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Ask the experts: what car and health cover do we need for a long trip to Europe?

An Australia-based couple are confused about what insurance they should purchase for a driving tour of the Continent

A tour of Europe presents an insurance headache for Brits who live in Australia

Q. We are a 50-year-old English couple, and have been living in Australia for 10 years. We have now decided to come back to Europe for a bit of travelling in France, Spain, Italy and Croatia for the next year. We will buy a car in the UK, then head straight to the French Alps for four months.
We can’t decide whether we should buy car insurance in the UK to cover us for driving in Europe, or whether to buy car insurance in France. Are there policies that cover specific countries in Europe as opposed to just one?
Also, we are not sure what health cover we are entitled to. Can we get full health cover through the European Health Insurance Card (Ehic)? While we have UK passports, we are not UK residents, so I’m not sure. Or do we keep our expensive Australian private health cover just in case there is a major issue?
We will also buy travel insurance, but I think we need something to supplement this, don’t we?
Jo Penn

A. Dr Steve Iley, medical director at Bupa UK (bupa.co.uk)
As you have been living outside of the UK for 10 years, it’s unlikely that you will be eligible for cover through Ehic. While you are in the UK, you will be charged for anything other than emergency care. However, it is important to remember that the definition of what emergency care is really varies from hospital to hospital. I would advise that you keep your Australian health insurance, as you will need this for when you are back at home after your holiday, and I would supplement this with a travel insurance package for your holiday.

A: Luke Parker, head of motor underwriting at Direct Line (directline.com)
Direct Line, along with most other car insurance providers, will only offer cover to permanent UK residents. Our product offers three days of cover per policy year for driving in Europe, which can be extended up to 90 days. A good port of call would be the British Insurance Brokers Association (biba.org.uk) – they may have a specialist broker who may be able to fulfil your requirements.

via telegraph.co.uk

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