Do I need travel insurance for interrailing?

So, you’re about to go interrailing and haven’t sorted out your travel insurance yet. Do I really need travel insurance for interrailing, you might ask? The short answer is, absolutely yes.

We’ve teamed up with Alpha Travel Insurance, a travel insurer perfect for interrailers, to help explain why you need travel insurance and what type of travel insurance you should go for when interrailing, allowing you the freedom to travel around Europe knowing that you’re insured in case anything goes wrong!

What about my EHIC card?

The EHIC card replaced the old E-111 forms. An EHIC card is part of an agreement among EU countries that guarantees EU citizens cheaper or, sometimes, free healthcare at the point of access.

It also means that your travel insurance provider should dismiss your medical excess if you have used it.

If you don’t have one, can’t find it or it’s expired, click here to apply for a new one. The application takes minutes and it arrives in a few days.

But remember, your EHIC is not a substitute for travel insurance, it merely helps you to receive cheaper and sometimes free health care within the EU at the point of access. If you require further medical treatment, you will usually need to pay for it if you don’t have travel insurance.

Why do I need travel insurance for interrailing?

Your EHIC won’t help with the actual payment of your medical care and if you are unfortunate enough to end up requiring emergency medical assistance you want to feel safe knowing that your insurer will pay the bills.

They will also liaise directly with the hospital, ensuring you are getting the best treatment possible and help with repatriation if required.

It will also cover you for your baggage and much more.

Make sure your policy covers you for the entire length of time you are away

Most insurance policies will have limits on the trip duration and therefore you need to ensure you buy the policy that best fits your needs.

For example, if you go on more than one holiday a year, multi-trip policies make much more sense, as long as you don’t go away for more than 31 days in one stint.

However, single trip policies usually have a longer duration, typically over 90 days.

Lastly, longstay policies will generally cover you for up to 2 years of travelling if you are looking to see as much as possible.

Make sure you get the right cover

You always need to ensure you have cover for as much as you can. All of Alpha’s policies cover you for £2,000 cancellation cover, which makes getting your travel insurance early even more handy, £1,500 for personal possessions and the all-important £10 million for emergency medical care.

If you have pre-existing conditions, you need to make your insurer aware of them as when it comes to claims, you won’t be covered if it is related to a pre-existing condition if you haven’t got cover explicitly for these.

That does mean any pre-existing condition, so even if you broke your leg a year ago, you need to keep your travel insurer informed! A lot of people presume that you only need to declare serious conditions but this isn’t the case. You should also make them aware of anything other than a routine GP check up in the last two years.

This is to ensure you are fully covered and can have peace of mind whilst on your travels.

Am I covered for activities?

Yes – if you book with Alpha Travel Insurance you are automatically covered for 100 activities as part of any of their policies under Activity Pack One.

This includes banana boating, bungee jumping, hot air ballooning, football and jet skiing, just in case you want a little bit of thrill on your Interrail trip!

Alpha Travel Insurance also cover many more activities under their other seven packs including mountain biking, zorbing and even skydiving!

Who’s to say you can’t hop on and off the train and take part in some awesome adventures along the way?

What about my gadgets?

Smartphones are now part and parcel of travelling and quite necessary to use frequently, when checking train timetables or booking Interrail seat reservations, for example.

What would you do if you dropped the phone between the platform and the train? How would you carry on taking pictures of all the memories, stay in contact with your friends and family?

It’s not usually part of travel insurance so it’s certainly worth taking out extra gadget cover. Alpha cover for the repair or replacement of damaged, lost or stolen gadgets up to the value of £1,000 as well as accidental damage which is one of the most common reasons for claiming with phones, cameras and other hand-held items.

So, happy travels! Don’t forget to arrange your travel insurance and bring your EHIC card with you.