Brexit and Travel Insurance

Frequently asked questions

The United Kingdom (UK) left the European Union (EU) on 31st January 2020. A transition period commenced during which negotiations on the future relationship between the UK and EU were to be agreed. This transition period ended on 31st December 2020. The UK Government has announced that discussions with the EU to agree the terms of the future relationship between the two have been successful, but there are still a few areas that require clarification.

Until 1st January 2021, there was no change for UK citizens travelling in the EU/European Economic Area (EEA). Everything from travel visas to European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) was operating as before.

However, from 1st January 2021, travel to and from the UK may be affected, as there could be delays at exit and entry points, and entry requirements to EU countries may differ. To help you understand the specific cover provided by your policy, as well as provide some general travel information, we've put together the following questions and answers.

Frequently asked questions about Brexit

Am I covered for claims that arise as a result of Brexit?

Depending on what has caused your financial loss/need to claim, there may be other cover under your travel policy to protect you. However, the sections of cover under your policy that may be relevant are the Missed Departure, Delay, and the Medical Expenses sections. Should Brexit cause travel disruption, primary responsibility for offering travellers alternative transport or refunds rests with the airlines and travel companies, so in the first instance you should contact your travel provider.

Will my travel insurance still be valid in the EU?

Yes, your travel insurance will still be valid. Your cover will remain the same and you will receive exactly the same service and care should you require emergency medical treatment while you are in an EU or EEA country.

What if I miss my transport because of long queues?

Missed Departure cover only applies in specified circumstances (please see section 3 of the policy wording for more information) that lead to you arriving at your international or final departure point too late to board your booked transport. The circumstances covered do not include being delayed because of long queues. As longer queues are expected, you should make sure you take this into account and leave enough time in your travel plans.

What if my transport is delayed or cancelled?

The Delay section under the RIAS policy provides cover if the transport on which you are booked to travel for your outward or return journey is delayed or cancelled for reasons which you (or the tour operator) cannot control. You will receive either £20 per 8 hours of the delay, or up to £5,000 (for travel and accommodation costs only) for cancellation if after a 12-hour delay you decide not to continue with your trip.

If there is travel disruption you should contact and follow the recommendations of your transport provider.

If I need medical treatment abroad, can I still use my EHIC?

The UK Government have confirmed that the EHIC remains valid until the expiry date shown on it. When your EHIC is due to expire, or if you do not have one, you can apply for a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). Details of how to apply and what the card does/does not cover can be found here.

For more information about healthcare for UK nationals visiting the EU, please visit this page.

I don’t want to travel to Europe now; can I cancel my trip and claim?

Cancellation cover is for specific reasons only. No longer wishing to travel is not one of the reasons you can make a cancellation claim.

Can I still get compensation from my airline if my flight is delayed or cancelled?

Yes. According to the CAA, the rights to compensation under the EU Flight Compensation Regulation will continue to apply to passengers departing from the United Kingdom to an airport situated in the territory of an EU or EEA member state, as long as the airline has an operating licence granted by an EU or EEA member state. You can find more information about your rights and how to make a claim on the CAA website.

Will I need a visa to travel to the EU after Brexit?

If you’re a tourist, you do not need a visa for short trips to most EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. You’ll be able to stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

Different rules apply to Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania. If you visit these countries, visits to other EU countries do not count towards the 90-day total.

You may need a visa or permit to stay for longer, to work or study, or for business travel.

Check each country’s FCDO travel advice page for information on how to get a visa or permit.

Is my passport still valid?

Yes. However, for travel after 31st December 2020, the government is recommending that UK travellers have at least six months left on their passports from the date of arrival in an EU or EEA country.

If a 10-year adult passport was renewed before it expired, extra months may have been added, which do not count towards the required six months remaining.

You may wish to renew your passport sooner rather than later, in order to make sure you have it in time for your holiday or travel plans.

If I am stranded abroad beyond my scheduled return date, will my policy still cover me?

Yes. We will extend the period of insurance by up to 60 days, at no extra cost, if you have to stay on your trip longer because of events that you have no control over.

The information on this page was last updated on 17th February2021.