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The importance of travel insurance as the EHIC row rumbles onWednesday 3rd July 2013

With the holiday season in full swing Higos Insurance Services is highlighting the importance of travel insurance as the row around European Health Insurance Cards shows no signs of abating.

Richard White, our Travel Team Manager explains more. “We are deeply concerned that people have not been receiving the health cover they are entitled to with the European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC)” says Richard.  “It is a worrying trend and just serves to emphasise how important it is to have adequate travel insurance in place when you go abroad to avoid getting caught out.”

In recent months, the European Commission has received hundreds of complaints regarding hospitals’ refusal to accept the EHIC in several European countries and is currently investigating Spain for asking tourists to pay for their care upfront or invoice their insurers for the cost of treatment.

Richard continues “The EHIC entitles you to medical treatment in state run hospitals in the EU, plus a number of other countries including Iceland and Norway. Holders of an EHIC will pay the same cost for their treatment as a local, so if it’s free for the country’s residents – as in Spain – you will pay nothing. However, if locals pay towards healthcare, you too will be expected to stump up the costs.

“The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office recommend that all travellers possess an EHIC card as well as comprehensive travel insurance. Holidaymakers should not forget that EHIC only covers treatment in state run hospitals and in some countries, the standard of state hospitals is poor. You will also be expected to pay any repatriation costs as the card does not include the cost of a flight home or missed journeys if you fall ill or have an accident while on holiday. In contrast, most insurance policies cover between £2 million and £10 million of medical cover if you are travelling abroad so should not be underestimated.”

For further information please contact Higos Insurance Services on 01749 834 500.

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