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Do I need insurance if I'm on holiday in the EU?

Planning a great escape to Europe? You might only be hopping over to the continent, but don’t forget your travel insurance. If you were to fall ill during your holiday, you’d want to be treated quickly and effectively, without having to worry about any expenses.

Why travel insurance should be a must

One study [1] has revealed that the average cost of a claim for medical treatment abroad is £2,268, and £1,019 for cancellation, which highlights just how important it is to get your travel insurance sorted.

Treatment costs can run into thousands of pounds, depending on where you’re treated and what you need. Plus, you might have to pay for flights and extra nights in your hotel. Travel insurance doesn’t just cover you if you fall ill or have an accident while you’re away, either. You can claim back the cost of lost or stolen luggage and the cost of your holiday if you’re forced to cancel it because of illness – either you or a close relative residing in the UK or Channel Islands – redundancy, jury duty and all sorts of other reasons. Check your policy for the full list.

What’s the EHIC?

As well as travel insurance, you should apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). It’s free to apply for a card, and entitles you to free or reduced cost medical treatment, routine maternity care and routine treatment for existing illnesses – such as kidney dialysis, and chronic conditions – in any European country. EHIC cards are valid for up to five years, and every member of your group needs one. So for example, if you’re taking your grandchildren with you, they’ll need their own card. 

It’s best to have both an EHIC and travel insurance, as an EHIC won’t cover flights, mountain rescue in ski resorts, repatriation in the event of death, planned birth overseas, planned medical treatment, lost and stolen baggage, cancelled flights or private healthcare. It can act as full payment or part-payment, so you may have to pay out yourself and then claim it back. Depending on your destination, EHIC care may not be available and you may need to go private, so your insurance will cover this.

To find out more about EHIC, click here >

Buying travel insurance

You’ll need to choose between a single trip and an annual policy. Planning to travel more than once in a year? An annual policy could work out cheaper than buying a single trip policy each time. 

It’s important you let your insurer know about any pre-existing medical conditions, or they may refuse to pay if you need to make a claim.

Our travel insurance covers a wide range of medical conditions, and has no upper age limit for single trip insurance.  Click here to find out more >