Do I need travel insurance for Europe if I have an EHIC card?
Ideally, you should have both. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is indispensable should you need emergency medical treatment when visiting an EU country or Switzerland.
UK residents can still use an EHIC card during the Brexit negotiations and up until the leave deadline on 29 March 2019. The EHIC gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare across Europe at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free. This includes treatment of a pre-existing medical condition and routine maternity care.
But it will only cover you for necessary medical treatment. It won't cover:
• treatment if you're taken to a private hospital in the event of an emergency
• mountain rescue costs if you're injured while skiing
• repatriation costs if you need to be flown home
• cruise holidays
And even though you're in Europe, medical costs can still hit the roof if you're not properly insured. Claims for skiing accidents can reach as high as £90,000, and an air ambulance can add further £10,000 to the bill.
So, while it makes sense to get a free EHIC card for travelling in Europe, travel insurance could give you the extra protection you need, and more comprehensive cover should the worst happen.