1Accurate as of September 2023
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).
This is because the GHIC only covers you for emergency healthcare – and only in State-run medical facilities. It would not cover you for repatriation or extra accommodation for you – and family members – if you were in hospital for a time and could not travel home, or for treatment in private hospitals, for example.
A quality travel insurance policy should cover these eventualities – and also extras such as holiday cancellation and cover for cash and baggage.
Insurers charge more for travel to certain destinations, usually due to higher healthcare costs or greater risks
The cost of travel insurance increases as you get older, which is unfortunately unavoidable, although it's still possible to find affordable travel cover for over 70s
Travel insurance that covers pre-existing conditions is more expensive than standard policies that usually exclude existing health problems
2Based on quotes from £4.80 for an individual aged 30 taking single trip cover for 3 days to France. Equivalent to £1.60 per day. Cover starts on 23rd June 2023 and ends on 27th June 2023.
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.
Pre-existing conditions : Standard European travel insurance won't cover the cost of treatment for any pre-existing conditions unless you purchase a specialised policy with medical cover
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. However, especially dangerous activities may be excluded completely, like bungee jumping
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."
Policies last only for a single trip, with the end date set when taking out the policy
Limits for trip length are usually much larger than they are for multi-trip policies
Single trip travel insurance policies are less likely to have upper age limits
You can tailor your cover for each trip to match the requirements of your holiday
Policies will cover all of your trips abroad over a 12 month term
Limits may apply to the length of each trip. A common limit is around 31 days
Some policies have age limits and may not cover travellers over 75
If you take out a European policy your policy won't cover you outside of Europe
We search through leading insurance providers, so you can find great deals to match your needs.
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.
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.
This insurance option gives you special cover for cruise-specific mishaps, like cabin confinement, missed departure and excursions, and it can cover you for travel in multiple countries
Golf cover will give you extra protection for a golfing holiday. Not only do you get extra cover for your golf clubs, but also for non-refundable green fees if an emergency forces you to cancel
Insurers won't normally cover dangerous activities, but this cover allows you to add protection for certain winter sports and activities, such as skiing, or sledding.
This will expand the number of activities that your travel insurance will cover to include some riskier ones. It can cover camping, hiking, zip lining, caving, horse riding, and more
If you're travelling for work, this cover will give you tailored protection to cover business equipment, company money, and alternative travel or accommodation for schedule changes
Standard policies have a per-item cover limit for belongings that are broken or lost, so this add-on gives you extra cover for expensive gadgets and electronics, such as phones or laptops
Some providers give you the option to have your excess waived, so your insurance provider will cover 100% of a claim. However, there there may be some exceptions to look out for
Rather than just an add-on, this different insurance type can cover you for trips that include multiple destinations fun activities that a standard policy might not
Annual multi-trip travel insurance policies can work out cheaper than purchasing several single trip policies if you plan on doing a lot of travelling. However, you only start saving money once you're travelling more than three or four times a year. Before you jump the gun on an annual policy, it's best to check whether it really is cheaper than buying single trip policies for each trip
By adjusting your excess you can change the cost of your policy, but this is something to think carefully about before you commit. Reducing your excess means you contribute less when you make a claim, but it will make your policy more expensive. Alternatively, increasing your excess will make your insurance cheaper, but it may end up costing you more if something unfortunate happens on holiday
Providers have their own lists of optional add-ons but those add-ons don't always cost the same. Some providers might offer these optional extras at a cheaper rate than others. At the same time, what is an add-on from one provider might be offered with standard cover from another. That's why it pays off to take a closer look at what's on offer and pay attention to more than just the baseline cost of your policy
It's no surprise that taking the time to compare quotes will help you find policies for better value, but did you know that MoneySuperMarket can help you save time as well as money?We ask you questions to narrow down your search and show you quotes from the top UK providers all in one place. With us, you can compare not only cost, but also what each policy has to offer
Give a few details about you, your travel plans, and what you need cover for.
We’ll put together a list of travel insurance quotes, so you can pick one that works for you.
Once you’ve chosen, you can purchase your policy and you’ll be covered for your trip.
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 GOV.uk 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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