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Do not fear – the Brexit Q&A is here!

January 16, 2019

As we all know, the UK is set to leave the EU on the 29th of March 2019, but with the uncertainty of Brexit (and negotiations still not set in stone) British holidaymakers have been putting off booking their 2019 getaways.

Fear not UK travellers, we are armed with research by Travel Insurance Explained (TIE), the consumer awareness initiative, who have found and answered the most popular travel-related Brexit questions to put your mind at ease – or at least try.

Read on for tips and advice.

Can I still use my EHIC card when travelling around the EU?

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), previously known as the E111, has been the Brits’ golden ticket to accessing free (or substantially reduced) emergency medical treatment in the EU, since 2004. However, this could soon change.

If the UK and EU fail to reach an agreement on whether the EHIC card will remain valid after Brexit, then the future of the EHIC lies in jeopardy. Research from TIE has found that 82% of travellers agree that the EHIC would have to be renegotiated, otherwise it would impact their welfare while travelling abroad.

Should the EHIC become invalid, it is likely that the cost of travel insurance premiums will increase, to balance inflated European medical claims. At Get Going we are committed to maintaining our incredibly competitive prices and cover, but we will keep customers informed of any necessary price updates.

Am I still entitled to compensation if my flight is delayed?

Under the European passenger rights, UK holidaymakers are currently entitled to claim for compensation if their flight is delayed. The amount of compensation passengers can receive is up to €600 and dependent on both the length of the delay and the distance of the flight. The delay must also not have been caused by ‘extraordinary circumstances’, such as air traffic complications or adverse weather.

Research from TIE found that entitlement to compensation following a flight cancellation or delay after Brexit will not change, however the amount of compensation available may be reduced.

Passengers flying from the UK who check-in on time and experience a flight delay or cancellation post-Brexit, may be able to claim for a smaller amount of compensation from their travel insurance. Usually compensation is only available after a flight is delayed for a minimum of 6 or 12-hours (dependent on the policy) and has a £100 to £600 set maximum limit to put towards the costs of things like magazines, newspapers and extra food.

So, if you’re worried about your flight being delayed, it is worth purchasing a policy which offers a higher level of cover. This may cost you a little extra, but it will give you the peace of mind you require.

What if my airline can’t take-off after Brexit?

The ‘open skies’ agreement is a deal currently in place which allows flights to travel freely between the UK, EU and USA. However, it is unknown whether this arrangement will remain in place after the UK leaves the EU. At the moment airline bosses are hopeful that Brexit will not affect this deal, although no one can be too sure.

Passengers who have bought or will buy plane tickets before Brexit will be entitled to a full refund should their flight be unable to take off after March 29th. However, it is worth noting that unless travellers have purchased a package holiday, holidaymakers may not be able to claim back the cost of unused accommodation or car hire, etc.

Findings from TIE’s research suggest that the open skies agreement will remain in place, but it is something to keep in mind if you’re planning to travel abroad.

Will I need to buy travel insurance to go on holiday after Brexit?

YES – and you should be buying travel insurance to go on holiday regardless! Let’s face it, no one likes buying something that you may never use, but travel insurance is there to protect you (and your bank balance) if things do go wrong.

You should always check an insurance policy is right for you before purchasing. There are thousands of different types of policies available which will cover you for a variety of different activities and at varying levels. Always take the time to research and read a policy properly to make sure it’s the most suitable for you.

If you have already booked a package holiday through an EU company and are worried about the provider ceasing trade after Brexit, we advise checking that your travel insurance policy covers ‘end supplier failure’ or ‘financial failure’. You may need to purchase an extension to cover yourself.


If you’re concerned about the validity of your passport when travelling to Europe, why not check out this handy passport checker tool.

If you want more information on travelling after Brexit visit Gov UK.

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