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EHIC an insufficient alternative to holiday insurance

31 January 2009 08:39

EHIC an insufficient alternative to holiday insurance

Many holidaymakers still do not realise that the amount of cover provided by the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) pales in comparison to a comprehensive travel insurance policy.

While most holidaymakers who are ill understand that they require travel insurance for people with pre-existing medical conditions, provider InsureandGo warned that EHIC does not offer enough protection, even to healthy travellers.

The EHIC entitles travellers to any country in the European Economic Area or Switzerland to the same level of state healthcare as native residents.

However, Perry Wilson, founder of the company, explained that it provides only very basic medical cover in some countries.

"In places like Cyprus, it is very basic where they just patch you up and that's it," he said.

Mr Wilson added that the cost of a broken leg for a skier in France could climb to £6,000 without travel insurance, adding: "If it was anything serious, you would be talking hundreds of thousands of pounds."

Recently, InsureandGO found that 18 per cent of skiers who admitted to hitting the slopes while drunk suffered an accident as a result, three per cent admitting they came to serious harm.