European travel insurance

Compare European travel insurance quotes from £2.59*

  • Get a quote from just £2.59*

  • Covers travel for most European countries

  • Includes medical costs and cancellation cover

How did we get this figure?

*The cheapest Europe policy is £2.10 (based on 1 adult aged 31, with no previous medical conditions travelling in Europe for up to 3 nights). Prices correct on the 20/07/2021.

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 travel insurance to go to Europe?

While travel insurance isn’t a legal requirement for trips to Europe, organisations like the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) recommend it.

If something happened on your trip - you lost your phone, had a cancelled flight or needed emergency treatment, for example - and you had a European travel policy in place, you’d have peace of mind knowing that you were covered.

Of course, your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) may still be valid, or its replacement - the Global Health Insurance card (GHIC) - now the UK has left the EU. Even so, it’s still a good idea to get a travel policy. The EHIC and GHIC entitle you to state-level healthcare in most EU countries. But this doesn’t mean the healthcare you receive is always free, it could simply be provided at a lower cost. That’s why it makes sense to have an EHIC or GHIC plus a European travel policy. That way, you can be confident that if you need any medical treatment or have to pay any unexpected costs, you won’t have to foot the bill.

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.

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

Travelling to Europe after Brexit

You may notice a few small changes to the way you travel since the UK left the EU on 31st December 2020. Here are some of the things to take note of:

  • Before you travel, you’ll need to get a green card if you plan on driving anywhere in the European Union. We’ve got more information on this in our driving abroad guide.
  • Make sure your passport hasn’t expired. Most countries in the EU will need you to have at least 6 months left on your passport to travel.
  • Get a travel insurance policy that covers medical costs, as you’ll only be entitled to state-level healthcare if you have a valid EHIC or GHIC.
  • You’ll have to use the international lanes at the airport instead of the EU passport lanes, which can take longer as there’s more information that needs to be checked.

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 varies depending on each insurer. But common things that may not be covered in your policy can include

  • Travelling to any country outside of Europe, you would need to get worldwide cover if you’re planning on travelling outside of the EU.
  • Not declaring any pre-existing medical conditions could invalidate your policy. You must tell your insurer about any pre-existing medical conditions so they can ensure you’re covered when you’re away. If you fail to declare a condition, your insurer may not pay for medical treatment or repatriation costs.
  • Alcohol or drug related incidents would also void your policy
  • Travelling against Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice such as during a pandemic.
  • Natural disasters or catastrophes are also not covered by most insurers
  • Missed departure or scheduled airline failure

Do I need a single-trip or annual European travel insurance policy?

If you’re planning multiple trips to Europe within a year, then an annual travel insurance policy is the most cost-effective option for you. This is because it saves you having to buy individual policies for each holiday you’re going on.

However, if you’re only planning on travelling once or twice a year, then a single-trip travel insurance policy should provide all the cover you need. Simply select ‘single trip’ in the quote process and choose the country you plan on visiting.

One thing to be aware of is if you buy an annual European travel policy you’ll only be covered while visiting countries in Europe. If you plan on visiting countries 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 a travel insurance quote 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 at a much 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 covered under European travel insurance?

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.

Does European travel insurance cover Russia?

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.

Jac Morris signature

Jac Morris

Travel insurance product executive

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