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.
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.
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.
Travel insurance articles
Holiday checklist – what should I pack?
What should be included in your holiday checklist? Everything you need to pack for beach holidays all the way to city-breaks.
Emergency travel documents
If you’re abroad and have lost your passport, you need to get an emergency travel document to get back to the UK. Read on for advice on getting an emergency passport.
Travelling to the USA? Then don't forget ESTA
Get your ESTA before heading off to the USA. Here's all you need to know about it.
How to claim on your travel insurance
Making a claim should be relatively straightforward. Even so, there are ways to speed up the process.
Travel to Europe from UK in 2022
Now the Brexit transition period has ended, here's how travelling to Europe will change.
What are the different types of travel insurance?
Activity travel insurance
will cover you if you’re planning an action-filled sports trip.
Business travel insurance
covers you for any business-related trips.
Family travel insurance
means you can get one policy that covers everyone, rather than buying individual policies.
Annual travel insurance
is the perfect option if you plan on traveling more than once a year.
Over 50's travel insurance
allows you to easily get a quote for travellers over the age of 50.
Pre-existing medical travel insurance
policies may cover treatment for specific medical conditions.
Pregnancy travel insurance
helps provide peace of mind for any unexpected problems while away.
Ski travel insurance
is a specialist winter sports policy that covers you against slope injuries.
Worldwide travel insurance
will cover you for travel to multiple locations around the world.
Our service is free and compares a wide range of trusted household names. Confused.com is an intermediary and receives commission from theidol.com if you decide to buy through our website which is based on a percentage of the total annual premium. We pride ourselves on impartiality and independence – therefore we don't promote any one insurance provider over another.