29 May 2018, 12:05

World Cup travel warning: From Russia with…a large medical bill

Footie fans relying on their EHIC for medical treatment are in for a shock – it’s been useless in Russia since 2016

Experts from GoCompare Travel are warning fans travelling to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia not to forget their travel insurance or risk facing large medical bills if they need treatment for sickness or injuries.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off in Russia on June 14th when Russia take on Tunisia in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium. It’s estimated that up to 10,000 fans will be travelling from the UK to Russia to watch at least one of England’s matches.

The Russian health care system works on a combination of state and private provision and UK citizens used to be able to access Russian state medical care via a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) – but not anymore.

In 2016 reciprocal healthcare agreements between the UK and 13 countries were terminated, and Russia was one of those countries. UK citizens requiring treatment in Russia are usually billed at the point of treatment delivery and then claim back the expense on their travel insurance – if they have it – minus any excess. This not only makes suitable travel cover essential but makes carrying a credit card with a generous credit limit a good idea too, just in case.

Russian state healthcare doesn’t have the greatest reputation with many reports of decrepit hospitals and out-dated facilities and equipment, especially outside of the major cities. Having good insurance means not having to fret about whether you can afford to be treated at one of the more modern private hospitals.

A good selection of cover for under £10.00

Experts at GoCompare found that single trip travel insurance for a 39 year-old taking a two week trip to Russia from the 14th - 28th June 2018 can be found for just £5.79. The ‘Super Saver’ policy from provider travelinsurance.co.uk, has a £15m limit for medical expenses claims but quite a large excess at £250. For £8.54 Virgin Money’s Essential Plus policy offers £10m of medical expenses cover but a much lower excess at just £100.

GoCompare found a wide selection of policies available for under £10.00 offering similar levels of medical expenses cover and between £500 to £2000 of cancellation cover and £500 to £1250 of baggage cover, plus other useful protection.

Georgie Frost, England fan and Consumer Advocate at GoCompare said:

“All fans heading to Russia for the World Cup will be looking forward to enjoying a fantastic festival of football and hopefully avoiding a trip to Russian A&E. However, accidents happen, and football fans are just as susceptible to falling ill abroad as any other holidaymaker whether they’re in Moscow or Malaga.

“Since 2016 the EHIC has provided no benefits to UK visitors to Russia so it’s up to travelling fans to make their own medical care provision, and that means having travel insurance with a good level of medical expenses cover. £10m should be plenty but watch out for those high excesses on the cheapest policies as they may make smaller claims worthless.

“However, although you can leave your EHIC at home on this trip, it’s worth packing some other plastic in case of emergencies. A credit card may come in handy to settle any medical bills before claiming on your travel policy when you get home. Just make sure you receive an itemised bill to show your insurers what you’re asking them to pay for along with any other information they require to process a claim.

“Taking a gamble by not getting insurance could leave you with a huge but unwanted World Cup souvenir. Overnight hospital stays equal large bills and if it’s so serious that you need an air ambulance to fly you back to the UK, you won’t see much change from £20,000.”


For further information please contact:

Anders Nilsson or Martyn John at GoCompare on 01633 654 054 / 01633 654 725

Gordon, Jason or Liz at MAW Communications on 01603 505 845

Keep up-to-date with GoCompare on Twitter: @GoCompare

Notes to editors:

Example travel insurance premiums were found on a comparison of policies on GoCompare on the 03 May 2018. The comparison was of single trip policies for a single traveller aged 40 with no pre-existing medical conditions travelling to the Russian Federation for two weeks between the 14th and 28th of June 2018.

About GoCompare

GoCompare is a comparison website that enables people to compare the costs and features of a wide variety of insurance policies, financial products and energy tariffs.

GoCompare does not charge people to use its services, and it does not accept advertising or sponsored listings, so all product comparisons are unbiased. GoCompare makes its money through fees paid by the providers of products that appear on its various comparison services when a customer buys through the site.

GoCompare does not sell its customers’ data.

When it launched in 2006, it was the first comparison site to focus on displaying policy details rather than just listing prices, with the aim of helping people to make better-informed decisions when buying their insurance. GoCompare has remained dedicated to helping people choose the most appropriate products rather than just the cheapest, and has teamed up with Defaqto, the independent financial researcher, to integrate additional policy information into a number of its insurance comparison services. This allows people to compare up to an extra 30 features of cover.

GoCompare is the only comparison website to be invited to join the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

For more information visit www.gocompare.com and www.gocomparegroup.com


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