Travellers wrongly choose EHIC over insurance

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Despite the recession, the British public is loathe to forego its annual summer holiday. But it looks as though we may be trying to cut costs by neglecting to take out travel insurance.

According to research carried out recently by Saga Insurance, almost a tenth of us feel we do not need insurance for our holiday, saying we will depend instead on the EHIC (the European Health Insurance Card, the new version of the old E111).

Sadly, as many holiday makers will find to their cost, this is not a suitable substitute. Yes, it will cover you for necessary medical treatment in the case of an accident or illness within the European Economic Area (see here for information on the exact provision). But it will not cover travellers who have ventured further afield, it will not cover the costs of repatriation even within Europe, and it certainly will not insure against all the other sorts of things that can go wrong on holiday, such as loss of personal possessions, and costs incurred because of cancellation.

With the current swine flu pandemic in full swing, many holidaymakers have been forced to cancel their holiday arrangements and have been glad of their travel insurance.

Even people holidaying in the UK should ensure that they have adequate travel cover. They may not have to worry about medical cover but possessions can still be stolen and, contrary to popular belief, this will not always be covered on your home insurance policy.

With the August Bank Holiday in the offing, many of us will be going abroad soon. So if you are not already covered by travel insurance, now is the time to take out a good policy and get that extra peace of mind necessary for a good holiday.


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