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No travel insurance means no defence for fans travelling to the European Football Championships

England may be able to do without the likes of Theo Walcott and Jermain Defoe from the provisional squad for the European Championships announced today, but none of the thousands of fans planning to travel to France can afford to be without travel insurance protection warns the ABI.

More than one in four* fans expected to travel to follow England, Wales or Northern Ireland this summer have said that they had no plans to take out travel insurance.

To help fans prepare for the Championship, the ABI’s checklist is:

  • Get your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The EHIC enables you to get state provided healthcare in France at a reduced cost or sometimes free. It will cover medical treatment (including pre existing conditions) until you return to the UK. You can apply for, or renew, an EHIC using the official EHIC online application form. This is free of charge. Beware of unofficial websites, which may charge if you apply through them.
  • Travel insurance is essential. Your EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance as it will not cover the cost of all treatments or emergency medical repatriation back to the UK. So make sure you arrange travel insurance before you travel. If you have any pre existing medical conditions tell your insurer or insurance broker beforehand. In addition to emergency medical treatment, travel insurance will cover your possessions, including money, if lost or stolen, up to specified limits.
  • Read your travel policy before you go so that you understand what you are covered for. Be aware of any limits on the value of possessions covered and any alcohol-related exclusions. Make sure that you take with you emergency contact details of your travel insurer.
  • Think security. Consider if you need to take valuables. Be vigilant for pick pockets who thrive in crowded places, and don’t leave your possessions unattended, especially in bars and restaurants. Make use of any hotel safe deposit boxes. And be aware of extra security precautions that will be in place.
  • If you are taking your car, contact your motor insurer to check that the scope of your UK cover will apply in France. While driving within the EU your UK motor policy will automatically cover you for the minimum legal requirement of the country you are driving in at no extra cost. This may not necessarily reflect the scope of your UK cover. Some insurers may automatically extend your comprehensive cover while abroad at no extra cost, while others may require an extra premium while you are driving abroad.
  • Check your home insurance if you will be away for all of the championships, as policies will often restrict the cover if your home is left unoccupied for more than a specified period, such as 30 days. If you have made arrangements for someone to regularly check your home, tell your insurer.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office have further advice for travelling fans through their ‘Be on the Ball’ campaign.

Ross Penstone Smith, the ABI’s Policy Adviser, General Insurance, said:

Ross Penstone-Smith"Travelling to the championships without travel insurance is like England Wales or Northern Ireland playing without a goalkeeper.

"The UK and France may only be separated by 26 miles, but if things go wrong it will feel like a long way from home.

"Having the right travel insurance for your needs is crucial for every supporter travelling to France. Travelling without it will be a massive own goal. Whether travelling as part of a package or independently, all supporters should check their travel insurance before they go so that they fully understand what they are covered for, and to contact their travel insurer if they are unclear on any aspect of the cover.

"Don’t forget that the main purpose of travel insurance is to cover the costs of urgent medical treatment should you fall ill abroad, and any emergency medical repatriation back to the UK. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, make sure you tell your travel insurer before you travel. The costs of medical treatment abroad and emergency medical repatriation can total thousands of pounds – even from France."

*Survey conducted for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office showed that 73% of fans travelling to France planned to take out travel insurance.

Last updated 01/07/2016