Covid-19 - Important information 22nd June 2021
International travel has restarted, governed by a traffic light system. The system will help travellers to understand COVID requirements when travelling back to England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland from a green, amber or red country.
Before buying travel insurance, you should think about what could happen if your destination moves from a green list country to an amber or red list country. You may face extra costs and face travel restrictions that won't be covered by your travel insurance policy.
The traffic light system only tells you what you have to do when returning to England or Scotland, as there will be strict border control measures in place. So even if a country is on the green list, you still need to check your destination's entry requirements and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice for travelling there. If the Foreign Office has advised against travel to your destination and you still decide to travel, you won’t be covered by any travel insurance policy you buy.
A few insurers do offer cover if you're an essential traveler, but if you have any questions, you should check the policy wording or contact your chosen provider before you buy.
Do I need European travel insurance if I've got an EHIC or GHIC?
It’s recommended that anyone travelling to Europe from the UK has a travel insurance policy as well as a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).
Rules have changed when it comes to the EHIC. If your EHIC has expired, it’ll no longer cover you if something was to happen while you’re on holiday. You can apply for a replacement card called the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).
You should take your EHIC or GHIC away with you because this means you can get free, or at least reduced medical treatment, if you need it. European travel insurance is recommended because it means you’re covered for emergencies like lost or stolen goods, disrupted travel or cancellations.
The EHIC was never considered to be a replacement for travel insurance, and most authorities and insurers recommend that you get a policy with the appropriate level of cover in place for your trip.
What does European travel insurance cover?
European travel insurance covers the same things as a regular travel insurance policy does. The only difference is that you won’t be covered if you travel outside of Europe. A good policy should typically cover you for:
- Emergency medical treatment and costs for you and anyone named on the policy. The level of cover will depend on the policy you choose but most polices will offer cover for up to £5m in medical costs.
- Cancellation cover for unexpected flight disruptions or if you can’t make the holiday for a specific reason
- Lost baggage and personal possessions just in case anything gets stolen or misplaced when you’re on holiday.
Depending on which type of policy you need, you may have to select which countries you’re visiting to make sure you’re covered. If you’re looking for a single-trip European policy, just enter the countries you plan on visiting when you’re getting a quote.
Need more help?
European travel insurance only covers a UK holiday if you’ve selected the UK as one of the countries you’re visiting. If you haven’t selected this, then you won’t be covered with your travel insurance.
If you’re planning a staycation, you can get a travel policy that covers you for solely your UK trip – this may even end up saving you some money too!
Again, this can vary depending on the insurer, so we recommend checking the policy wording to see if UK holidays are covered by a European travel insurance policy.
A lot of insurers will include Turkey as part of Europe when it comes to travel insurance, even though Turkey isn’t part of the European Union.
However, some insurers will say you need worldwide cover when travelling to Turkey. Once you see your quotes on the prices page, you can select ‘more info’ to read the policy documents and see if Turkey is included in that policy.
If you’re still unsure, it’s best to get in touch with your insurer to double check.
Since it’s such a big country that covers two continents, it depends what region you’re visiting. You may be covered by a European travel insurance policy, but you may need a worldwide travel insurance policy if you’re travelling around Russia. If you have any doubts, you can check the policy information when getting a quote.
What our travel insurance expert says
You might think that because Europe is so close to home, you don’t need to worry about travel insurance. Even with an EHIC or GHIC, you’ll still only be entitled to state level care in some places. Having a European travel insurance policy in place with the right level of medical cover could help save you £1000’s if you fall ill or have an accident abroad.
Travel insurance product executive
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