Do I Need Travel Insurance As Well As An EHIC Card?

The short answer to this question is yes! No one likes thinking about falling ill or getting hurt while they are on holiday but it’s important to plan ahead. Being prepared and knowing exactly what sort of cover you need is in the best interest of the health of you and your family.

Your EHIC card covers you for emergency medical treatment when while you are in any of the countries within the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. The coverage for treatment varies from country to country, in most cases your EHIC entitles you to the same level of state-provided medical care that residents receive. This means that if residents are expected to pay partially for their medical care, you will be too. Although healthcare standards are generally very good throughout Europe, you might not receive the same level of care as you would in the UK. So, a valid EHIC card is essential to carry with you on holiday.

There are many things which your EHIC card does not cover you for, including the cost of flights home following a medical emergency. It also doesn’t cover you for emergency rescue if you are going on a skiing holiday. This is where travel insurance comes in; there are many different policies available to cater to the type of holiday you’re going on. Most standard travel insurance policies don’t include cover for adventure sports or other activities which are deemed dangerous, so if you’re going on an activity holiday you’ll need to take out a specific insurance policy for this.

Standard travel insurance does cover you for loss or damage to your belongings, additional emergency medical expenses, the costs of delayed or cancelled flights and personal liability should you accidentally damage something or someone while you’re away. Aside from state-provided medical cover, none of this is covered by your EHIC card. So, if you want to save yourself a lot of additional expense and hassle if something happens while you’re on holiday it’s essential to get travel insurance.

You might think that having travel insurance with medical and repatriation cover included isn’t necessary when you have an EHIC card but it is. In severe cases, medical treatment or surgery can cost thousands. If you have to partially pay these fees, and the cost of a flight home for further treatment, it can put a strain on your personal finances. Some insurers won’t ask you to pay the excess on your medical treatment if you have used your EHIC card, so having both can definitely save you money.

If your EHIC card is out of date, or you have lost it, it’s quick and easy to get a replacement. Simply complete our online form and you should receive your EHIC card within seven days.