Travel insurance for France

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France is a country with vast regional differences in landscape, culture and climate. You can head to Paris for a romantic city break and try champagne tasting in Epernay; ski in the Alps or surf in Biarritz, and enjoy a camping holiday in Brittany.

For many, the luxurious Cote d’Azur is the place to see and be seen. Although it has no official borders, the Cote d’Azur is a stretch of coastline that’s generally considered to run from Cassis in the west, right up to the Italian border in the east. It’s comprised of world-famous resorts such as Saint Tropez, Cannes and Nice, and it includes the sovereign state of Monaco.

Then, of course, there’s Paris – the most romantic city in the world – and it’s many iconic landmarks. From the stunning Eiffel Tower to the impressive Arc de Triomphe, France’s capital city has more than its fair share of attractions (not to mention photo spots!).

Culturally, France is very similar to the UK. You can spend your days relaxing in café-lined streets, exploring village-square markets and eating in bistros. Although French is the national language, many locals in cities and popular tourist spots speak English, so communicating isn’t usually a problem for British tourists. Before you travel though, you’ll need to convert your money to euros.

Whatever you get up to, it's important that you buy travel insurance for France to help protect yourself against any unforeseen eventualities.

Below is some more information about our products, for which Terms and Conditions apply. Please visit the policy information hub for full details.

Although France is close to home, you’ll still need to protect yourself against unexpected eventualities by purchasing travel insurance for France. Even though it’s considered a safe place to visit, there are still things that could go wrong. Your flight could be cancelled due to bad weather, you may fall ill after eating food that disagrees with you, or you may have some of your valuables stolen. Of course, we hope that none of these things happen, but travel insurance for France is there to protect you, just in case they do.

Our Single Trip, Annual and Backpacker policies can help keep you protected whether you’re heading to France for a summer beach holiday, taking multiple trips to this beautiful country or visiting France as part of a backpacking adventure across Europe.

Across our Single Trip and Annual policies, you can choose from our Bronze, Silver or Gold levels of cover. Depending on the policy you choose, you’ll be covered for: 

  • Cancelling or curtailing your trip
  • Emergency medical and associated expenses
  • Loss of passport*
  • Delayed personal possessions
  • Lost, stolen or damaged personal possessions*
  • Loss of personal money*
  • Personal accident cover
  • Missed departures
  • Delayed departures
  • Personal liability
  • Legal expenses
  • End-supplier failure**
  • *Not available with Bronze cover
  • **Only available with Gold cover
  • Terms and Conditions apply.
     
If you’re taking part in water sports off the coast of Nice or want to play a few rounds of golf around Paris, our add-ons can provide you with the cover you need. Our Golf cover can help protect you and your equipment, while our Sports and Leisure add-on can help provide you with cover for adventurous activities. To see the sports we cover, consult our policy documents and Sports and Activities list.  
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If you plan on driving in France, then you should check the motoring requirements for France before you set off.

Firstly, you’ll need to ensure that your car insurance includes cover outside the UK. You’ll also need to make sure that you have European Breakdown cover. If you’re taking your own vehicle to France, then you’ll need to take your log book (also known as a V5C), your insurance certificate and your driving licence. If you’re taking a vehicle abroad that you’ve either hired or leased in the UK, you’ll need a VE103 certificate.

If you’re hiring a car in France, then please be aware that most hire companies will ask to see your driving licence information when you pick up the car. As a result, you should get a ‘licence check code’ before you arrive. Plus, while your rental agreement may include some insurance for theft and third party liability, you’ll probably still be at risk of a large excess payment if you crash, if the car is stolen or if there’s accidental damage. But, to protect yourself, you can select our Car Hire Excess insurance. With this, we’ll help cover the excess set by the provider of your hire car company’s Collision Damage Waiver policy.

Before you travel to France, you’ll also need to familiarise yourself with the rules of the road when driving in Europe. Remember, you’ll need to drive on the right side of the road and take extra care on roundabouts, where priority may be given to traffic entering the roundabout. This is common at large urban roundabouts, such as at the Champs Elysées in Paris.

