Travel Insurance for Europe – Everything You Need to Know – Forbes Advisor UK

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When planning a trip abroad – whether it’s a relaxing beach vacation or a bustling city getaway – travel insurance is a must.

It provides a vital safety net if you need to seek treatment abroad, lose your luggage, or have to cancel your vacation due to an emergency.

In short, travel insurance offers the peace of mind that you are protected and that you will not be outdone.

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Europe only coverage or global coverage?

When choosing a policy, one of the decisions you must make is whether to opt for “Europe only” or “worldwide” coverage.

If you don’t plan on traveling too far, you might be tempted by a European policy, as these may be cheaper. Here we take a closer look.

What is travel insurance only in Europe?

This type of policy only covers travel within Europe. With a Europe-only policy, it is especially important to check the terms and conditions to make sure the country you are traveling to is included, as the definition of what constitutes a “European country” may vary by insurer. to the other.

While the policies will cover all countries in the European Union (EU), some policies may extend the borders to include Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Turkey – and some may even cover Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia.

If you are unsure, check your policy before traveling or speak to the insurer to clarify this. This will avoid unpleasant surprises.

What is global coverage?

The alternative to “Europe only” travel insurance is “global” insurance, which covers all destinations, and “global” coverage excluding the US, Canada and the Caribbean, which excludes travelers. trips to North America.

Excluding North America may lower the premium as medical and liability costs are particularly high in this part of the world.

Remember that if you travel to a country where the Foreign & Commonwealth Development Office has advised against travel, you risk voiding your travel insurance.

Benefits of coverage only in Europe

  • Usually cheaper than global coverage
  • Some insurers will cover certain “non-European” destinations, such as Morocco and Egypt

Disadvantages of European coverage only

  • More limited than a global policy
  • Requires you to think ahead if you are going to travel outside of Europe
  • If your plans change, you will need to spend time and money setting up another policy

What coverage should a Europe-only policy include?

Since medical treatments in Europe can be very expensive, a high level of medical coverage is crucial.

As a guideline, you should look for a policy offering to pay around £ 2million in medical bills in Europe (check if this includes repatriation – the cost of your return home if you are injured or ill).

On top of that, the police should also offer £ 3,000 for cancellations and delays, £ 1,500 for baggage and personal effects and £ 1million for personal liability (to cover you if you injure another person and if she sues you for damages).

Coronavirus Check

Although some insurance companies offer coverage for Covid-19-related medical expenses as standard, you should check this. The same goes for the cancellation guarantee. Some insurers will offer compensation if you have to cancel your trip due to the virus, but not all will.

Be sure to read the T & Cs carefully, and again if in doubt, speak to your insurer.

Learn more about travel insurance for risks related to Covid-19.

Can I still choose between “single trip” or “multiple annual trip” coverage?

When purchasing a travel policy in Europe, you still have the option of purchasing “single trip” coverage or “annual“ multi-trip ”coverage.

With a single travel policy, you are covered for one trip, up to a certain length of time (usually up to 30 days – although this could be longer). If you plan to travel to Europe only once a year, this option will probably be the cheapest.

If, however, you plan to travel to Europe at least twice a year, it is probably more cost-effective to purchase multi-trip coverage. Typically this will cost more, but it does mean that you are covered for multiple trips to Europe over a 12 month period.

The advantage is that you don’t have to worry about re-purchasing travel cover for the whole year (unless you decide to take a trip outside of Europe).

Can I upgrade to Europe only coverage?

If you purchase annual multi-trip travel insurance for Europe only, but then decide to plan a vacation further afield, you may be able to talk to your existing insurer and pay an additional amount to upgrade your coverage.

If this is not possible, you may need to start from scratch and purchase a brand new policy.

With that in mind, before opting for European-only coverage, you need to be sure that you won’t want to travel any further later in the year.

What coverage for a ski holiday in Europe?

If you are planning a ski vacation at a resort in Europe, a standard Europe-only travel policy may not provide sufficient coverage. In some cases, it may be possible to add “winter sports coverage” to your existing policy. If not, you may want to consider a specialized “ski insurance” or “winter sports insurance” policy.

Since ski accident claims can be extremely costly, you should check that your policy provides adequate coverage for activity-related injuries and medical bills – as well as repatriation.

In addition to full medical coverage, other guarantees may be useful: compensation for accidental damage, loss or theft of ski equipment, coverage for lost or stolen ski passes and coverage for closed slopes.

When to buy a blanket?

If you’re looking to purchase European-only coverage – or any type of travel policy for that matter – you should do so as soon as you book your vacation.

This way, you are covered in the event of cancellation (including unforeseen events, such as dismissal or death of a family member) before you leave on your trip.

How to find the best travel insurance only in Europe?

To find the best policy for your needs, you’ll need to compare quotes carefully – looking at the two levels of coverage available and the cost.

Tips for reducing the cost of travel cover in Europe:

  • Opt for a lower level of coverage. This could reduce the cost, but remember that reducing the coverage too much could prove to be a false economy.
  • Opt for a higher voluntary deductible. This is the first part you have to pay in the event of a claim. While this can keep the cost down, always make sure you can afford the higher amount.
  • Opt for a ‘couples’ or ‘family’ policy. In some cases, this can be cheaper than buying individual policies.

Pre-existing medical conditions

When purchasing any type of travel insurance, you should be completely honest during the application process and report any pre-existing medical conditions. You do not need to declare if you are pregnant because pregnancy is not considered a medical condition.

Withholding any information could render your policy invalid and mean that any claim you make will be rejected.

What about CEAMs and GHICs?

In January 2021, following the UK Brexit deal, the government announced the launch of the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), replacing the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

The new cards offer broadly the same coverage as their predecessors – access to medical care at the same level as locals.

Note, however, that coverage does not extend to countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) but outside the EU. This includes Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein.

No substitute for travel insurance

Likewise, while an EHIC or GHIC is useful, it should never be considered a substitute for travel insurance. None of these cards cover you in the event of cancellation or loss of baggage – or, more importantly, repatriation.

The cards will also not cover you if you are taken to a private hospital (as opposed to the local equivalent of an NHS hospital).

To ensure you have full protection while you are abroad, the best approach is to pack an EHIC or GHIC in your suitcase, along with a comprehensive travel insurance policy.

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