Is Travel Insurance Needed on Your European Holiday?
A question which is currently arising for holidaymakers, during this current financial climate, is whether travel insurance is needed when travelling around Europe, or is the European health insurance enough for travelling abroad.
Many believe that tourists who are healthy and without children are less likely to run into trouble. Also when travelling into bigger cities rather than into the back of beyond, many decide that the EHIC card may be enough cover. (An EHIC card allows tourists to have access to a country’s healthcare as a resident would at a reduced fee or free of cost.) Despite this handy little extra, the UK government are now emphasising that the EHIC car is not enough and is not to be considered a substitute for full travel insurance. As many countries offer different services to the UK’s NHS, you may be shocked with bills for such items as privately-run ambulances when you just have an EHIC card.
If you become ill in a foreign country without insurance, the average charges which you can personally face are now £2040. The record is up 6.25% from the previous year, this makes it an extremely risky time to disregard insurance. The most common problem whilst abroad is Gastroenteritis which can cost around £1200, whilst the highest prices can average at £12, 500 if you unfortunately have a heart attack. For smaller problems, this could set you back a couple of hundred pounds for ear infections, bronchitis and insect bite treatments. These expenditures can not only blow a massive hole in your holiday budget but also ruin your savings when you return back home.
A catastrophic example of forgetting to buy travel insurance was highlighted in the newspapers this summer. After tragically falling from a balcony in Corfu, Carrie-Ann Dudridge managed to break her spine. Despite having her European Health Insurance Card, the 27 year old did not have any travel insurance. As the card was unable to cover the costs of £16,000, she was unable to return to the UK to get home care and the support of her family and friends.
Such stories highlight that the UK government’s emphasis upon the importance of travel insurance is not to be ignored. Even if you happen to be young and healthy whilst on holiday, there are still pitfalls which may occur accidently. Whilst the EHIC card is an excellent addition as it can cut down the costs of smaller hospital treatments, the thousands of pounds which larger hospital trips bring can cost people heart ache as well as their savings; all of which can be avoided with the purchase of the backup travel insurance.