European Travel Insurance
With so much to see and do across Europe, it’s no wonder it’s the biggest travel destination for UK tourists.
And despite many of Europe’s most-loved tourist attractions being just a short flight or train ride from home the UK, the unexpected can still happen, so it pays to have the right cover in place should you need it.
And don’t just take it from us, the Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) recommends you buy travel insurance for every trip you take abroad, including any within Europe.
So, what do you get for your money?
European travel insurance covers you in the event of the unexpected, for things like:
- Having to cancel or cut your trip short
- Your personal belongings being stolen
- The airline losing your luggage
It also protects you and your family if you need medical help – more on European travel health insurance and the EHIC below.
Choose from three levels of cover
Emergency medical treatment & repatriation (Limits up to)
Cancellation or cutting short your trip (Limits up to)
Personal belongings (Limits up to)
Money & documents (Limits up to)
Read the full list of benefits in the policy summary booklet.
Do I need travel insurance if I’m holidaying in Europe?
Unlike car insurance, travel insurance isn’t compulsory, and being so close to home you may be tempted to skip the cover. But you’ll want it in place if things don’t quite go to plan – luggage can get lost and people do get ill abroad.
Take France, for example, a favourite for us Brits, with 17 million of us visiting each year. It’s not just the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the yachts on St Tropez people flock to, snow-lovers flock to France for the hundreds of ski resorts on offer.
And if you were unlucky enough to break an arm while on the slopes of one of the many French ski resorts, you could be looking at costs of up to £1,000 for:
- First responder treatment
- Ambulance, Xrays and cast
If it’s a severe break you may need to be taken to the public hospital where you’ll be treated under the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which covers 80% of costs. If you've taken out the Admiral Winter Sports Travel Insurance optional upgrade, that’ll cover the rest, otherwise you’ll have to pay out of your own pocket.
Take a look at the true costs of getting ill abroad including how much hospital treatments cost across Europe and worldwide.
Do I need European Travel Insurance if I have an EHIC card?
Carrying the EHIC – sometimes called the European travel insurance card - means you can get state-level medical cover in the country you’re travelling in – if they accept the card.
Each country’s healthcare system is different and might not include the things you’d expect at home, or even cover you at all.
In Cyprus, for example, the EHIC is only valid in southern Cyprus. It isn’t accepted in the Republic of Cyprus (north) where the government doesn’t have effective control; it’s run by Turkey.
The EHIC isn’t valid in Turkey at all.
In the countries where it is valid, it only covers medical emergencies. It won’t cover all medical or repatriation costs if you need to be brought home for treatment, which is why travel insurance is so important.
It’s free to get an EHIC from the NHS online so get one before setting off on your next holiday and carry it at all times.
If you'll be travelling in Europe after Brexit, take a look at our EHIC after Brexit page to get an idea of how much it could cost to get treatment in Europe if EHIC is no longer available.
Where does European Travel Insurance cover?
Different insurers define ‘Europe’ in different ways, which can make buying the right cover for your holiday confusing.
In Admiral’s case, we cover 50 European countries, and our policies stretch the boundaries of Europe to include places like:
Some insurers may have a smaller definition of Europe, while others may describe their policy as covering ‘Schengen’ countries. The Schengen Area is made up of 26 countries that have abolished border controls at their mutual borders.
For other providers who don’t define Europe in this way, or if you’re planning multiple holidays spanning Europe and further afield then worldwide travel insurance could be better suited to your needs.
Admiral Travel Insurance breaks down travel into three zones:
- Worldwide excluding USA, Canada, Caribbean and Mexico
Then three tiers of cover with increasing coverage and product benefits are available. You can choose between Admiral, Admiral Gold or Admiral Platinum to suit your needs best.
Do I need single or annual European Travel Insurance?
Whether you’re planning one European jaunt in a year or multiple holidays to the continent, we have the cover you need.
Our single trip insurance is best for those who are not frequent holidaymakers, and covers you for one trip for up to 365 days.
If you plan on travelling more than once throughout a year, annual European travel insurance is for you.
You’ll be covered no matter how many times you choose to travel (up to 31 days at a time, but this may be extended upon request), and could be perfect for people with a house-share across the channel or those who frequently travel.
What if I have a pre-existing medical condition?
A pre-existing medical condition is a short or long term illness or injury you have or have had before you buy travel insurance. This includes having symptoms, tests, diagnosis or medical treatment for a condition.
You can declare your pre-existing medical conditions during the quote process to see if we can offer cover. If you’re unsure what needs to be declared or if you're unable to find your condition on the medical conditions list, please contact us on 0333 234 9913.
Your pre-existing medical conditions won’t be covered unless you’ve:
- Declared them all on your policy
- Received written confirmation that we’ll cover your medical condition
- Paid any additional premium in full
Policy terms and conditions apply. Please note, if you’ve had a positive diagnosis of Covid-19 in the last two years and sought medical attention, this needs to be declared on your policy.
If you don’t tell us about your pre-existing medical conditions or give us incorrect information, your policy may be invalid, and we may refuse all or part of any claim you submit.
