European travel insurance

Compare travel insurance for Europe from £2.70*

  • Protects you from unexpected costs while travelling in Europe

  • Covers travel for most European countries

  • Compare some policies with covid cover

*The cheapest Europe policy is £2.70 (based on 1 adult aged 31, with no previous medical conditions travelling in Europe for up to 3 nights). Prices correct on the 31/05/23.

Can I get travel insurance that covers COVID-19?

Yes, you can still compare and purchase travel insurance with COVID-19 cover from All of our providers offer emergency medical treatment and repatriation (returning to the UK) for COVID-19 claims.

Many of our providers offer further Covid-19 related cover such as holiday cancellations, accommodation costs and denied boarding. Be sure to check the details of your policy carefully as different providers will offer different policy enhancements.

It's important to note that if you travel against advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), you won't be covered by any travel insurance policy you buy.

Do I need travel insurance for Europe?

Travel insurance for Europe isn’t a legal requirement if you're travelling to Europe from the UK. But organisations like the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) recommend it.

Anything could happen on your trip - you could lose your phone, have a flight cancelled or even need emergency medical treatment. But if you have travel insurance for Europe in place, you can be confident that any medical treatment or other unexpected costs are covered.

To get state-level medical treatment in most EU countries, you'll need a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), or its replacement, the Global Health Insurance card (GHIC).

But the healthcare you receive isn't always free, it could just be cheaper. So it's still a good idea to get a European travel insurance policy with the right level of medical cover.

Do I need European travel insurance if I've got an EHIC or GHIC?

A European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) is not as comprehensive as the medical cover provided by travel insurance. A European travel insurance policy will also cover the costs of private treatment or repatriation back to the UK if you need it.

The EHIC and GHIC also only cover medical treatment. Travel insurance for Europe will also cover a wide range of mishaps, including cancelled trips, delayed flights or lost baggage.

Even with travel insurance for Europe, it's still important you pack your EHIC or GHIC - your policy may not pay out without it.

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. The only difference is that it won't cover you to travel outside of Europe. A good policy should typically cover:

  • Emergency medical costs and treatment costs for you and anyone named on the policy. The level of cover can vary, but most policies will offer up to £5m in medical costs.
  • Cancellation due to unexpected flight disruptions or being unable to 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 travel insurance 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.

If you’re buying an annual or backpackers policy, you’ll need to select Europe from the list of destinations.

Travelling to Europe after Brexit

Now the UK has left the EU, you'll need:

  • A green card to drive anywhere in the EU - We’ve got more information on this in our driving abroad guide.
  • A valid passport - most EU countries need you to have at least 6 months left on your passport to travel.
  • Europe travel insurance to cover medical costs, as you’ll only be entitled to state-level healthcare with a EHIC or GHIC.
  • To use the international lanes at the airport instead of the EU passport lanes, which can take longer as there’s more information to check.

For more information on travelling to the EU, you can visit the GOV.UK site.

Compare European travel insurance quotes

What isn't covered by European travel insurance?

The level of cover included varies between insurers. But travel insurance for Europe usually doesn't cover:

  • Travel to any country outside of Europe - you'd need worldwide cover
  • Undeclared pre-existing medical conditions. You must tell your insurer about any pre-existing medical conditions so they can offer you the right cover. Otherwise, your insurer may not pay for medical treatment or repatriation costs as your policy may not be valid.
  • Alcohol or drug-related incidents just in case anything gets stolen or misplaced when you’re on holiday.
  • Travelling against Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice, such as during a pandemic.
  • Natural disasters or catastrophes
  • Missed departure or scheduled airline failure

Do I need single-trip or annual travel insurance for Europe?

If you’re planning multiple trips to Europe in a year, an annual travel insurance policy could be cheaper than buying individual policies for each holiday. It's also helpful if you like spontaneous getaways and don't want to arrange travel insurance each time.

But if you’re only planning on travelling once a year, a single-trip travel insurance policy should provide all the cover you need.

Just know that if you buy an annual European travel policy, you’re only covered while visiting countries in Europe. To travel outside of Europe, you’ll need a worldwide travel insurance policy.

Can I get a quote if I have a serious, pre-existing medical condition?

If you’re looking for travel insurance for Europe, and have a pre-existing medical condition, you can still get a quote. These conditions could include cancer, stroke, serious heart, respiratory and terminal conditions.

Some insurers may not cover you if you already have a serious medical condition, or if you have several conditions. Others might only offer insurance but at a higher price. If you can’t find suitable cover for your European trip, the Money and Pension Service (MaPS) has set up a directory of insurers willing to cover customers with pre-existing medical conditions.

You can find their directory of insurers on the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) website or you can contact them on 0800 138 7777 for free impartial advice.

Need more help?

Does European travel insurance cover UK holidays?

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.

Is Turkey in Europe for travel insurance?

A lot of insurers will include Turkey as part of Europe when it comes to travel insurance, even though Turkey isn’t in the European Union.

But 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.

Is Cape Verde covered by European travel insurance?

No. Cape Verde is not part of Europe so would not be covered by European travel insurance. You’ll have to select worldwide cover if you're getting a backpacker or annual insurance policy or specify the destination when getting a single trip quote.

Do I need European travel insurance as a business traveller?

If you’re travelling to Europe for business and want to cover your equipment you can add business cover to your policy when you get a quote. It might also be worth asking your employer if they already have a policy that covers you if you’re travelling for business or work purposes.

Is Norway in Europe for travel insurance?

Although Norway isn't in the European Union, it still counts as Europe for travel insurance purposes.

Is Iceland in Europe for travel insurance?

Yes. Iceland isn't in the European Union but it is part of the European Economic Area (EEA).

Am I covered travelling between countries in Europe?

You should be. If you're buying a single-trip policy you need to tell the insurance company exactly which countries you will be travelling to and through. But if you buy annual cover, you'll have cover across Europe without specifying the countries.

When should I buy my travel insurance to Europe?

You can buy travel insurance for a trip, right up to the day you leave. It's better to buy it as soon as you book your holiday though. This will mean you're covered if certain unforeseen events force you to cancel your trip.

Do I need health insurance to travel to Europe?

You don't need specific health insurance to travel on holiday to Europe. A European travel insurance policy will cover you if you get sick or have an accident and need medical treatment while you're away.

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.

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