Although your trip to France doesn’t legally require travel insurance, taking out a policy that covers a trip to Europe will make sure you’re protected if:
European travel insurance covers you for trips inside the EU, including the UK. Countries outside of the EU, but in Europe, are usually covered too. Each policy is different, so check documents for any ‘geographical limits’.
An annual European policy will cover you for 12 months after the policy’s start-date. As well as being more cost-effective, it can also save you the hassle of organising single trip insurance each time you travel.
If you’ve got more trips planned this year to places outside of Europe, you might find a worldwide annual policy is the most cost-effective. Compare your options to see which works out best for you.
The healthcare system in France is strong - the World Health Organisation found that France provides the best overall healthcare in the world. It’s made up of private and public hospitals.
Yes. An EHIC (European health insurance card) means you can access state-provided medical treatment, exactly as French citizens do.
You can apply for an EHIC using the NHS website. If you lose your EHIC, or don’t have it when you need treatment in France, you can call the Department of Health Overseas Healthcare Team on +441912181999 to get a Provisional Replacement Certificate.
Having travel insurance in place on top of this will cover healthcare costs if you’re taken to a private facility by ambulance in an emergency - something your EHIC won’t cover you for.
Medical repatriation back to the UK also isn’t covered by an EHIC, but is by your travel insurance.
If you need prescription drugs in France, you’ll need to bring a doctor’s note explaining why you’re taking the medication.
Whether you’re taking your own car or hiring one, you must be insured to drive in France. If you’re taking your own car, your UK car insurance should cover you third party to drive in France.
These items often come as a kit, so buy one online before you travel to France.
Paris has introduced a Low Emission Zone to improve air quality - visit the French Ministry of Environment website for more information on how this could affect your trip. It’s also illegal to drive using headphones or earphones.
Seat belts must be worn by all drivers and passengers. Drivers have a responsibility to ensure all passengers under 18 are buckled up.
The fine for not using a seat belt is €135, reduced to €90 if paid within 15 days.
If you break down on a motorway or toll road in France, use the orange emergency phones at the roadside. A local company will tow you to a recovery zone where you can contact your cover provider.
With language barriers and a lack of local knowledge making breaking down more stressful, European breakdown cover is highly advisable for driving in France. Policies vary, so check wording carefully, but typical features include roadside assistance, garage labour costs, onward travel and car repatriation back to the UK.