The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) provides basic medical treatment if you are ill or have an accident while you are travelling in a country of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland as if you were a resident of the country. People often mix the cover offered by the European Health card and travel protection.
Do I need travel insurance if I have an EHIC?
A travel insurance policy aims to cover unexpected events that could have an impact on a traveller’s trip. Travel insurance policies usually include coverage for trip expenses, luggage and medical emergencies.
If you are going on a cruise, it is highly recommended to have a private policy as the EHIC will not cover medical treatments on cruises or at sea. If you are going to ski abroad, the EHIC will not cover emergency rescue. It will not cover the repatriation cost to the UK neither. You could face large medial and travel bills if you do not have travel insurance.
We recommend you to travel with both a valid private travel insurance policy and your EHIC
This way you are sure that:
- You can receive basic treatments as a local resident in the country you are visiting thanks to the EHIC;
- Your policy protects you in case a more serious accident happens.
There are 3 different contract types of travel insurance policies depending on your needs: single trip, annual or group.
- Single trip policy will cover you for 1 trip, from the day you leave until the day you return home. It will cover trip payments, medical treatments in case of an emergency, luggage, and delays. If you are not concerned about cancelling your trip, you can buy a cheaper non-cancellation style policy that will only cover medical emergencies, luggage, and delays.
- Annual policy will cover you for a year and offer the same cover as a single trip travel insurance throughout the year but typically not offer cancellation coverage.
- Group policy will cover up to 10 people and offer the same benefits as a single trip policy. It can be a cheaper and more convenient option for people travelling together.
There are many providers and we recommend you to use comparisons sites like this one to find the policy that suits you best.
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