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Post Brexit advice for travel insurance customers

We want to make sure you have all the information you need to travel with confidence. We’re keeping a close eye on unfolding events to let you know how Brexit has and will affect your travel insurance.

This is an ever-changing situation and will depend on the ongoing negotiations, so we'll be updating this as and when we get the information. Please check back here to make sure you're up to date. 

At 11pm on 31 December 2020, the UK transition period following leaving the European Union (EU) ended.

To ensure you can begin to prepare to travel abroad after 31 December 2020, here’s what you need to know about your travel policy.

Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)

The Global Health Insurance Card is a new scheme introduced by the UK Government. The GHIC will work within nations of the European Union (EU). Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland are not included as they are not part of the EU. However, you can use a UK passport to get medically necessary treatment in Norway (for example emergency treatment, or to treat a pre-existing medical condition).

If you're travelling abroad and wish to apply for a new GHIC more information can be found on the NHS website. You do not need to apply for a GHIC if you already have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) as an existing EHIC will remain valid in the EU until it expires.

From 1 January 2021 some people will remain eligible for a new UK EHIC that can be used in the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. More information can be found on the UK government website on how you can apply for an EHIC.

It’s still important to ensure you have arranged the appropriate travel insurance, covering you for all your potential health needs whilst abroad in the EU. An EHIC or GHIC is not a replacement for travel insurance. They do not cover everything, such as mountain rescue or medical repatriation. Make sure you have travel insurance and your EHIC or GHIC before you travel.

European Health Insurance Card

Those already temporarily abroad on the 1 January 2021 will still be able to access treatment under the current EHIC arrangements until they return. This includes treatment within Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

More details on using an EHIC can be found on the UK Government's website.

Travel to Europe after 1st January 2021

The UK Government has provided guidance for people travelling to the EU. It is recommended that if travelling abroad:

  • Make sure you have appropriate travel insurance cover
  • Check your passport and make sure there is at least a 6-month validity period left (you can find out more about why this is important by reading the Government's advice
  • Check you have the correct driving documents
  • Always check the travel advice pages on the FCDO website of your destination for further information on visas, permits and border control
  • If you are planning to take goods aboard or purchase goods and bring them back into the UK from the EU please check the latest guidelines before you travel

It’s possible that new arrangements may cause a temporary increase in checks and delays so remember to give yourself enough time to get to the airport and through security.

From 1 January 2021, the amount of time you need on your passport to travel to the EU (excluding Ireland), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland will change.

The Government recommends that you have at least 6 months left on both adult and child passports to travel to most European countries (excluding Ireland) and the passport be issued fewer than 9 years and 6 months ago.

More information can be found on the UK Government's website.

Leaving the EU means several changes that may affect everyone. Keep yourself up to date with the latest information by checking the Government's advice pages.

And for the latest insurance advice, check out the ABI website.

Our latest guidance for travel members whilst travel options are restricted can be found in our Coronavirus Hub Travel and your insurance (axahealth.co.uk)