get:

  • Calendar icon

    Flexible to suit your plans

    Get fully comprehensive cover for as long as you need it, whether that's one day or a few months.

  • icon-stopwatch-110

    Quick and easy to use

    Simply pop in a few details about where you’re off to next, pick the best deal for you and get insured for your next trip.

  • wallet icon

    Save money

    Compare quotes from the UK's leading travel insurance providers and filter through a range of policies that match your needs as well as your budget.

Travel insurance comparison rated highly by our customers

At MoneySuperMarket, our mission is to help you Super Save on travel insurance. We offer a simple, hassle-free way to compare quotes from a wide range of insurers and our useful information and guidance will help you choose our best policy for your needs.

Join the thousands of satisfied customers who have highly rated our travel insurance comparison service.

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What policy add-ons can I include

Travel insurance providers offer a range of different options for you to adjust your policy to get the cover you want. The choice available will depend on your provider and the policy type, but here are some common add-ons you can find with a European travel insurance policy:

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    Cruise cover

    This covers risks specific to cruises such as multiple countries, cabin confinement, missed departure, unused excursions and emergency airlift.

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    Golf cover

    This type of cover protects you against risks unique to golf holidays such as theft of golf clubs, replacement club hire, unrefundable green fees, personal liability and damage to a third party.

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    Winter sports cover

    Specialised insurance for skiing/snowboarding holidays includes mountain rescue, piste closures, lost lift pass, avalanche disruption and activities such as sledging and snowmobiling.

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    Adventure sports cover

    Specialised cover for adrenaline-induing activities such as bungee jumping, skydiving, zip-lines, caving, horse riding and mountaineering at high altitudes.

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    Business travel cover

    Tailored protection if you’re travelling for work, covering business equipment, company money, and alternative travel or accommodation for schedule changes.

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    Excess waiver

    Standard travel insurance will come with an excess – an excess waiver pays this for you, so you receive 100% of any claim amount.

Find cover for pre-existing conditions

If you have a pre-existing health condition, tell your insurer. Some common conditions (such as asthma) will be covered as standard, while others will be covered for an extra premium. Some insurers will offer you cover but exclude certain conditions.

In this situation, you’ll need to buy specialist cover. This will usually be more expensive than standard European travel insurance but it’s important to have as otherwise you risk having to personally pay for medical treatment abroad.

If you're struggling to find suitable cover, the Money Helper website can provide you with a list of specialist providers that can cover your condition, or you can call the British Insurance Brokers Association on 0370 950 1790.

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How to find the best deals on European travel cover?

There are a few things you can do to reduce the cost of your policy and get a better deal for your European travel insurance. However, some of these actions can affect the cover you get, so it's worth considering your options carefully when shopping for your policy.

  • one icon

    Consider annual cover

    Annual multi-trip travel insurance can usually save you money if you take more than two or three trips per year. European annual travel insurance will be cheaper than worldwide cover.

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    Increase your excess

    The excess is the amount the policyholder pays towards any insurance claim. In general, the higher your excess, the cheaper your cover will be. But make sure you could afford to pay the excess amount should you need to claim.

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    Joint policies

    If you’re travelling as a couple or family, a couple or family European travel insurance policy will work out cheaper than each person buying a separate policy.

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    Check what’s covered

    What is covered as standard varies from insurer to insurer and between policies. Check what add-ons you might need and compare prices with more comprehensive policies which include a lot more for one price.

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    Shop around

    Compare policy premiums with MoneySuperMarket to find the best value European travel insurance policy for your needs.

Ready to compare quotes? Here's what to do next

  • 1

    Tell us about yourself

    Give a few details about you, your travel plans, and what you need cover for

  • 2

    We’ll do the legwork

    We’ll put together a list of travel insurance quotes, so you can pick one that works for you

  • 3

    You’re on your way

    Once you’ve chosen, you can purchase your policy and you’ll be covered for your trip

Travel insurance hasn't changed very much for UK holiday goers in Europe. UK citizens are still able to access state-funded healthcare in most EU countries with the new GHIC card or if they still have a valid EHIC, although there are limitations to the level of cover they will provide.

It's recommended you also buy travel insurance policies for Europe, the only difference between these policies and worldwide policies is that your policy won't cover you if you travel outside of Europe.

The rules for travelling to Europe have changed for UK citizens, so there are a few extra things you need to take with you on holiday.

The first thing you need to bring is a valid UK passport.

You should also bring your GHIC (or your EHIC if it is still valid). This will provide you with reduced cost or free state healthcare in most European countries.

In some countries you may need a visa if you're planning a longer trip. You can check for further information.

If you plan to drive, you will need to bring a valid UK driving license with you. You typically don't need an international driving permit to drive in EU countries.

Finally, while it's not essential, it's a good idea to bring a copy of your travel insurance documents with you, including the contact information of your provider. This will help you make a claim if you need to and remind you of what your policy will cover.

European travel insurance usually covers you for travel to any European Union country and also often a range of non-EU states, such as Iceland, Switzerland, Turkey and Norway for example. If in doubt always check the small print of your policy to ensure your holiday destination country is included.

You can take out a travel insurance policy right up until the day you leave on holiday to Europe. But it’s recommended that you get cover in place as soon as you book your trip. This is because it can cover part or all the cost of cancelling your holiday before you leave if you have to due to illness, job loss or bereavement, for example.

Check the wording of the travel policy before you buy as not all insurers cover cancellation – and where cancellation is covered, the terms and conditions can vary widely between providers.

You can travel into and around the EU for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without needing a visa. This rule applies to Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

You can also stay up to 90 days in Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania without using up your 90-day EU quota.

You may need a visa or permit to stay in Europe for longer or to work or study, or for business travel.

From 2023, two new EU entry and exit schemes are set to be introduced that may change these rules. While there's no plan to introduce visas of UK citizens entering Europe, they may be required to scan their passports and documents with the ESS (Entry/ Exit System) when crossing the border.

You can find out more about this change from The House of Commons Library.

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