The prospect of higher travel insurance costs on the horizon has been raised as the government starts a high profile public information push to prepare for Brexit.

The initiative, ‘The UK’s new start: let’s get going’ offers guidance on how to prepare for the UK’s departure from the EU on January 1 2021.

Potential changes to travel insurance and passport rules for holidaymakers to the Continent next year are highlighted.

The adverts will cover advice suggesting that:

  • Britons intending to travel to Europe should ensure their passports are valid for a specific period, they have comprehensive travel insurance, and they check their mobile phone roaming policy
  • People travelling to Europe from the UK with pets should contact a vet at least four months before their trip
  • Businesses planning to export or import to or from the EU should ensure they have registered with the relevant customs authority

The adverts will advise people to ‘Check, Change, Go’ and recommend using a checker tool on the government’s website.

The campaign will draw attention to the cost of travel insurance which is likely to rise as European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) become invalid.

The government advice says: “You should always get appropriate travel insurance with healthcare cover before you go abroad.

“Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will be valid up to 31 December 2020.

“It’s particularly important you get travel insurance with the right cover if you have a pre-existing medical condition. This is because the EHIC scheme covers pre-existing conditions, while many travel insurance policies do not.

“Some travel insurance policies only cover certain types of disruption. Check your provider’s terms and conditions to make sure you have the cover you need if your travel is cancelled or delayed.

“Your consumer rights will not change from 1 January 2021. This means that if your travel is cancelled or delayed you may be able to claim a refund or compensation. Check your booking’s terms and conditions to find out more.

“You’re protected if you buy a package holiday and the company goes out of business. You get this cover even if it’s an EU company, as long as the company targets UK customers.

“Otherwise, you can claim compensation if you used your credit card. You’ll continue to be able to claim for payments between £100 and £30,000.”

A rush for passport renewals is also expected as Britons will need to have six months of validity for post-Brexit travel in the EU.

The government says: “On the day you travel, you’ll need your passport to both:

  • have at least 6 months left
  • be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)

“If you do not renew your passport, you may not be able to travel to most EU countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.”

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said: “At the end of this year we are leaving the single market and Customs Union regardless of the type of agreement we reach with the EU. This will bring changes and significant opportunities for which we all need to prepare.

“Whether you’re the managing director of a multinational conglomerate or a family business; a UK citizen resident in the EU or planning to work abroad, the new campaign will clearly set out the steps that will help this big change go as smoothly as possible.

“A straightforward checker tool at will quickly identify the specific steps any business or individual needs to take to be ready, and will allow companies and citizens to sign up for bespoke updates.

“Taking these steps will equip everyone for this new chapter in our country’s story.”