Travel insurance is required when planning an abroad trip, whether it is a quiet beach vacation or a frenetic city break.
It provides a critical safety net if you require medical treatment while travelling, lose your luggage, or have to cancel your vacation due to an emergency. In a nutshell, travel insurance ensures that you are insured and will not be out of pocket.
Europe-only or worldwide only?
One of the decisions you must make when choosing a policy is whether you want ‘Europe-only’ or ‘worldwide’ coverage.
If you aren’t intending on travelling far, a European policy may appeal to you because it is often less expensive. We’ll take a closer look now.
What is Europe-only travel insurance?
This form of insurance only covers travel within Europe. It’s especially crucial to examine the T&Cs of a Europe-only policy to be sure the country you’re visiting is covered, as the definition of a ‘European country’ varies from one insurer to the next.
While rules will apply to all nations in the European Union (EU), some may go beyond the EU’s borders to include Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Turkey – and even Morocco, Egypt, and Tunisia.
If you’re unsure, double-check your policy or contact your insurer for clarification. This will assist to prevent any unpleasant surprises.
What is the worldwide cover?
‘Global’ insurance, which covers all destinations, and ‘worldwide except the US, Canada, and the Caribbean’ insurance, which excludes trips to North America, are alternatives to ‘Europe-only’ travel insurance.
The premium can be reduced by excluding North America, where medical and liability costs are very high. Remember that if you travel to a nation where the Foreign & Commonwealth Development Office has issued a travel warning, your travel insurance may be invalidated.
Pros of Europe-only cover
- Typically less expensive than global coverage.
- Certain ‘non-European’ destinations, like Morocco and Egypt, are covered by some insurers.
Cons of Europe-only cover
- More restricted than a global policy.
- It is necessary to plan ahead of time if you will be travelling outside of Europe.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morocco
- You’ll have to spend time and money organising a new coverage if your plans alter.
What should my cover for Europe include?
- Expenses for emergency medical care and hospitalisation.
- Return to the UK for more medical care.
- Cancelling or shortening your trip.
- Property and luggage that has been lost or stolen.
- Passports and other travel documents are frequently misplaced or stolen.
- Flight cancellations or delays.
- Personal liability insurance
While some insurance companies will automatically reimburse claims for medical expenses related to Covid-19, you should double-check. The same is true for cancellation insurance. If you have to cancel your trip owing to the virus, some insurers will compensate you, but not all.
Make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully, and if you have any questions, contact your insurer.
Is it still possible for me to choose between “single trip” and “year multi-travel” coverage?
When purchasing a Europe travel policy, you can choose between a “single trip” or “year multi-trip” coverage.
A single trip policy covers you for a single trip up to a particular time (usually 30 days, but it can be longer). If you only travel to Europe once a year, this is the most cost-effective alternative.
If you anticipate visiting Europe at least twice a year, though, a multi-trip policy is generally more cost-effective. This is usually more expensive, but it ensures that you are protected from many travels to Europe over a year.
The benefit is that you won’t have to worry about purchasing travel insurance for the entire year (unless you decide to take a trip beyond Europe).
Can I upgrade the Europe-only cover?
If you get annual multi-trip travel insurance for Europe only, but then decide to travel further afield, you may be able to expand your coverage by speaking with your current insurer and paying an additional fee.
If this is not possible, you may have to start over and purchase a new policy. With this in mind, you must be certain that you will not desire to travel further afield later in the year before selecting Europe-only coverage.
When should I buy the cover?
If you want to buy Europe-only travel insurance – or any sort of travel insurance, for that matter – you should do so as soon as you schedule your vacation.
That way, you’ll be covered in case of cancellation (even unexpected circumstances like redundancy or a family member’s death) before you leave on your trip.
What is the best way to find Europe-only travel insurance?
You’ll need to compare quotes carefully to get the ideal insurance for your needs, taking into account both the level of coverage and the price.
Tips for lowering the cost of European travel insurance
- Choosing a lower level of coverage. This may reduce the cost, but remember that skimping on the cover can be a costly mistake.
- Choosing a greater deliberate excess. In the event of a claim, this is the first part you must pay. While it may help you save money, make sure you can afford the higher amount.
- Choosing a policy for “couples” or “families.” In some circumstances, it may be less expensive than purchasing individual insurance.
Pre-existing medical conditions
You must be absolutely honest during the application procedure and declare any pre-existing medical conditions when purchasing any sort of travel insurance. Pregnancy is not considered a medical condition, so there is no need to declare it.
Withholding any information could invalidate your policy and result in the rejection of any claims you submit.
What about EHICs and GHICs?
Following the United Kingdom’s Brexit agreement, the government announced the launch of the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) to replace the European Health Insurance Card in January 2021. (EHIC).
The new cards provide similar coverage to their predecessors, namely, access to medical treatment at the same level as locals.
However, countries that are part of the European Economic Area (EEA) but not part of the EU are not covered. Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Lichtenstein are included.