According to ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents), around 1 in 5 of UK citizens require some form of medical treatment abroad, yet millions of us travel without adequate travel insurance every year. Not only is this dangerous, but it can also prove costly if you are caught short.
This article aims to give you a better understanding of the need for travel insurance when travelling to Russia from the UK, Europe and beyond, and how to choose the best cover for your needs.
Why you need travel insurance
Travel insurance is always recommended when travelling, no matter where you go. Imagine if you, your friends or family members were taken ill or were injured on holiday. In severe cases, you may need to take them to a hospital, which in other countries can prove costly and the standards of care often vary. Here are just a few things your travel insurance may cover:
- Lost or stolen baggage.
- Delayed flights.
- Medical cover abroad.
- Trip cancellations.
Specialist travel insurance may also cover a host of other things including life insurance, sports hazards, rental car accidents or identity theft.
While this list provides a general overview of things to expect, you should always check what is included in your travel insurance before travelling as this may vary depending on your chosen provider.
Can I just use an EHIC in Russia?
A European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is NOT a replacement for travel insurance. This will only cover emergency level care at an NHS-equivalent hospital while in Russia. Health organisations often recommended that travellers visiting Europe take both travel insurance with a generous level of cover along with the EHIC as a precaution.
UK citizens can still use the EHIC until December 2020 despite Brexit, although this will be reviewed after this point.
Medical insurance vs Travel insurance: which one should you get?
Medical insurance and travel insurance are not the same. While travel insurance will often provide some degree of cover for medical expenses in case of accident or injury, you will need to have valid medical insurance to access the best care, obtain prescriptions, or if you have a know high-risk or life-threatening medical condition.
Do you need travel insurance to get to Russia?
Certain countries will need proof of travel insurance in order to apply for a Russian visa, however, this is not required for all countries. We would, however, always strongly recommend having travel insurance when travelling to Russia.
Tourists travelling certain routes on the Trans-Siberian (such as the Trans-Mongolian or Trans-Manchurian) will also need to check the rules surrounding travel insurance for China and Mongolia before travelling.
See our ‘Do I need travel insurance for my Russian visa’ FAQ for more information on whether travel insurance is compulsory for you when visiting Russia.
Choosing the best travel insurance for what you need
Your travel Insurance should always have a generous amount of cover, you will need to balance the level of cover over cost, although we would advise going for slightly more than you think you will need to be on the safe side.
We work with a well-known insurance company, Columbus Direct, to provide all the cover you need when travelling to the many destinations we offer from Russia and China to Kazakhstan and Mongolia.
Coronavirus: Are you covered?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) continues to closely monitor the impact Coronavirus is having on travel plans.
So, will your travel insurance cover you for the Coronavirus? The short answer is, probably not.
Travel to China is not prohibited, although the UK government, for example, advises against ‘all but essential’ travel. Many airlines are continuing to cancel flights to China, with both the Russian and Mongolian border closing all ports of entry from and into China (the latter until 2nd March 2020).
Please contact us to find out more about how the Coronavirus may impact your trip with Real Russia.
Real Russia 24-hour emergency support
Real Russia offers a 24-hour support line in case of emergency. Our helpline is designed to help in a range of situations from visa issues at the border to medical advice, giving you that added level of support and peace of mind during your trip. For all emergencies you can call us on +44 (0) 207 100 7370 where our operators are available to provide help 7 days a week, 365 days a year.