Travel Tips

Did You Know?

It is important to have both a European Health Insurance Card and a valid private travel insurance policy. Many insurers now insist you hold an European Health Insurance Card to be covered, this varies from insurer to insurer please check with your insurance company.

  • The card is not an alternative to travel insurance. It will not cover any private medical healthcare or things such as mountain rescue or lost or stolen property.
  • If you are travelling abroad especially for treatment.You can not use
    your European Health Insurance Card.
  • Your European Health Insurance Card is valid for up to 5 years. You will need to renew your card after this time for future travel.
  • You can use your card in all European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Switzerland.
  • To be eligible for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) you need to be a UK citizen who intends to travel within the EU.
  • The card is individual and you will need a card for each of your children.
  • Some insurers offer a reduction in your policy excess in the event of a claim where the European Health Insurance card is used, this varies from insurer to insurer please check with your insurance company.

If you are on holiday abroad, did you know that you run the risk of amassing huge medical fees? Without taking the right precautions, this is unfortunately a real possibility if you are unlucky enough to fall ill or suffer from an accident during your holiday.

European Health Insurance Card
A European Health Insurance Card provides access to state provided healthcare and medical treatment at a reduced cost or in some cases even for free and on the same basis as a resident from the same country. It is also a prerequisite for a high percentage of United Kingdom insurance providers. However, the European Health Insurance Card does not cover stolen property, mountain rescue and is not a form of private insurance.

Each insurance provider will have their own sets of rules, regulations and criteria on whether they require you to possess an EHIC Card. Universally speaking, without an EHIC Card, insurers may be against paying out as they can argue that you didn’t take the necessary precautions by not having a valid EHIC Card. In the event of making a claim with your EHIC card, while on holiday abroad, your insurer could possibly reduce your policy excess. Again, this is dependent on which insurance company you’re with so always check before you travel. Our best advice is to take out private travel insurance and carry an EHIC Card to cover yourself for all eventualities.

European Travel
Although not as complicated as the old E111 form (the predecessor to the modern day EHIC), applying for a European Health Insurance Card can be quite a difficult task to carry out. The European Health Insurance Card can be used in any EU or EEA country, including Switzerland, to access state provided medical care at a reduced cost or in some cases for free. Our country by country guide, listed below, can give you more specific details on how each country operates in relation to the EHIC Card scheme.

General Advice
It is very easy to forget that your EHIC Card has an expiry date especially when you are in a last minute rush to get prepared for your European holiday. It is important to make sure that your EHIC is still in date and contains all of your updated and correct information. It is imperative to have your card on you at all times and to carry one that is in your name as each person requires their own individual card with their details. An EHIC should be renewed every five years. All children who you travel with are also required to have their own individual EHIC Card.