For European fans travelling to this year’s World Cup, it’s important to know that European Health Insurance cards (EHIC) are not valid in Russia and that travel insurance is a visa requirement. It should remain high on every travelling supporters’ list despite FIFA’s mandatory FAN IDs allowing visa-free travel to Russia, as the regulations surrounding this are quite ambiguous.
It looks like Russia will be the second most expensive international tournament of the last decade in terms of travel insurance, but the cost is a tiny fraction of what you would pay out if you didn't have cover in place.
It’s important to ensure you get the correct insurance. Russia spans two continents, with travel insurance prices varying for the European side to the west of the Urals, and the Asian side to the east.
For England fans, all of the games will be held in destinations west of the Urals. Even if the national team exceed all expectations and make it to the final, all of their games on the road to World Cup glory will be played in the European part of Russia.
However, if you’re looking to follow France, Egypt, Uruguay, Peru, Japan, Senegal, Mexico or Sweden during the World Cup – who are all playing in Yekaterinburg at the eastern foot of the Urals – your travel insurance policy could be slightly pricier.
Getting your travel insurance early, and not just before your trip, is also important as you’ll be covered from the moment you take out the policy. Then, if you pull an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and pick up an injury before you get on the plane, you’ll be able to make a claim. Check out more travel insurance advice here.
Travel insurance costs tend to vary year-on-year. During the last two competitions, Euro 2016 in France and the World Cup 2014 in Brazil, the cost of travel insurance was cheaper than for the same dates the year before or after. In the case of Brazil, travel insurance was actually 22% cheaper than the previous year.
Whether this trend continues for Russia 2018 remains to be seen, but it’s worth keeping an eye on costs and shopping around to ensure you are getting the best deal with the right level of cover.