Travel insurance to Europe - an EHIC is not enough!

We sometimes get asked if it's really necessary to take out travel insurance if someone's travelling to Europe.

It's understandable when people say that countries in Europe are not that far away, so if they became ill, they'd just jump on a plane and get back home.


  • if you're unwell, it's quite likely that an airline will not allow you to travel with them - they don't want to risk having to divert a flight if your condition worstens or if they suspect you might have a contagious illness and potentially infect crew and other passengers
  • if you're in hospital, it's possible you'll be in no fit state to travel
  • if you're unconsicous, you're obviously not going to be able to get on a plane home!
  • during busy travel times, you might well not be able to book a seat on a plane that day or for several days in advance, so you wouldn't be able to get home

We also get told that a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is all they need.


  • doesn't mean you'll necessarily get free treatment
  • merely puts you in the same siutation as an insured person in that country, so you might well have to contribute to medical examinations, procedures and treatment
  • won't pay for extra costs incurred if you need to book a different flight, so you can get home sooner (travel insurance will, if medically necessary)
  • won't pay for extra accommodation costs that a travelling companion would incur, so they could remain with you while you're unwell (travel insurance can)
  • won't cover additional situations such as loss of baggage or personal items, travel delay or disruption, curtailment etc (travel insurance can)

It's just as important to have travel insurance if you're travelling within Europe as it is if you're travelling, for example, to the USA. Please don't take the risk of travelling without insurance!

Find out about all the things our HIV-inclusive travel insurance will cover by looking at our policy wording.