Travel insurance for Belgium

Get the right cover for your trip to Belgium

Ceri McMillan Go.Compare travel insurance expert
Ceri McMillan
Updated 21 October 2022  | 3 min read

Do I need travel insurance for Belgium?

It’s not compulsory to have travel insurance for Belgium - unless your trip’s longer than 90-days - but it’s highly recommended.

Travel insurance gives you financial protection against unexpected events and situations that might affect your plans, including urgent medical treatment and trip cancellation.

Plus, if you take out cover as soon as you book your trip, you’ll have protection from the outset. So, if something prevents you from travelling, you could claim for the cost of your holiday.

What should my travel insurance policy cover?

Your travel insurance can protect you against things that could impact your trip, and standard policies should include cover for:

  • Cancellation and delays
  • Missed transport beyond your control
  • Emergency medical cover
  • The cost of getting you home if you get injured or become seriously ill (known as repatriation)
  • Lost, damaged, and stolen baggage or personal belongings
  • Travel expenses for a friend or family member to be with you or travel back with you if you’re injured or unwell
  • Personal liability

You can also buy policy add-ons to tailor cover to your specific needs and situation.

What won’t my travel insurance policy cover?

It’s important to understand the exclusions and what your travel insurance policy won’t protect you against.

Typical exclusions include:

  • Taking part in high-risk sports and activities
  • Claiming for an undeclared pre-existing medical condition
  • Travelling against government advice
  • Accidents and injuries that happen when you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Missed departure because you were stuck in traffic or overslept
  • Stolen or missing items when your belongings were left unattended
  • Strikes and industrial action if the date was known when you booked your trip

Covid-19 and travelling to Belgium

Before travelling to Belgium, you should check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) travel advice.

This will give you the latest information on coronavirus, safety and security, and entry requirements. It will also let you know about any travel warnings you need to be aware of.

It’s also a good idea to check the TravelHealthPro website for the most up-to-date information on health risks and what you need to do before you travel.

If you’re travelling from the UK to Belgium, there are no longer any Covid-19 restrictions. So you won’t need to show any proof of vaccination or have a negative test result before you travel.

Entry rules and requirements may change though, so you should always check the most current information before you visit the country.

Do I need a visa to enter Belgium from the UK?

No, because Belgium is part of the EU and one of the 26 countries in the Schengen area that allows free travel, you won’t need a visa if your stay is less than 90 days.

You can travel to Belgium and other countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without needing a visa.

To be allowed entry into Belgium and other Schengen countries, your passport must be:

  • Issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country
  • Valid for at least three months after the day you plan to leave

What’s the standard of healthcare in Belgium?

The Belgian healthcare system is seen as one of the best in Europe and is divided into public and private hospitals and clinics.

Belgium healthcare is subsidised rather than free, so most Belgians take out private health insurance to help cover the costs.

Does travel insurance cover terrorist attacks?

Standard travel insurance doesn’t cover you for acts of terror, including if a terrorist attack or threat causes cancellations or damage to personal belongings.

However, some policies will pay out if someone listed on the policy is injured or killed as a result of terrorism.

To make sure you’re covered, you can buy a separate terrorism insurance add-on. But be aware that this won’t cover you for particularly risky countries - these will be listed on your policy.

Most travel insurance policies won’t cover you to travel anywhere that’s advised against by the FCDO.

Am I covered to drive in Belgium?

Your travel insurance should cover you if you’re injured in a motoring accident. And it may provide cover if your car’s broken into and your possessions are stolen, as long as they were hidden out of sight.

If you’re involved in a car accident, your travel insurance is likely to cover you for emergency medical care, although exclusions will apply if you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

But you won’t be covered for personal liability if you’re driving in Belgium and you injure other people or cause damage to their car or possessions.

If you’re taking your own car to Belgium, check your car insurance will cover you for this and for driving your car abroad.

For rental cars, most will include insurance as part of the rental agreement, but you’ll need to check what exactly it covers before you set off.

Is healthcare in Belgium free?

No, healthcare and hospital treatment in Belgium isn’t free. You’ll have to pay a daily charge for treatment, and you may also have to pay an admittance fee if you need a hospital stay.

The EHIC or GHIC will entitle you to receive treatment at the same cost that Belgian citizens must pay.

You’ll be required to pay the fees up front and then you can claim to be partially reimbursed from the Belgian health insurance fund while you’re in the country.

When you’re getting treatment, make sure the doctor gives you a receipt as proof of the amount you’ve paid.

What language is spoken in Belgium?

Belgium is home to three official languages and plenty of regional dialects. The three main languages spoken here are Dutch, German, and French.

Flemish Dutch is the most spoken of the three and French is the primary language for around 40% of Belgians.

Many Belgians also speak English as a second language.

Top tips for travelling to Belgium

With its delicious cuisine and fascinating history, Belgium’s a great destination to explore and is ideal for a weekend break. Read our top tips on how to get the most from your visit:

Sample Belgian beer

You’ll be spoilt for choice with the huge variety of local beers on offer. Visit the Zythos Beer Festival in April, it’s one of the largest beer tasting festivals of its kind. Dine in style

Tuck into national favourites like waffles, chocolate, mussels and fries, or for something a little more special, try one of the many Michelin-starred restaurants in the country

Walk around a flower carpet

Every two years, in mid-August, the Grand-Place of Brussels displays a colourful and beautifully scented carpet of more than half a million begonias

Tour the Flanders Fields

These wartime battlefields are a must for anyone interested in World War One. You can see preserved trenches and cemeteries as well as exploring the visitor centres

Dress for all weathers

An old Belgian joke says the country has great weather - about 20 times a day. Summers are usually fine and mild, but it’s worth packing a brolly and raincoat

Take a Bruges canal trip

Bruges is one of Europe’s most picturesque medieval towns. Taking in the sights by boat is the perfect way to discover its secret gardens and ornate buildings