Do You Need Travel Insurance if You Have an EHIC?

Travel insurance is designed to cover your expenses in the event that you’re in an accident or you get sick and require medical care while you’re abroad and away from home. But if you already have an EHIC, or European Heath Insurance Card, from European Health Card online, do you still need to invest in a travel insurance plan? To get the answer to this question and make sure that you’re covered completely when you travel, keep reading for more information.

Do You Need Travel Insurance if You Have an EHIC?
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Do You Need Travel Insurance if You Have an EHIC?

What the EHIC Covers

When you receive an EHIC, which was formerly known as the E111, you’ll receive the same amount of medical care that is provided by the state to anyone who lives within the country that you are visiting. Your up-to-date EHIC will be valid in all of the European Economic Area countries, as well as Switzerland.

What the EHIC Does Not Cover

Even though it is definitely worth your while to get an EHIC, the simple answer is that it will not provide you with enough coverage and peace of mind on its own. In other words, you should definitely still get extra travel insurance that will include repatriation cover and medical cover.

This is because the downside to using only an EHIC is that local levels of care might not be the same as what you would receive in the United Kingdom. Also, you will be required to pay for at least a portion of the medical bills that you will incur, particularly if that is how the local system operates.

It is also worth noting that EHIC will not cover any of the costs related to repatriation, or getting you home again, after you have a medical emergency while you are on holiday. These costs can be very high, so having extra travel insurance with the right cover will put your mind at ease.

You Need Both

Ultimately, it is best to have both an EHIC card and supplemental travel insurance when you are travelling to another country. If you attempt to use the card but it’s refused, you can make your claim for medical treatment using your travel insurance instead.

Also, if you do not have an EHIC card, some insurance providers will not even pay for any of the medical treatment that you end up receiving while abroad. This is because the small print for these policies actually states that travellers must have an up-to-date and valid card. So it is basically foolish to rely solely upon your travel insurance or solely upon your EHIC card. You really do need both.

Once you look at the facts and at what the EHIC will cover and what it will not provide, it is clear to see that you do need to get extra travel insurance when you travel abroad, even if you have an EHIC in place. This will ensure that, in the event that you do need medical care and assistance with going back home, you will not have to deal with the burden of all of the costs on your own.

About Marina Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of TravelExperta.com, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 20+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

2 Responses to Do You Need Travel Insurance if You Have an EHIC?

  1. Journeys says:

    Just wanna ask, if this insurance will still be valid right after the travel. Thank you for your wonderful blog. More power!

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