The high costs of not having travel insurance

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Did you know that emergency treatment for a broken arm in Spain could end up costing you up to £11,000 if you didn’t have travel cover1? In Majorca emergency surgery for a broken leg could cost you more than £6,000 whilst an air ambulance back to the UK could end up costing you around £25,0002. Going on holiday without any travel insurance could literally end up costing you an arm and a leg! 

Unfortunately many British holidaymakers falsely believe that all medical bills whilst travelling overseas will be completely covered by their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)2. With so many of us going on holiday each year, in 2014 alone 58% planned to travel abroad during the summer holidays3, it is worth knowing the differences between EHIC and travel cover.

An EHIC is only able to provide you with access to state-provided healthcare in European Economic Area (EEA) countries at a reduced cost or sometimes for free4. The card is valid in all 27 countries that are part of the EU and includes Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Leichtenstein1. Each country has different policies when it comes to the costs of medical treatment and in some cases holidaymakers will be expected to pay for their treatment up front so that they can be reimbursed at a later date1. For example in France you could be expected to pay up front for a consultation but might be only reimbursed up to 70%1. Use the NHS’ country-by-country guide to find out what is covered in each country with EHIC.

To apply for a card simply visit the European Health Insurance Card website and fill out the online application.

According to Money Saving Expert5 an EHIC is not to be used as alternative to travel insurance due to it only being restricted to covering medical treatment, for example it won’t cover you for all eventualities such as mountain rescue if you were skiing or if you had lost your passport. The NHS4 states that all holidaymakers should have both an EHIC and a valid travel insurance policy. 

Our health insurance product Health For You is able to offer you access to our Travel Cover as an additional part of your policy to give you that added peace of mind when travelling abroad.

As part of our European or Worldwide Travel Cover we will look to cover you for the following:

- Medical and additional expenses
- Extra overseas accommodation*
- Personal Accident
- Personal baggage
- Delayed baggage (more than 12 hours)
- Personal money
- Loss of passport
- Loss of deposit and cancellation
- Delayed departure (for every 12 hours)
- Missed departure
- Legal expenses
- Personal liability

*In the event of sickness or bodily injury

To find out more about our health insurance product Health For You and the additional travel cover option please call 01202 544255


  1. Wanderlust – Eye-watering overseas costs without insurance
  2. Express – The healthy travel card: Making travel insurance easy
  3. On Device Research – 58% of Brits plan to travel abroad this summer
  4. NHS – EHIC – European Health Insurance Card
  5. Money Saving Expert – Free EHIC Card 

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