The Importance of Applying for an EHIC Card

The Importance of Applying for an EHIC Card

With all the organisation involved in making your latest trip to your holiday home in France there are some details it’s easy to forget to attend to. There always seems so much to get sorted, from organising the post whilst away to ensuring everyone knows where you will be for the next few weeks.

Being fortunate to have a second home to visit several times a year also means that we shouldn’t forget that there are some tiresome details to take care of. One of those details is ensuring that there is a valid travel insurance policy in place at all times. There are of course, many benefits to having a simple EHIC (European Health Insurance Card), obtained from the Post Office, or online . It’s true that it does offer a certain amount of cover for medical costs at specific hospitals and clinics; however, the benefits do not include being repatriated if the worse should happen and you need to be bought back to the UK. The EHIC is for emergencies only and should run in tandem with your travel insurance policy.

Not so long ago many holiday home owners used to be able to make at least three trips a year to their property, but unfortunately, not everyone is now in a position to do so, what with the exchange rate being so prohibitive and other financial constraints becoming more apparent. Single trip travel insurance allows us to be covered for the trip we make and not for ones we would like to make! Everyone is feeling the squeeze on finances now and it seems that an Annual Multi Trip travel insurance policy is no longer as cost effective as it once was. Judging by many of the prices online, you would need to make at least two long trips if not three, each year. That’s not to say it is not viable for everyone.

Travel insurance policies can be tailored to suit each traveller and can cover single trips for anywhere from 31 to 90 days and beyond or Annual Multi Trip policies where generally the trip is limited to 31 days but for those looking to stay longer there are some companies that can extend this period. Annual Multi Trips are also beneficial for those that tend to forget to re insure each time they go away, annual policies are usually offered on a “Remind me when it’s going to lapse” premise. However, some travellers will automatically renew an annual travel insurance policy year after year without taking notice of whether the policy benefits have been changed, only to notice that it is no longer valid for longer trips up and beyond 60 days at a time when they come to make a claim.

The cost of repatriation, which is not covered with the EHIC card and any lengthy type of emergency medical care, can really set you back financially, not to mention the organisation of any trip back to the UK through illness. Travel insurance policies can also include any number of pre-existing medical conditions, and can now cover travellers’ ages beyond 100.

A few other points to also consider are whether you will be taking part in other activities. Most policies include a number of sports and activities as standard, so if your home is situated on the coast will you be taking part in water skiing or scuba diving? Equally if you have a chalet in the Alps you will need to add on the additional winter-sports cover, check whether it covers off-piste skiing and snowboarding and also what levels of cover are included for search and rescue.

So in conclusion you should never travel to France without the free EHIC card and that for extra benefits such as repatriation and emergency medical treatments at all hospitals not just the French state hospitals that a suitable travel insurance policy is purchased too.


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