For a quote with us, click the green button above.
The Money Advice Service Medical Directory
If you have or have had a more serious pre-existing medical condition and are struggling to find travel insurance, the Money Advice Service medical directory may be able to help. This directory has a panel of travel insurance providers who specialise in covering serious medical conditions.
Alternatively, you can call them on 0800 138 7777. (Monday to Friday 8:00-18:00, closed on Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays.)
Your questions answered
Can I travel anywhere in Europe?
You won’t be covered if you travel to a country which the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has advised ‘against all travel’ or ‘against all but essential travel’.
Can I buy travel insurance to Europe from the UK?
Yes - you must buy travel insurance while you're still in the UK; you can’t take out Admiral cover one you’ve gone through Customs.
Will my travel insurance cover skiing or snowboarding in Europe?
If you’re planning a ski or snowboarding trip to any of Europe’s spectacular mountain resorts, you’ll need to add our Winter Sports upgrade onto your policy to be covered for the trip. Without it, your policy won’t be valid.
Is my European cruise covered by my travel insurance?
To be covered for a cruise trip, you must add our cruise cover upgrade. Without it your policy won't be valid.
What should I do if I have a medical emergency, or if I have to cut my trip short?
In case of a serious medical emergency during your trip, please call our 24-hour Emergency Assistance Helpline on +44 (0)292 010 7777 before going into hospital or incurring medical expenses over £500, so we can help you.
For non-medical emergency claims:
- For policies renewed before 5 May 2020, call our claims team on 01243 218 437. Our lines are open Monday to Friday 8:00-20:00 and Saturday 9:00-16:00
- For policies bought or renewed after 5 May 2020, call our claims team on 0333 234 9914. Our lines are open Monday to Friday only 9:00-17:00
Is Turkey in Europe?
While Turkey straddles eastern Europe and Asia, Admiral Travel Insurance classes Turkey as Europe, so our European cover on single-trip or annual cover is what you need.
Is Iceland in Europe?
When buying Admiral Travel Insurance, Iceland is classed as Europe. The island is located between north America and mainland Europe. Interestingly, Reykjavik is both the northern-most and western-most capital city in Europe.
Is Cyprus in Europe?
For travel insurance purposes, Cyprus is classed as in Europe by Admiral Travel Insurance. If you’re travelling to Cyprus, it’s important to be aware of the north/south divide in the country.
The north is run by Turkey and accepts the Turkish lira for currency. Whereas the south is mainly inhabited by Greek Cypriots and accepts the Euro.
Does the EHIC cover Cyprus?
The EHIC isn’t valid in the Republic of Cyprus (northern Cyprus) but it is accepted in the south. If you’re travelling to Cyprus it’s important to have insurance in place should you need medical attention.
Is Russia in Europe or Asia?
Russia, west of the Urals, is covered by Admiral’s European travel insurance. The Ural Mountains approximately run from north to south in western Russia and forms part of the conventional boundary between the European and Asian continents.
You’ll need a visa to travel to Russia and it’s best to apply in plenty of time. For more information visit the Russian Embassy’s website.
Am I covered if my flights are disrupted because of Brexit?
You’ll be covered if there’s any disruption to your flights (in line with current cover and exclusions) if you already have travel cover or have booked a trip on your annual policy.
If there’s an official warning from the Government or airlines that suggests flights are likely to be disrupted, customers buying new policies may not be covered.
I don’t want to travel because of Brexit – can I cancel my trip?
If you decide you don’t want to travel because of Brexit and end up cancelling your trip, you won’t be able to claim. Not wanting to travel isn’t a valid cancellation reason for claiming.
Will I need a visa to travel to the EU after Brexit?
In the future, it's possible UK citizens will need a travel permit as part of the European Travel Information and Authorisation Scheme (ETIAS).
If you can’t go on your trip because you don’t have the correct visa or permit, you won’t be able to claim on your cover.
How long will I need on my passport after Brexit?
The Government recommends UK travellers have at least six months left on their passports from the date they arrive in an EU country when travelling after 29 March 2019. Check the validity of your passport online with this handy tool.
If you can’t go on your trip as you don’t have enough time left on your passport (or you didn’t renew it in time), you won’t be able to make a claim.
Can I still use my EHIC card after Brexit?
If there’s a no-deal Brexit, your EHIC card may no longer be valid. The travel cover you receive won’t change, but the countries where you pay your policy excess when you claim will.
Without the EHIC, there’s no reciprocal health agreement in place between the UK and EU countries, so you’ll need to pay your policy excess when making a medical claim.
If you have a medical emergency while you're abroad, you're injured, fall ill, or have to cut your trip short please call our 24-hour Emergency Assistance Helpline on +44 (0)292 010 7777.
Getting the most out of your trip
Going anywhere nice?
Off to one of the destinations below? Take a look at our guides for some hints and tips on what you need to remember.
Travel insurance that suits you
Whether you're travelling solo, with your family, or with a little one on the way, read our guides to make sure our cover is right for you.