Plus, you’ll need some essentials for driving in France, including:

  • Headlamp converters (if your car is right-hand drive)
  • A high visibility jacket for each occupant
  • A GB sticker (If your car doesn’t have a number plate that includes the GB euro-symbol)
  • Warning triangles
  • Spare bulbs (this is recommended but not mandatory)
  • Breathalyzers
  • Snow chains (these are compulsory in some areas during winter months)

In addition, you’ll need an air pollution sticker to drive in some large cities, and you’ll need to ensure that your satellite navigation system doesn’t have speed camera detectors. If it does, you’ll need to disable them before you arrive in France. 

If you’re travelling within the European Economic Area, then an EHIC card is an important document to take. The EHIC card replaced the old E111 form, but it’s not a replacement for travel insurance.

The card entitles you to cheaper (sometimes free) emergency treatment in France, but though the card entitles you to the same treatment as local citizens, you should be aware that some healthcare in France isn’t free. In addition, your EHIC card will not cover you in all circumstances, including medical repatriation.  

For this reason, you should still take out travel insurance for France. That way, your medical bills will be included in your policy, and you’ll have cover for things like cancellations, delayed flights and delayed personal possessions too. Plus, as part of the telephone / video GP consultation service on our travel insurance for France, if the GP believes that you need a private prescription for medication, they can authorise this electronically and arrange for the medication to be sent to you*.

Please note that, if the UK leaves the European Union with a ‘no-deal Brexit,’ then your EHIC card may be invalid. The government has stated that they’d like the scheme to continue after Brexit, but it’s not yet clear how UK cardholders will be affected.

*You will have to pay for your medication and its delivery.

France is home to some of the best ski resorts in the world. Whether you’re heading to Chamonix, Tignes, Val-d'Isère or Megève, you’re almost guaranteed great weather and beautiful views.

But, if you go skiing or snowboarding in France, you’ll need to purchase additional cover. Our Winter Sports and Ski insurance can help protect you against ski-specific risks such as piste and avalanche closure. Plus, your equipment is covered, so there’s no need to worry about costs incurred if it gets lost or damaged.

Currently, if you have a British passport, you do not need a visa for a holiday to France. But, the rules for travelling or working in Europe will change if there’s a ‘no-deal Brexit.’

However, it’s unlikely that you’ll need a visa for short-term trips. The European Commission has suggested that British Citizens will be able to visit countries in the Schengen area, or elsewhere in the EU, for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa.

France is considered to be a safe country to visit, but thefts and scamming still take place in busy cities and near tourist sites. You should be especially careful around popular tourist spots, where pickpockets may try to steal your valuables. If possible, keep all of your valuables out of sight in closed, zipped pockets. In France, it’s common for scammers to try and get tourists to sign up to fake charity initiatives, so be very wary if someone is asking for your personal information.

Culturally, France is very similar to the UK. This extends to the culture around tipping. If you enjoy a lovely meal at a restaurant, then you should leave a small tip of a few euros. If you feel like the service was particularly good, then this can go up to 5-10% of the bill.

Although most French residents do speak English, you may find that residents in rural parts of France and non-tourist areas don’t. As a result, it’s worth carrying a French phrase book with you, or having a few conversational French phrases to hand.

France is the gateway to mainland Europe, so it’s a popular destination for backpackers. If you’re exploring Europe by interrail, our Backpacker insurance can help cover your trip.

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Taking the whole family on a beach break to France this summer? Our Family travel insurance allows you to put everyone on the same policy. 

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If you’re heading on more than one holiday this year, or heading to France multiple times, then you may find that our Annual travel insurance is more cost effective than buying multiple Single Trip policies. 
 
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If you’re heading to the pistes of Chamonix or the slopes of Val-d'Isère, then our Winter Sports and Ski cover could help protect you. It can even help cover your equipment, too. 

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Just planning the one trip to France this year? Our Single Trip travel insurance could be right for you. It can cover you for up to 180 days, so you have plenty of time to tour this beautiful country. 
 
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Our travel insurance for France comes with some sports and leisure activities included, like scuba diving, golf and yachting. But if you feel like doing something more adventurous, our Sports and Leisure insurance could help cover you. 

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If you’re planning on visiting France in your golden years, then you may find that our Seniors travel insurance is best for you. It can help cover a city break in Paris, or a tour of the south of France.

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