Travel insurance for Iceland

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Do I need travel insurance for Iceland?

Visitors head to Iceland to explore its geysers and mountains, but travel insurance cover is essential for any travellers, whether they’re plans are ambitiously adventurous or not.

Accidents and illness can happen anywhere, and you can also get cover for your luggage and valuables.

What sort of insurance do I need for Iceland?

Iceland is usually covered by European travel insurance. Do check your policy wording though to make sure it’s on the list of included countries.

If you’re planning more than one trip abroad in the next year, it’s probably cheaper to get an annual multi-trip policy instead of buying single-trip insurance for every holiday.

Iceland, EU healthcare and the EHIC

Healthcare is universal and good quality in Iceland.

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is valid and gives you access to healthcare for free or at a reduced cost. It may also cover pre-existing medical conditions.

However, your EHIC will not cover certain costs, including getting you home in an emergency. For that, you’ll need travel insurance.

Ambulances are not free in Iceland. If you have an EHIC, you’ll be charged a fixed cost, but it’s best to take a car or taxi to hospital unless it’s an emergency.

To make sure you're covered for treatment costs, you’ll need medical cover in your travel insurance policy as well as an EHIC.

If you have pre-existing medical conditions, you'll need to tell your insurer before you travel, or you won't be covered for them while you're away.

Iceland travel insurance cover and exclusions

Before you travel, check what your policy covers and what it doesn’t

Your belongings

Most travel insurance includes some cover for your luggage from loss, theft or damage.

Check how much cash is covered by your policy - avoid carrying more than that amount and keep currency exchange receipts.

The currency in Iceland is the krona, not the euro. Most places accept debit or credit cards so you shouldn’t need to carry large sums of cash.

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Insurance policies usually cover cancellation or curtailment of your trip, for example due to illness, bereavement or redundancy.

To get the most benefit from it, buy your insurance as soon as you book your trip.

Natural disasters

Iceland has active volcanoes. The main risk if they erupt is likely to be severe travel disruption, though people with respiratory conditions can be made ill by the gases emitted.

Insurers usually exclude natural disasters from their cover, unless there’s a specific volcanic ash clause. Check advice from the Icelandic authorities and consider delaying or re-routing your trip.

Travel insurance for Icelandic sport and activities

Iceland is renowned for its unique and beautiful wilderness, and many visitors are keen to take part in outdoor activities.

While gentler sports such as hill walking, camping and swimming are generally covered under most policies, you’ll need specialist insurance for anything more extreme.

Winter sports

If you’re heading to Iceland to go skiing, snowboarding, ice diving, skating or tobogganing, you’ll need winter sports insurance.

Medical expenses are the most important aspect. Look for a minimum of £5m of cover, and make sure that helicopter rescue and repatriation are included.

Your winter sports holiday can be curtailed by piste closure, travel disruption and weather issues, so check that these are covered.

Consider also getting cover for loss, theft and damage to your ski pass and ski equipment, and if you’re hiring kit then make sure that’s included too.

You might invalidate your insurance by skiing off-piste, so get specialist insurance before you go.

Remember always to wear a safety helmet, for your own protection and to ensure your insurance is valid.

Extreme sports

Check whether your insurance covers extreme sports, such as hang gliding, white water rafting and rock climbing - you might need to take out extra cover or choose a separate policy.

Some insurers consider horse riding an extreme sport, so check your policy wording beforehand.

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