EHIC and travel insurance are not the same things
There is often confusion about what is and is not covered by the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Fifty percent of UK holidaymakers think free emergency medical treatment and repatriation to a UK hospital are covered. However, the European Health card does not cover these costs. Only a valid private travel insurance policy will offer this level of protection.
When getting ready for the ski season, we recommend you to pack both your EHIC card and travel insurance. British skiers and snowboarders are always making sure they are fit for skiing and they have all the equipment needed. Unfortunately, most of them forget the most important. Making sure they have the adequate healthcare cover should be the priority before leaving the country for the ski season.
The EHIC does not cover mountain rescue nor repatriation
Indeed, the EHIC does not provide cover in a ski resort, should the worst happen. The victim of the accident would have to settle the bill for mountain rescue or repatriation to a UK hospital. It could potentially cost tens of thousands of pounds. An adequate travel insurance policy offers peace of mind with full coverage.
According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), there are around 5 injuries per 1,000 snowboarders per day. To put things into perspective, if 250 holidaymakers were to fly together to the French Alps for a week, 7 passengers would be injured and in need of medical attention at the end of the holiday. It is also alarming to realize that 10% of snowboarders do not have private travel insurance when they go skiing.
How to get a good Travel Insurance Policy
A single trip travel insurance policy starts around £13.00 and we recommend you to consider it if you are going to ski this winter. You can have a look at this travel insurance comparison site to find the best offer. The European Health card offers cover and peace of mind but it is not valid in ski resorts. These are 2 totally different things: the EHIC will not cover flight delays or no snow, but the travel insurance will. Both complement each other and it is very important to check the cover you need before leaving the country. For more details about travel insurance, you can read our guide here.