Compare Cheap Travel Insurance to Europe
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Whether you’re heading off on an annual trip to Europe or you visit multiple times a year, you may want to consider buying travel insurance to provide a financial buffer against the unexpected costs of holiday cancellation, lost bags, illness, etc.
We’ve researched dozens of policies to get a handle on the average cost of travel insurance to Europe. Use this information as a guide to understanding expected costs when considering which policy and features to buy. If you have any pre-existing conditions you can find more information in our article on the average cost of travel insurance for medical conditions.
Table of Contents
- How much is travel insurance to Europe?
- How much are winter sports and cruise insurance to Europe?
- Cost of travel insurance to Europe by age
Average Cost of Travel Insurance to Europe
Travel insurance for Europe starts from as little as £5 for a healthy 30 year old to buy 3 star cover a one-week holiday. Upgrading to a 5 star plan costs 2X as much as a 3 star plan. In fact, Europe is typically the cheapest destination for buying travel insurance cover from the UK.
|Starting Travel Insurance Prices to Europe||Single Trip||Annual, Multitrip|
|3 star Defaqto rating||£5.9||£11.9|
|4 star Defaqto rating||£8.1||£14.9|
|5 star Defaqto rating||£12.4||£23.1|
Anyone who will take 2 or more trips in the year is probably better off buying an annual, multitrip policy. And if you're heading further afield in the year, you may want to consider an annual, multitrip policy with broader geographic cover. The average cost of annual multi-trip travel insurance for the world, including USA/Canada, starts from £21 for a 3 star policy and £49 for a 5 star policy.
Travel insurance to Europe is cheaper than the rest of the world, in part, due to lower expected medical claims. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) programme gives valid EHIC holders access to state-provided health care during a temporary stay in another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland.
Travel Insurance Costs for a Family to USA
The cost of travel insurance to Europe for a family of four is roughly 2.5X to 3.5X the cost to insure an individual. Travel insurance prices for a family of 4 heading to Europe start from around £16 for a 3 star Defaqto policy, with prices climbing to £27+ for 5 star cover. Annual, multitrip cover is generally better value if you'll travel again in the year, with prices from around £33.
|Starting Travel Insurance Prices for Travel Insurance for Europe||Single Trip (USA)||Annual, Multitrip (Worldwide)|
|3 star Defaqto rating||£16.0||£32.7|
|4 star Defaqto rating||£24.3||£36.4|
|5 star Defaqto rating||£27.0||£50.2|
Average Cost of Travel Insurance Extras to Europe
Since an EHIC won't work on a cruise and winter sports injuries often require private medical care, adding these two extras onto a European travel insurance policy really bumps up the cost of cover. The cost of cruise insurance for Europe is roughly 2X to 3X the cost of regular travel insurance. And a policy with winter sports can cost even more.
|Starting Travel Insurance Prices for Travel Insurance for USA||No add ons||Cruise||Winter Sports|
|3 star Defaqto rating||£5.9||£17.9||£16.0|
|4 star Defaqto rating||£8.1||£18.4||£24.9|
|5 star Defaqto rating||£12.4||£21.4||£30.1|
Typically, adding winter sports coverage to a single-trip policy costs more than to a multi-trip policy. This is true across all geographies, not just coverage in Europe. So if you want winter sports cover and you travel at least twice a year, an annual, multitrip policy can be better value.
Think about the holidays you'll take in the upcoming year so that you can buy enough, but not too much, travel insurance coverage. If you’re only going to Europe once or twice in the year, single-trip policies may work out cheaper for you. Regardless of whether you buy single or multi-trip cover, you may also want to be on the lookout for SAFI or ESF cover if you want protection in case your airline and/or accommodation goes into administration.
How Age Affects the Cost of Travel Insurance to Europe
Travel insurance costs are relatively steady through most of adulthood up through middle age. Prices drift up slowly in your 50s and 60s. By age 70, however, the cost of travel insurance jumps significantly, costing around 3X as much. 80 year olds pay 2X that again.
For example, a 30 year old would pay from around £6 to secure a 4 star Defaqto policy with £2,000+ of cancellation cover for Europe; an 80 year old would need to pay around £54 for the same cover.
|Cost of Cheap, Single Trip, 4 Star Travel Insurance to Europe, by age|
|20 years old||£5.94|
|30 years old||£5.94|
|40 years old||£7.10|
|50 years old||£7.80|
|60 years old||£8.27|
|70 years old||£21.46|
|80 years old||£54.31|
EHIC Card: Do I Need One?
Many insurance providers require you to have a valid EHIC for Europe travel cover. An EHIC covers medically-necessary treatment until your planned return home, and may cover pre-existing conditions and routine maternity care. You may not want to rely solely on an EHIC though—it won't cover any private medical health care costs, such as mountain rescue in ski resorts or being flown back to the UK, nor is it valid on cruises. Private travel insurance and an EHIC provide different types of cover, therefore it is important to have both arranged before you travel.
Should You Buy Single-Trip or Multi-Trip Insurance to Europe?
It depends on where you go and how often. Anyone who travels 2 or more times a year will probably save money by purchasing an annual, multi-trip policy instead of a single-trip policy, because the average cost of annual, multi-trip travel insurance usually costs 2.4X the cost of a similar single-trip policy.
If your travels take you beyond Europe then, generally speaking, a multi-trip policy is more cost efficient for two or more trips a year. The exception to this is one trip to Europe and one trip to America in a year, as discussed in our article on travel insurance to the USA.
Also, older travellers with medical conditions may find that annual, multitrip policies are very expensive and might save money buying a few single trip policies instead. Check quotes for both single and multi-trip policies before deciding as the pricing will depend on your individual circumstances.
To determine the average cost of travel insurance for UK consumers heading to America, we first collected travel insurance quotes from our travel insurance comparison partner Compare Cover. To get an idea of the true cost of a "cheap" policy, that is, how much someone might need to pay to secure cover, we averaged the 5 cheapest quotes available for policies rated 3 stars, 4 stars and 5 stars by Defaqto.
In order to standardize our results, we made certain assumptions about the type of plan and level of coverage sought by the average consumer. Other than the "age" section, our sample traveller was 30 years old and healthy with no pre-existing conditions. In the age section, the quotes reflect the cheapest 4 star Defaqto rated policy available with at least £2,000 of cancellation cover. For this part of the study we couldn't take an average of the ten cheapest quotes because there's a much smaller selection of plans available for 70 and 80 year old travellers, and the results would have been skewed by a few outlying quotes.