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Many believe that if they are travelling in Europe, as long as they take their EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) they will be entitled to free medical treatment, and therefore they do not need the expense of travel insurance.
This is particularly true where people are visiting their holiday homes, where there is little, or no, cancellation cost.
Unfortunately, they are labouring under a slight delusion, because whilst the EHIC certainly does reduce the medical costs, it does not always cover them completely. France and Spain are probably the two most heavily visited areas where Brits have holiday homes, and the acceptance of the EHIC, and the benefits gained from using it vary greatly.
At this point it should be remembered that EHIC’s can only be used in public hospitals, and whilst France has a fairly widespread network of State facilities, in Spain these tend to be centred around the major cities, along the Costa del Sol for example, the major State hospital is in Malaga, which could mean a round trip of 100kms.
In France, there is a sliding scale of how much the EHIC can reduce the medical bill, in most cases it is only by 60-70%. All of the observations above assume that the medical condition is not too serious, but what if it is and the traveller requires longer term treatment and repatriation to the UK? The EHIC does not cover these costs, which can run into 4 and 5 figure sums.?
It is for these reasons that travellers should always purchase travel insurance. Holidaysafe provides comprehensive cover at competitive premiums over a range of products, and if an EHIC is used alongside Holidaysafe insurance, then the policy excess is waived, this means that 100% of the cost is covered.
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